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CES 2016: Voxx Goes In New Directions With Klipsch, Other Brands

Voxx went to CES to unveil new products under multiple brands, launch the Project Nursery brand of baby electronics, and disclose a major push by its Klipsch audio brand into soundbars, wireless multiroom audio, Bluetooth speakers, and active monitor speakers.

On its 70th anniversary, Klipsch also launched its first home-theater system using WiSA’s wireless high-resolution audio technology to eliminate speaker cables.

 The Klispch introductions represent the brand’s largest product launch ever as it repositions itself as a technology leader without turning away from Klipsch’s heritage in offering high-performance high-efficiency speakers with flat response and wide dynamic range, said Klipsch executive Paul Jacobs. The new products will also further broaden Klipsch’s customer base beyond passive stereo and home theater speakers.

Also at the show, Voxx unveiled:

–the Jamo audio brand’s first 11 Bluetooth speakers, including three pairs of left-right Bluetooth monitors that also include digital and USB inputs at prices from $49 to $499.

–Car Link BT, a $99 module (including installation) that adds smartphone control of multiple brands of aftermarket remote-start/convenience systems via Bluetooth from a companion $7.99 smartphone app for use when the regular remote is lost, stolen, or left behind.

— its first baby electronics line, which carries the licensed Project Nursery brand and includes a $299 baby-monitoring system, which includes a wireless camera, a 5-inch tablet-like monitor, and a pocketable mini monitor with 1.5-inch display.

Here’s what’s coming under the Klipsch brand:

Klipsch active speakers: Among its first active speaker pairs, Klipsch is launching the $499/pair R-15PM 2×50-watt high-res, tabletop monitors, with a host of inputs, including a phono input for turntables, USB audio input with 96/24 resolution for PC-stored music, a 96/24 digital optical input, and Bluetooth with aptX.

The functionality of the R-15PM will be built into three more expensive Klipsch Heritage series speaker pairs planned with mid-century styling.

Klipsch WiSA system: Klipsch’s WiSA wireless home theater system, called the Reference Premiere HD Wireless Speaker System, consists of a tower, bookshelf, center channel and subwoofer, all incorporating amplifiers and capable of playing back 96kKz/24-bit audio transmitted by a WiSA-equipped HD Control Center. The Control Center features source switching, high-res audio playback, and surround-sound playback to replicate AVR functions.

The control center offers four 4K-enabled HDMI inputs, one of which features HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 copy protection.

A 5.1-speaker home theater system built from the components start at $5,100. Shipments are underway.

Klipsch wireless multiroom: In entering the wireless multiroom market, Klipsch is using DTS’s Play-Fi platform for its first eight wireless multiroom products, which include three soundbars, an updated three-way Stadium desktop stereo speaker already available with Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay at $2,000, a Heritage-series single-chassis stereo tabletop speaker with traditional Klipsch cosmetics, a Gate streamer/preamp, an amplified Gate, and a pair of compact active Play-Fi speakers. The latter double as wireless surround speakers when used with a Play-Fi soundbar.

Klipsch soundbars: Klipsch launched five new models to complement a current $399 model.

All five will be the company’s first soundbars with HDMI inputs and outputs, and three will be the company’s first with wireless multiroom audio. Most of the new bars will feature three HDMI inputs, and most will feature HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 copy protection.

One premium model will be less than 3-inches-tall.

Klipsch Bluetooth speakers: An expanded selection is portable models is priced from $149 to $399.

Also at the show, the company launched four new flat over-air TV antennas under the RCA and Terk brands, including the company’s first flat antenna designed like a soundbar for placement on a wall above or below a flat TV. The RCA Skybar will come in an amplified and unamplified version at $39 and $59.

And here’s what’s coming in other brands:

808 Audio: Four portable Bluetooth speakers are due in the spring at $79 to $129. One doubles as a portable device charger, and another features LED lights that change color and pulse to the music.

Acoustic Research: Two new Bluetooth speakers are the $199-suggested two-way Saratoga and $149 Santa Clara, both of which are outdoor models that double as LED accent lights. The lights also change color and pulse to the beat of the music. Two of each model can be paired for use as separate left-right speakers.

Singtrix: The brand’s line of karaoke machines with digital voice-enhancement technology, launched a year ago with a $349 system, will eventually be replaced by a new model with all the same features at a targeted $249. A kids-oriented karaoke machine at a targeted $129 will also join the line and feature kid-friendly vocal effects.