"There are people who are not comfortable having to use the Internet to understand a component of their home theater system, they just want to do it," said Debra Sharker, director of sales for URC's consumer products.
The R-50 also reflects design trends that will be prevalent at CES. "It's sleek and sexy," Sharker said. "It you're going to put it in the home, it has to look good. If you keep something on the coffee table, you want it to look like a designed component."
The same concept applies to S1 Audio's new line of NxSET Mobile 2 headphones: if you're going to wear something, it might as well look and feel good. Billed as an "around-the-neck mobile accessory," the NxSET ($79-$99 corded, $129-$159 Blu) headphones are designed to fit around the neck, projecting sound toward the ears and forming a "sound shield" to prevent noise spillover. The set also includes two retractable earbuds for personalized listening.