Making Audio Sound Better at CES
Both ends of the desire spectrum – low-ticket and luxury – were addressedJanuary 21, 2014 By Nancy Klosek
A broad swath of introductions designed to make the most of the dominant consumer music source – compressed music – was presented by suppliers at all points in the product pricing spectrum at this year’s show. That doesn’t mean that short shrift was given to the luxury customer’s wants or willingness to pay highly for build quality and a bonafide conversation piece. There’s room for all tastes in audio appreciation these days, at all price tags.
Here’s a rundown of what was at some companies’ displays at the Venetian and in the Central and South Halls.
• Bang & Olufsen CEO Tue Mantoni presented B&O’s latest effort in “domesticating technology:” the BeoSound Essence one-touch system ($995; Spring availability), a simplified streaming solution that makes music listening as easy as turning on the light, he said, adding, “It’s all most consumers need, in about 80 percent of cases.” sends content from any source using AirPlay and DLNA. It consists of a wall- or table-mounted remote receiver that accesses a hideaway box which is the streaming center, via an app.
• SVS showed two new subwoofers, the ported PB-2000 ($799) and the SB-2000 ($699); both feature a newly engineered 12-inch driver developed with 20 generations of prototypes. Both offer flexible connectivity options.
• Velodyne has just entered the personal audio/ Bluetooth wireless speaker category, and is planning to offer a full audio speaker line to complement its subwoofer SKUs, said president Marta Hall. Meanwhile, the focus at CES was on the on-ear vQuiet noise cancelling headphones, offering a 90 percent reduction in jet and ambient noise, and the vLeve designer ’phones ($219) that take a wide choice of decorative skins ($39 and up). Both offer on-ear control capability and a collapsible design.
• Peachtree Audio added the Nova 220SE integrated amp ($1,999; March availability) to its range. It produces 200 watts into eight ohms.
• GoldenEar Technology $2,499.99 Triton One is the company’s new flagship speaker. The 54-inch tower, with a 1,600-watt built-in digital subwoofer amplifier, builds upon technologies used in the Triton line’s other models, and is optimized for two- or multi-channel music and home theater.