New Gear from CES
Expect audio to get even more digital this year. With the approval of a true digital output for DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD) players, more companies will adopt the technology in their players and receivers—Pioneer and Denon have already begun. Meanwhile, speaker manufacturers are introducing higher-end SKUs, touting them as great ways to complement higher-resolution audio formats. Tower speakers seem to be making a comeback; they're seen as a good partner to plasma television. For the mass market, home-theater-in-a-box remains king, and the choice of models, and manufacturers, is growing, while others are making better systems targeted to the gaming market. Portable devices will get even smaller, as evidenced by the upcoming expansion of Panasonic's continually compacting eWear line. Some new companies to see this year at the show will be Onkyo and Integra Research, who will exhibit for the first time in several years in the Hilton Suites, while Classé Audio, who is introducing new high-end components, will display at the Mirage.