The introductions were made against the backdrop of an industrywide rebound in the AVR audio market segment, said Phil Cohn, senior vice president of sales for D&M Holdings North America, parent of Denon and Boston Acoustics. He cited statistics showing an overall uptick in AVR sales of in the April 2010 to February 2011 timeframe, adding that Denon had finished the year having captured the number one market share in AVRs. Cohn said that while the home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) category was down overall for the period, Denon’s bundling of its electronics with sister brand Boston Acoustics to create HTiB packages had caused it to grow its category share. “We have the best position (in HTiB) of any premium audio company,” he said. Cohn also noted Boston Acoustics’ growing share of the burgeoning soundbar market segment, which it entered four years ago.
“There was no soundbar category at the time,” added Eli Harary, senior vice president for global brand management and business development for Boston Acoustics. Harary presented the company’s newest soundbar systems, which include the TVee Model 30 soundbar and wireless subwoofer (May availability; $599.99), the company’s first “true” 3.1-channel soundbar system and its first to feature Bluetooth connectivity. It offers a dedicated music-listening mode, is designed for single-wire analog or optical digital hookup and it can “learn” the user’s existing remote control.
Harary also offered a sneak peek at additions to come to the SoundWare indoor/outdoor speaker line: the SoundWare XS Special Edition and SoundWare S home theater speakers, which will offer design refinements including easy guide-wire channels and a newly designed satellite bracket system.
Cohn also addressed the company’s consumer outreach initiatives, citing the Denon web site, recently refurbished for easier navigation; he said Boston Acoustics’ site would be similarly refreshed this year. Another area of focus that has borne fruit among consumers, he said, was Denon’s social media activities via Facebook; in a four-month span, Denon’s fan base grew from 311 to more than 80,000.