Out With the Old, In With the New
On the loudspeaker front, manufacturers offered statement pieces meant to wow the wealthy, as well as models that fit just about every application and price point.
It was evident at the show that the parameters that define “audio” have broadened more than ever with the popularity of the iPod. Industry pundits agreed the variety of audio sources available to the consumer —from MP3 content to Internet music to whole-home distributed audio—present “the greatest opportunity to entertain and enthuse the consumer than ever before,” said Steve Caldero, senior vice president of sales at specialty retailer Ken Crane’s, Hawthorne, Calif., during a panel on the state of audio.
High-definition televisions are helping to fuel those opportunities. “Audio has been in displays’ shadow and has been seeking an audience. That’s starting to turn with high-definition content,” said Kathy Gornik, president of speaker manufacturer Thiel Audio. “Consumers have the display, but they realize they need the other half of the equation.”