Intros Go On Land, In Ceiling, In Water

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LAS VEGAS – New Bluetooth speakers are going outdoors, in the ceiling, in the water (via IPX7 certification), and in amplifiers and turntables at International CES.

Here’s what you’ll find:

808: The Voxx brand is launching the $59-suggested SP251 808 NRG Glo and $49 SP250 808 NRG, both with anodized metal housing, a chrome hex grill delivering 360-degree sound, and a passive bass radiator.

Both models offer 12 hours of music playback via a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The NRG Glo adds built-in 16-LED light ring with different lighting models to choose, including rave mode, which pulses the LEDs to the beat of the music. Both models are available in metallic blue, black, and gun metal.

The third 808 speaker is the $59 Hex XS SP260, which measures 2.25 by 6 by 1 inches, features stereo drivers and a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts 12 hours.

First Alert: Spectra Merchandising, which licenses the First Alert brand for CE, is bringing the $79-suggested SFA900 portable Bluetooth speaker, which features water-resistant chassis, LED flashlight with SOS capability, USB port, auxiliary input jack, and detachable carabineer.

Griffin: The $149-suggested Twenty is a digital 2x20-watt amplifier with built-in Bluetooth and optical input to connect to passive component speakers. The amp, which ships in January, streams the AAC and AptX codecs over Bluetooth from smartphones, tablets and computers. The included optical Toslink input connects to an Air-Port Express, Apple TV, game console or TV to reproduce audio, and a subwoofer-output jack lets users add a powered subwoofer.

Twenty features a minimalist design with aluminum volume knob is weighted for smooth and accurate volume adjustment.

House of Marley: Two new Bluetooth speakers are the Chant Mini and the Chant Bluetooth Sport, which offers the features and functions of the Chant BT but is bigger and adds IPX7 rating so it can be immersed in up to 3 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. It’s Marley’s first water-resistant and water-proof speaker.

Additional details were unavailable.

iLuv: Two new Bluetooth speakers are the $39-suggested Mini 6 Party and $24 Mini 6 splash-proof speaker.

The Mini 6 Party features multicolor LEDs to create a light show with seven programmed themes. It ships in the spring with rechargeable battery and speakerphone capability.

The splash-proof Mini 6 is the same size as the iPhone 6 and features hands-free speakerphone, carabineer, and dual-color LED to indicate power and charge status. It ships in the first quarter.

Ion Audio: The company is turning on Sound Shine, a pair of Bluetooth LED light-bulbs speakers controlled from an app. They ship in March at a suggested $129/pair.

Each Sound Shine speaker screws into a standard light socket. Each will deliver mono, but they can also be used as a left-right pair.

The device features LED light producing illumination equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

The free iOS and Android apps let users control dimming, volume, music and lighting on/off, and selection of device-stored music.

Also new: the Air LP turntable, which wirelessly streams music to any Bluetooth speaker. It ships in March. Pricing was unavailable.

The turntable also converts vinyl albums into digital files for playback on PCs and smartphones via Ion’s EZ vinyl/tape converter software.

Jensen: Spectra Merchandising is bringing new Bluetooth-equipped portable CD players to the show along with an expanded selection of Bluetooth clock radios under the licensed Jensen brand.

Two new portable CD players, both with handles, are the $69-suggested CD-555 with speaker and the boombox-like CD-560 with stereo speakers and AM/FM.

The CD-555 features front- and side-mounted controls, enhanced bass effect, foldable carrying handle, headphone jack and auxiliary input jack. The CD-560 adds AM/FM stereo, top-loading CD-R/RW player and blue ambient lighting.

Three new Bluetooth clock radios are priced from $29 to $69.

The $29 JCR-232 AM/FM dual-alarm clock features a retro backlit display that digitally emulates the analog “flip” displays of the 1980 and 90s, when clock radios featured numbered panels that mechanically flipped over to tell the time.

The $49 JCR-295 Bluetooth clock radio has a cellphone holder that holds and charges a cellphone placed in landscape mode. It features 1-amp USB charging port, FM tuner with 20 presets, and dual alarms with sleep and snooze functions.

The $69 JBD-100 Bluetooth clock radio also features 1-amp USB charging port, aux in, FM and LCD display. It adds a cellphone holder to place the phone in landscape mode.

Maxell: The company is expanding its portable Bluetooth speaker selection to four with the launch here of two ruggedized models, the $149-suggested Miniboard MB-R X5 and $179 MB-R X7, both with power banks to charge tablets, smartphones and MP3 players.

They are the brand’s first stereo Bluetooth speakers, joining two mono models at $69 and $99, and the company’s first ruggedized models. Both come with included bicycle mount. They ship in the second quarter.

The X5 is IPX5-rated for water- and dust-resistance. The X7 is IPX7 rated so it can be immersed in up to 3 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. Both feature NFC, mic for hands-free speakerphone capability, 2,400 mAh lithium-ion battery lasting up to 20 hours, passive bass radiators and carabineer.

The X-5 features two 40mm drivers and delivers 2x3-watt output. The X-7 steps up output to 2x5 watts.

Memorex: The brand is launching two Bluetooth speakers shipping in the first quarter. The $69-suggested indoor/outdoor Splash MW346, about the size of a football, features rubberized finish and splash-proof IPX4 rating. It doubles as a hands-free speakerphone and USB charging station for cellphones. The lithium-polymer battery provides up to eight hours of playing time.

The $29 MW242R shower speaker sticks to a shower wall via a suction cup. It features splash-proof IPX4 rating, hands-free speakerphones, FM tuner with auto scan, four-hour battery life, 2-watt RMS output, and buttons to control volume, play/pause, skip forward/back functions via Bluetooth AVRCP.

Naxa: The company is expanding its assortment of portable Bluetooth speakers with the $39 NAS-3060 and $49 NAS-3080. The NAS-3060 features Bluetooth 2.1, dual drivers, LED pairing indicator, 2-watt RMS/20-watt peak output, rechargeable lithium-ion battery providing up to five hours of playback, and charging via USB.

The NAS-3080 10-inch Mini Sound Tube features dual woofers and dual horns to deliver 100Hz-20kHz frequency response. Other features include Bluetooth 2.1, USB and SD card slots, FM tuner, aux in, rechargeable 1,000 mAh lithium-ion battery, USB and audio cables, and shoulder strap.

Nyne: The Bluetooth-speaker company is expanding its selection of portable speakers with IPX water-resistance ratings. The two new models are the $129-MAP Edge and $199-MAP Rock, both shipping in the second quarter with IPX5 water-resistance rating. They will join the IPX7- rated $129-MAP Aqua, which can withstand 30 minutes of immersion in water up to 1 meter in depth. The three comprise the Active series.

The new Edge and Rock speakers feature Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, microphone for hands-free calling, 12 hours of battery life, USB power bank to charge mobile devices, and 3.5mm aux input. The Edge comes with an integrated bicycle-handlebar mount and a built-in LED light with strobe. The larger Rock, with built-in carry handle, is a 2.1 system rated at 50 watts with a pair of stereo drivers and an active woofer. It comes with 4 international power adapters.

TDK Life On Record: The company’s latest portable Bluetooth speaker, the Trek Flex, is a tube-shaped water-, dust- and shock-resistant speaker that delivers a 360-degree soundfield whether positioned on its horizontal or vertical axis. It ships in the first quarter at a suggested $129.

It’s equipped with NFC, two full-range drivers, a passive radiator, microphone for hands-free speakerphone use, eight-hour rechargeable battery, on-board controls to play, pause, and skip music on a Bluetooth-connected device, and 1-amp MicroUSB charging port.


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