CES 2012

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

When we first alerted readers to Harman’s Aha, we expected to hear a lot more about this streaming platform. As expected, Aha added fuel to its fires at CES.

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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 18, 2012 0 comments

We've talked a bit over the past year about CSR's apt-X Bluetooth audio profile; while we've been impressed with the performance of the receivers we've been able to listen to, and at CES we found apt-X in a wide variety of products, including Monster's new boombox, affordable DACs from Arcam and Cambridge Audio, NAD's iOS dock, and even Burmester's audiophile-only ultra-high-end 113 "super DAC."

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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 18, 2012 0 comments

Arcam were showing an interesting little collection of solidly-built digital audio solutions in their suite at the Venetian.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 16, 2012 0 comments

For audio geeks, most of the real fun at CES is over at the Venetian Hotel, where high-end (and not-so-high-end) audio companies demonstrate their products in dozens of guest suites. While the rooms in the Venetian are known for $200,000 speakers, $100,000 amps, and $20,000 speaker cables, you can also hear great speakers and amps for as little as a few hundred dollars.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

Turntables are alive and well, thank you very much. A-T has a well-deserved reputation for making solid turntables, and keeps hope alive with the introduction of a new model. The AT-LP1240-USB is aimed at both the DJ and home markets.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

While it’s always a party at CES, this year was something special for Audio-Technica. They’re here celebrating “50 Years of Passionate Listening” with five limited edition headphones and phono cartridges debuting here.   

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments

CES kicks off with Unveiled, an event that crams a thousand or so members of the press, most of them desperate for a snack and a free drink, into a loud, stuffy ballroom full of manufacturers exhibiting a few key products in tiny booths. It’s so loud inside that any serious demos are impossible. Why do I go?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 11, 2012 0 comments

I had no idea when I wrote my CES Audio Preview how right I’d be. I predicted that Bluetooth and AirPlay wireless technologies would be making their way into tons of new audio gear, and sure enough, at CES both were as common as bad food. Bluetooth and AirPlay make extra-good sense in compact audio systems, which you’re likely to use with smartphones and computers.

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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

It may not have involved OLED, but one of the biggest consumer electronics announcements of the month - Gibson Guitar Corporation's acquisition of a majority stake in Onkyo USA and a large chunk of Onkyo Corporation proper, with the establishment of a Hong Kong-based R&D-oriented joint venture - happened last week rather than at CES proper, but today the CEOs of Gibson and Onkyo, Henry Juszkiewicz and Munenori Otsuki took some time to clarify the finer points of the partnership, which left many observers' scratching their heads. Rather than holding a press conference in one of the maze-like structures in which most of us have been spending our time this week, Juszkiewicz and Otsuki invited a few reporters to meet them on the Gibson bus, a fully blinged-out luxury liner styled in the tradition of Nashville's golden age.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

Surely there’s never been such a vast display of headphones in the history of the universe as at CES 2012. From super-high-end models to bottom-feeder stuff, there was something for every budget and every taste.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
OnStar, owned by GM, was one of the first embedded telematics options for cars.
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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 17, 2012 0 comments

We first got a look at speaker maker PSB's new headphone, the M4U 2, at the 2011 CEDIA show, and Brent Butterworth liked what he heard from an early version.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 13, 2012 0 comments

Sound bars are a great solution to an age-old problem – how to add a decent-looking and decent-sounding system to enhance the clean, minimalistic look of your flat-screen TV. The problem is that they can sound pretty crappy – mainly thin and tinny unless you add a subwoofer. And there goes that nice, clean minimalistic look.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

CES 2012 was the coming-out party for Sony’s in-ear headphones. Nearly buried in the talk of cell phones, media managers, and 3DTV was the announcement Monday night of Sony’s first line of balanced-armature in-ear monitors (IEMs). This step up to a higher class of product shocked me for two reasons.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 17, 2012 0 comments

Where was home theater at the 2012 CES? Mostly swamped in a sea of disinterest. Maybe consumers got tired of adding more channels. Maybe they got tired of complexity. Or maybe they’re just broke! For whatever reason, the focus at CES 2012 was on simpler systems that minimize complexity without (we hope) minimizing sound quality.

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