Tivoli Audio Enters Headphone Market & Bluetooth Arena

Tivoli Audio will join the ranks of audio companies who are fielding headphones, with the launch within the next two weeks of a single, $159.99 noise-cancelling on-ear model designed with solid-wood housings that are cosmetically in sync with the company’s signature table radios.

The Radio Silenz headphones will reach a headphone market that CEO Tom DeVesto said is “exploding” with an aesthetic footprint and comfort and sound-performance characteristics that he said set them apart. Available in cherry, walnut or black ash, they run for 50 hours on a single AAA battery. Their noise cancellation function is manually defeatable, and the earcups rotate 90 degrees and upward so they fit in an included travel pouch.

They will be joined in the market in July by two new Tivoli radios endowed with Bluetooth reception capability – the Model One BT ($259.99) and the PAL BT ($299.99). These models, based on the same chassis design as the Tivoli Model One and PAL, can receive and play content wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device like a smartphone, tablet or computer. Another product to be available in late summer, the $149.99 BlueCon Wireless Technology Music Receiver, will make legacy Tivoli radios or any audio component with an auxiliary input Bluetooth-ready.

Tivoli has also made available for immediate download a free Radio App for iOS and Android devices whose on-screen look mirrors the company’s Model One. The App permits mobile device listeners to access the 10 most popular Internet radio stations within each of 10 different genres as determined by Tivoli, based on data it has culled from what it has learned about what its NetWorks Internet Radio users listen to. The stations listed will be dynamically updated by Tivoli, said DeVesto.

DeVesto said 65 percent of the company’s business is conducted outside the U.S. He reflected on retail events such as the Tweeter bankruptcy three years ago, the demise of Circuit City and the focus of dealers like Best Buy on “nothing but big screens” as having greatly narrowed brick-and-mortar outlet options for the sale of Tivoli products. What business he does here is mainly through the company web site, through authorized Internet dealers such as Amazon.com, and through “very visible” design and high-end furniture brick-and-mortar stores. “I don’t know many people who want to get into the business any more,” he said. “Some brick-and-mortar situations are possible but whatever comes won’t look anything like traditional stores.

Editor in chief of Dealerscope
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