NEWMARKET, N.H. — Russound plans a variety of new multi-room-audio products in the coming months despite what it said was a 27 percent drop in industrywide factory-level multi-room-audio sales, including speakers, during the two years ending in 2009.
Many of the products will debut at September’s CEDIA Expo. Here’s what the brand revealed so far:
A firmware update due in a couple months will add Radiotime’s Internet-radio station- aggregation service to the retrofit-focused Collage Media and Intercom system, which already streams the Rhapsody music service.
The services are accessed from Collage’s in-wall amplified keypads, which incorporate RDS FM tuner and ability to stream music from PCs and network-attached storage devices. Music is delivered to the in-wall keypads over a home’s powerlines.
Next year, the company plans a Collage iPod/iPhone dock to turn an iPod into a home-wide music source. Also next year, Collage will get a Source Bridge to connect security cameras as well as legacy sources.
C-series multizone amp/controller:
The six-source, six-zone MCA-C3 features AM/FM RDS tuner, 12x20-watt amp, zone grouping, and new protocol to streamline integration with third-party home-control systems. It’s due at the end of September or early October to join the higher powered eight-source eight-zone MCA-C5. The MCA-C3 and six bundled in-wall keypads will retail for $3,899.
The TCH1 Touchpoint links an R-Net multi-room-audio system to a home Wi-Fi network, serving up a web page that enables an iPhone or iPod Touch to control an R-Net system. Now, with a firmware upgrade, consumers can control an R-Net system from an iPad. The upgrade also adds such features as a back button, ability to display SMS3 music-server album art on an iPhone or iPad, and more ways to search for music, including genre.
Three models in Russound’s first series of two-channel amps are targeted to single-zone installs such as home barrooms. The amps feature frontmounted volume and balance controls. Pricing and ship dates were unavailable.
Four new models available in three colors will be more efficient than their predecessors and feature 8-inch woofers, up from their predecessors’ 6-inch woofers. One will be the brand’s first single-speaker-stereo rock speaker. Shipments are planned for the fourth quarter at prices expected to be the same as the current models.
The 3.5-inch TS2-C3, due around November, will replace a 3.7-inch model and add active TFT display, a faster processor to improve graphics, and ability to support all features in C-series multizone controller/amplifiers. It’s expected to retail for 30 percent less than its $1,299-suggested predecessor.
Acclaim outdoor speakers:
The first outdoor speakers in the value-oriented Acclaim 5 speaker series ship in July. They’re more efficient than previous Russound models and double as bookshelf speakers. Three models retail for $199 to $349/pair. A single-speaker-stereo unit is $249.