At Sakar's CES booth, Altec Lansing's video-recording headphones
Coming into this year’s International CES, it would have been hard to imagine a broader selection of audio products in every form, to fit every taste, than was displayed in the Venetian’s demo suites and on the floor of the newly labeled Tech East (Central and South Halls). Multi-room systems of every stripe, both small-footprint speakers and those that would need the help of wall stretchers to fit into the average home, high-end components, and all manner of headphones with clever, differentiating twists – these were everywhere in Las Vegas last month.
You don’t have to too walk very far through a CE retailer’s aisles before bumping into yet another Bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker. And it’s no wonder: The category exploded last year with sales hitting $785 million, up a whopping 175 percent over 2012, according to The NPD Group.
In a world increasingly defined by smartphone users who routinely share photos, videos and music on the fly, consumers are drawn to portable wireless speakers that make it possible to bypass tinny phone and tablet sound at prices that are easy on the wallet.
Audio suppliers have left no stone unturned – and no listening or style trend uncovered, as evidenced by the plethora of new approaches to on-, in- and over-ear listening.
Altec Lansing Wednesday announced the upcoming release of the InAir 5000 Wireless AirPlay Speaker (MA5000), which is the company's first AirPlay streaming-equipped product.
Apple’s absence at CES had absolutely no effect on the release of a huge amount of iPod and iPhone compatible products. Aimed at the MP3 crowd, the gear hit all price levels, from inexpensive combo docking stations/clock radios to serious components such as Peachtree Audio’s new Nova amplifier. There was also a lot released in the traditional categories.
Altec Lansing has embarked on a plan to reposition its product portfolio to reflect both the brand’s legacy in audio innovation and a consistent design message throughout its audio and loudspeaker lines – and to communicate a cohesive brand identity to the market. “What we’ve done is hit the ‘reset button’ on design,” said the company’s new president, Vicki Marion, under whose stewardship the company is beginning today to introduce the first products to benefit from the strategy change. “Our goal is to take it up a notch – to revitalize and celebrate the Altec brand.” Slated to hit retail shelves
Stereo Bluetooth speaker system featuring dual 2” full-range high output speakers and full stereo Bluetooth v.2 for wireless connectivity with most A2DP stereo Bluetooth mobile phones and laptops. SoundBlade is equipped with AVRCP for two-way remote volume, mute and track forward/back controls from a cellular handset. It houses a built-in, echo-canceling microphone for wireless speakerphone capability. Available in November for $129.95 MSRP. www.alteclansing.com