AVAD Opportunity Tour is Underway
October 20, 2011

AVAD kicked off its Opportunity Tour last week with events at several different locations, including California, Texas and various locations in the Southeastern U.S.

Bose Debuts OE2 and OE2i Headphones
October 12, 2011

Bose this week announced the debut of two new headphone products, the OE2 and OE2i. The two sets retail for $149.95 and $179.95, and are available in black and white.

AVAD Plans Opportunity Tour
October 4, 2011

AVAD said Tuesday that it will launch a series of events that it calls its "Opportunity Tour." The company will visit branches in several cities and introduce new products from Bose, Sharp, Optoma and Lutron.

Bose Debuts Wireless Mobile Speaker
September 16, 2011

Bose this week announced the launch of its Bluetooth-enabled SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker. The speaker comes in $299.95 and $349.95 versions and is available now.

September 8, 2011

Apple's fifth iPhone is expected to debut later this month, barely four years after its original model redefined the word smartphone. Here, we trace the burgeoning iPhone empire.

Numerology: iDomination  

Apple has sold more than 100 million iPhones in 113 countries , including Liechtenstein, Macao, and Saudi Arabia. Apple's hush-hush hype machine was thwarted on April 19, 2010-- a full two months before the iPhone 4's official release--when the tech blog Gizmodo dissected a lost prototype. The post logged some 13 million views .

Selling Headphones
August 31, 2011

Consumers aren't rushing out to buy surround-sound systems, but they are snatching up headphones. Unit sales for the first five months of this year were up 13 percent, and dollar sales were up a whopping 33 percent for the same period over last year, according to the NPD Group.

The uptick is fueled by more than blister-packed earbud replacements; some of the most popular headphones are higher-end models, such as Beats by Dr. Dre. While a pair of headphones was once simply a way to plug in and block out the world, they are now all-purpose devices catering to a wide audience that not only wants to listen to Spotify but also wants to listen to video tracks on Facebook and make calls on their smartphone.

There are still specific models aimed at specific buyers, from audiophiles to iPhone addicts. It's common now to find built-in microphones and controls for iPhones on the cords of even high-end headphones. Many models are also clearly aimed at specific market segments and music fans, from hip-hop to jazz. To help give sales associates and buyers an idea of the different types of leading-edge headphones (excluding noise canceling sets) on the market, and the demographic they're aimed at, we've taken an in-depth look at some leading-edge models and their most important features.

Harman Q4 Sales Up on Strong Automotive Segment
August 10, 2011

 Harman International Industries Inc's quarterly sales jumped, helped by strong growth in its automotive segment, and the car audio systems maker said it will reorganize its automotive and consumer businesses to create two new divisions. Harman, which competes with Bose, Yamaha, Panasonic Corp , Sony Corp and Denso Corp , posted a 21 percent rise in quarterly sales. For the fourth quarter, the company posted operating income of $26 million, flat compared with the same period last year. Excluding special

JVC BlackCrystal LED TVs Are Store-Exclusive
August 9, 2011

The BlackCrystal line of HDTVs, brought out by JVC and AmTran last month, will be joined by an additional LED line in late August- and the LED line will be sold exclusively though brick-and-mortar retail outlets, a company executive said Tuesday. 

Audi Driving Full Speed into World of Apps
May 23, 2011

Why is a tech reviewer critiquing the new Audi A7, you ask? Because it’s one of the first cars with Google Earth, not to mention a slew of connectivity features that make this vehicle a veritable consumer electronics powerhouse. This car is the perfect mix of style and utility. With beautiful Google satellite imagery and 3-D building renderings, Audi’s navigation system is simply the best to be found. In addition to the LCD screen that pops out of the center console, there’s a turn-by-turn prompt displayed on the driver’s side screen, taking any guesswork out of an already seamless

Dealing With Smart Customers
May 18, 2011

For years, the independent dealer channel has gone toe-to-toe with big-box retailers and etailers. While the competition has been slugging it out, a new dynamic of consumer empowerment has manifest and threatens to raise the stakes in the game of retailing. Fortunately, CEA market research brings perspective and competitive insight to meet this new business challenge.

So what is consumer empowerment and how can dealers cope with it? Mining and leveraging customer data are tactics retailers have used for years to understand consumer shopping habits and buying behaviors to fine tune their businesses. Think of consumer empowerment as the mirror image of this technique. Today, shoppers have an arsenal of tools and services available to aid them in their quest for the right solution that meets their purchase criteria and budgets.

Consider that connected wireless devices have grown in ownership, apps help users shop smarter and crowd-sourced marketing campaigns and sales allow consumers to choose their priorities when shopping. It all adds up to a new retail dynamic you've probably already started to see in your store. The good news is independent dealers are not alone in this; the rules for all retailers have changed. Better news still, dealers have some unique opportunities to address consumer empowerment and turn it to their advantage. Here are four ways to do it: