Denon and Marantz are the first non-Apple manufacturers to incorporate AirPlay audio streaming without the use of an AirPort Express device. An AirPlay logo appears on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch (running iOS 4.2 and up). Press it and a drop-down list of compatible devices appears. Thus you can take music from an Apple mobile device, or a PC or Mac running iTunes, and stream it hither and yon to your Denon/Marantz toys. The capability is built into four Denon a/v receivers -- the AVR-4311CI, -3311CI, -991, and -A100 100th anniversary model -- plus the N7 tabletop system. Also on board are Marantz products: the SR7005 receiver, AV7005 pre-pro, NA7004 network audio player, and M-CR603 network CD receiver. You can get the software upgrade for $50 two days from the publication of this item. (Photo: Lisa Cazzola.)
Greensound Technology unveiled a line of three speakers and a subwoofer made of glass. The speakers are said to produce sound from 70 Hz to around 17 kHz. Round holes strategically cut into the glass cause the upper frequencies to be emitted by the upper portion of the glass panel with the lower frequencies emanating from the lower region. Pricing ranges from $4,000 to $19,000/pair.
The Intrepid II, in lower right corner, is Theta Digital's first Class D amp, at 7 times 150 watts. It is expected to go into production in four months. Class D amplification, in general, is more energy efficient though some audiophiles question whether it is ready for primetime. Theta's implementation will boast load-agnostic frequency response regardless of speaker impedance. At upper left is the Theta III HD pre-pro, at $19,995 for version with Xtreme DACs and a mere $14,999 for version with Premium DACs. Upgrade your old Casablanca III for $4995 and your old Casablanca I or II for $5000. Apologies for awful pic.
Watch out, Google TV. Fanhattan is a new service scheduled to launch in early 2011 that uses a very simple and easy-to-use UI to let you surf the world of video entertainment. It not only makes it easy to find the TV shows and movies you want to watch – it also lists the various services that provide that content and the prices charged (in the case of movies, for instance). Fanhattan will also provide a bunch of options having to do with the main content, such as related movie synopsis, bios, and YouTube videos.
The McIntosh MCLK12 clock puts the signature power meters to new use, displaying hours at left and minutes at right. It can mount in an equipment rack but why not give it a more prominent place on your wall?
Arcam is one of those legendary "low end of the high end" amp makers that traditionally "punches above its weight," if you'll forgive the use of two audio-reviewing cliches in one sentence. Now it's in the iThing docking system business with the rCube ($800), shipping now.
For its new gallery on-walls, Klipsch borrowed technology from other product lines, including the distortion-killing "linear travel suspension" tweeter from the new Reference line and the woofer from the bestselling Quintet sat/sub set. There will be four passive models, including the big placement-friendly G42 LCR, with its 90 x 90 degree Tractrix horn, available in summer. Prices range from $199-699. There are also three active models, which are Apple AirPlay certified, priced at $400-800. The picture shows some of the passive models and does not do them justice. They looked really good.
Panasonic came up with a nifty solution to the problem of demonstrating 3D with glasses. The glasses are fixed in the vertical supports shown, which easily slide up and down to fit the height of the viewer.
Updating a classic, MK Sound premiered the new version of the company’s popular S150 monitor. The new model, the S150 MKII THX Ultra2, features the same redesigned tweeter recently introduced in the 950 THX Select2 bookshelf. Also introduced were a new matching tripole surround for the S150 system, MK Sound’s first on-wall speakers, and a new in-wall and on-wall speaker.
Panasonic demonstrated 3DTV from a DirecTV feed, presumably using the using the side-by-side 3D technique. But while the images would likely satisfy the uncritical viewer, the pictures lacked that last spark of detail. The side-by-side technique discards 50% of the horizontal resolution, resulting in 960 x 1080 images.
3D isn’t just for your living room TV. Innovision showed off one of the company’s HoloAD “three-dimensional holographic messenger” that creates glasses-free 3D moving images. Innovision promotes the cool-looking device to be used for digital signage.
We're pleased to announce that the AudioQuest exhibit has won the Home Theater 2011 CES Blog's Award for Distinguished Achievement in Promotional Artwork Evoking a Nightmare for this image of the giant red wolves that savaged us in our dreams. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but we woke up in our hotel bed missing a leg.
Running wires to the rear speakers of a 5.1 or 7.1 system is always problematic. Several companies demonstrated wireless add-on devices, but the Link-Mount is the most unusual and clever solution I’ve seen so far. The wireless receiver/amp is built into a universal speaker wall bracket. A DC power cord is then run through the wall to a termination plate where you connect the wire to a transformer plugged into an electrical outlet. Since it’s DC running through the wall, no electrician is necessary. Pricing is in the $400 range for a pair of brackets and a transmitter.