Thiel Audio Sharpening Its Home Theater Focus

High-end speaker maker to counter perception that it's a two-channel supplier.
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High-end speaker maker to counter perception that it's a two-channel supplier.

Las Vegas – High-end speaker supplier Thiel Audio is out to sharpen its home theater focus to change the perception that it is largely a supplier of speakers for two-channel stereo systems, senior VP of sales and marketing Paul Fisher said here at International CES.

As part of a major product rollout this year, the company will evolve with the marketplace by adding center-channel speakers and dedicated surround speakers, Fisher said.

The company, purchased two years ago by an investor group, is ready to ship the first three products to take it in in its new direction. Those are the $5,798/pair TT1 floorstanding speakers, $3,498/pair TM3 bookshelf speakers, and TC1 center channel at $2,500. They ship at the end of January or mid February. A prototype active subwoofer on display at CES will ship sometime in the second quarter at around $3,000.

Those products will be followed, probably by the end of the year, by two larger tower speakers, a larger center channel, and a second larger subwoofer. The company will also ship its first dedicated surround speakers.

All will be part of the company’s Third Avenue series, meant to evoke the nightlife and musical heritage of the street in the heart of Nashville, where the company’s operations center is located.

The company already offers three in-wall speakers and an in-ceiling speaker but plans to replace them, possibly by the end of 2015 or early 2016. To introduce the products, probably in the prototype stage, Thiel will return to the CEDIA Expo in the fall for the first in years.

While it changes its product lineup, the company will also reevaluate its approach to web sales. It sells a limited selection through and “dabbled with Amazon in the past,” but now the company is “working with dealers here” about the future approach it can take to online sales, Fisher said. One strategy might be to have dealers fulfill direct on-line sales by Thiel to consumers, he noted.


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