New York — Tivoli Audio is getting a new president, its first Bluetooth-equipped portable stereo radio, and an expanded selection of optional interchangeable cabinets for its Albergo tabletop radio.
Longtime president/CEO Tom DeVesto handed over the president’s title to Stacey Kerek, who was operations VP for the past two years. She was previously general manager/COO of Lenbrook America. DeVesto, majority owner of Tivoli, remains CEO of the company, founded in 2000.
The company’s first Bluetooth-equipped portable stereo radio is the $299-suggested Music System Three, which joins a Bluetooth-equipped mono radio and will ship by late summer. With the launch, Tivoli will offer seven home and portable radios with built-in Bluetooth. All display music metadata from Bluetooth sources.
To expand its selection of optional cabinets for the Albergo AM/FM clock radio, Tivoli plans next month to open a direct-to-consumer website with a selection of 16 slide-on cabinets. The selection will grow to about 100 models by the end of the year. For each cabinet sale, Tivoli will give a commission to the dealer that sold the Albergo to the consumer.
The portable Music System Three, like the AC-only Albergo, will come with a plastic cabinet that can be tucked inside optional premium cabinets. The Three’s plastic cabinet will be available in white or black, and the optional slide-on cabinets will be available in walnut, cherry and black ash through the online store. Prices on the cabinets, which are hand-made in Italy, will be less than $100.
The 16 optional Albergo cabinets initially available through the online store next month will come in wood veneers, fabric-wrapped MDF, and leather-wrapped MDF at $60 to $100. The selection complements the Albergo’s selection of five plastic-cabinet colors.
In 2015, Tivoli will offer Albergo cabinets made of higher end materials, perhaps including Corian, and perhaps with optional engraving, said DeVesto.
Though Tivoli already offers three interchangeable wood-veneer cabinets for the Albergo, opening a web store is the only ways to offer a wide range of cabinet options to consumers, DeVesto said.
When the portable Music System Three ships, it will feature built-in battery charger and rechargeable lithium battery that delivers up to 20 hours of playback time. Other key features include AM/FM tuner, RDS, RDS text display, built-in recess in back for carrying, bass and treble controls, wide mode, loudness and balance controls, aux in, headphone output and stainless-steel hardware for outdoor use. It also features dual alarms, variable sleep timer and snooze control but lacks CD playback.
With its plastic cabinet and stainless-steel hardware, the Music System Three is suitable for use at the beach, and when slipped into an optional wood-veneer cabinet, it takes on a furniture look, DeVesto said.
The AC-only $299-suggested Albergo incorporates stereo amp to drive a separate optional matching speaker at $124.The Albergo also features AM/FM tuner, FM RDS, dual alarms, snooze control and stereo Bluetooth. It also lacks CD playback.
In other comments during a press conference, DeVesto said Tivoli has no plans for HD Radio because “there’s not a lot of call for it,” though he said he likes the technology. The company previously offered an iPod-docking radio but has no plans for any more docking radios because Bluetooth is compatible with a wide range of mobile devices, he said. Although the company has one Wi-Fi-equipped networked radio to access Cloud-based music, it plans no more because Tivoli’s Bluetooth radios play back Internet music services streamed via Bluetooth from mobile devices.
As for offering networked radios with multiroom-audio capability, he said, “Our stuff is multiroom.”
Tivoli does 30 percent of its volume in the U.S., with a third of that through Amazon, half through the company’s web site, and the rest from retailers, including A/V specialists, furniture stores, luggage stores and gift stores. Tivoli was available through J&R, which has closed its doors. The company also sells its radios to hotels.