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Kicker Plans More Bluetooth Tabletop Audio

Stillwater, Okla. — Kicker, a division of Stillwater Designs and Audio, has begun shipping its latest tabletop Bluetooth speaker as part of a plan in 2014 to add more Bluetooth speakers covering a broader price range.

The Amphitheater Bluetooth BT2 retails for $299.

It joins three other tabletop-audio products, including the $249 Amphitheater BT with Bluetooth and 30-pin Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad dock. The other two models lack Bluetooth. They are the $249 Amphitheater, which features 30-pin Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad dock, and the $149 iK501, a Made for iPod/iPhone docking speaker with 30-pin connector.

All tabletop products are AC-only models, and new tabletop models coming in 2014 will also be AC-only.

The 2014 additions will include more Bluetooth-only speakers as well as Apple-docking speakers equipped with Bluetooth, said John Crisco, product line manager for home and personal audio

“As you know, the 30-pin Apple connector is not really a feature these days, so I can tell you this is being changed or eliminated on future models,” Crisco told TWICE.

The three Amphitheater models take their visual design cues from open-air outdoor amphitheaters.

All Amphitheaters are 50-watt models with 5-inch woofers, 0.75-inch tweeters, and square 6×6-inch square passive radiator to deliver frequency response of 24Hz to 20kHZ, +/-3dB. They also feature digital signal processing (DSP) to optimize sound performance.

The Amphitheaters also come with USB port for charging external devices and an aux-input jack for connecting non-Bluetooth devices.

With a free KickStart app for Android and iOS devices, users can adjust the speakers’ response via the app’s eight-band equalization, bass and treble sliders, and choice of wide or tight imaging. The app also offers the option to load and save sound presets for specific music genres or for different music sources such as device-stored music or Internet radio and streaming services.

Users can also update firmware through the app, which also features selectable Auto Play, which continues a song where it left off. Priority List shows up to five devices paired to the Amphitheater in priority order. The app also integrates with Facebook to let friends know what songs a user is playing on an Amphitheater.

The speakers come with remote for full control of the system, including bass and treble adjustment, Bluetooth or aux-input selection, volume, mute, play/pause, track forward/back and fast forward/back. Four buttons on top of the speakers control source/pair, mute, and volume up and down.