New Gear- CES Audio
While there may have been no market shaking product announcement that will change the way we think about audio in consumer electronics, what CES did offer the audio category was new models of products across
the category with more features—not a bad thing. Digital audio (MP3, WMA, etc.) is working its way into everything from portable CD players to DVD players. Hard drive devices are increasing from the portable sizes up to component devices. Expect to see more this year as Imerge, a British company who makes hard disk-based audio devices, announced OEM relationships with several well known CE manufacturers such as Integra Research and Marantz.
In home theater Dolby Labs was displaying its Pro Logic II decoding for the automobile, while SRS Labs promoted Circle Surround II technology for decoding 6.1 material and TruSurroundXT, which applies virtual surround sound to two channel, similar to what Dolby Headphone provides. While only Marantz has shipped a receiver with Circle Surround II, Kenwood is planning to ship a receiver later this year.