SE2 Labs has what is most likely the ultimate HTiB. It looks like an expensive espresso machine, but there's so much audio/video goodness inside this beautiful box that the approximately $20,000 price tag seems dirt cheap. Seriously, these guys have put just about everything you'd ever want in terms of high-end home theater gear and capabilities into one extremely well-machined chassis. All you need to add are speakers and an HDTV.
Soundolier is finally shipping their wireless torchiere omnidirectional speaker and will soon be shipping a matching wireless subwoofer, too. Of course, wireless is a relative term. You still have to plug the torchiere into an AC outlet (ditto for the subwoofer). It's not meant as a replacement for a full-blown wired-speaker system, but it will bring sound to some rooms where sound wouldn't have gone before.
No stone has remained unturned in our search for the ultimate outdoor speaker. Niles is showing off some of their new rock "finishes" along with a new planter speaker. Klipsch is also finally getting into the rock business with its first single-speaker stereo model for $299.
Nuvo's new Essentia NV-E6G system is a six-zone, six-source system that's packaged with six Control Pads (each with a 1" OLED display). It's expandable up to 12 zones, and is plug-and-play compatible with Nuvo's M3 Music Server, T2 Dual Tuners, and NuVoDocks for iPod. At $2,299 - less than $400 per room - that's a pretty smokin' deal for six rooms of music.
Although it's hard to see from the picture above, Fiberoptic Studio's iSky Panels are acoustical panels that include built-in LED star fields. The pre-built panels (24", 30", and 48" square) hook together in a grid using daisy-chain wiring, so it's supposed to be extremely easy for an installer to turn a home theater's ceiling into a night sky for significantly less than it used to cost. In addition to making your home theater look very cool, it'll help with the acoustics, too. The installed system in the StJohn Group's booth was definitely a "highlight" of the Show so far.
Epson and Atlantic Technology are teaming up to bring out the world's largest HTiB. There are two versions. Each one includes a drop-down screen with built-in Atlantic Technology speakers (LCR), a DVD-based media center (with HDMI inputs and upscaling capability), and rear speakers (also from Atlantic Technology) that can either hang on each side of the projector or be mounted on the wall. For $4,999, you get a 720p Epson LCD projector with the system. For $6,999, you get an Epson 1080p model. Both systems come with racetracks to help hide the wires for installations even I could do.
Boston Acoustics' TVee Model Two isn't a one-box surround system. Instead, it's a two-channel add-on to improve the sound of any flat-panel TV. The powered speaker bar goes above or below a flat-panel TV. It can also be mounted on the wall. It learns IR commands from your current TV remote, so it changes volume without needing to have a second remote on the coffee table. The included subwoofer is wireless (except for the power cord, of course) and can be placed up to approximately 75 feet away from the sound bar. MSRP is $399.95 and it's supposed to be available later this month.
After handing out a pair of boxer shorts with the slogan, "We've got your bottom end covered.", honcho John Miller showed off the newest, smallest Velodyne subwoofer. Called the MicroVee, it uses one 6.5" active driver, two 6.5" passive drivers, each with 5" piston diameters. The active driver has a 2" dual-layer voice coil and a 64 ounce magnet structure. Velodyne rates the Energy Recovery System amplifier at 2,000 watts of Dynamic Power. The cabinet is made of ribbed (no snide comments, please) extruded aluminum, which makes the sub cool - both in terms of heat dissipation and looks. The sub is only 9" x 9" x 9.6" (HWD), and Miller says it kicks butt. (What else was he going to say?) Oh, yeah, the MSRP is $999, but you could very likely see it on sale for $799 when it arrives in October.
Sonance took great pleasure in touting their lifestyle approach to in-wall/in-ceiling/on-wall/the-wall-is-the-speaker speakers. One of the coolest of the new speakers was a model that used a circular mounting plate that could be mounted on the surface of a wall or flush with the wall. The speaker itself attached to the mounting plate using an array of very powerful magnets, and the wiring is routed through the wall plate. When in place, the speaker almost looks like a light fixture.
Looking to the future of lifestyle sound, Sonance showed a preview of possible upcoming products, one of which was a ceramic hanging thing that looked pretty cool. It wasn't playing, so we couldn't tell how it sounded. No pricing or estimated availability was given, but it's pretty certain that you can expect to see something like this -and other exotic speakers - from Sonance in the near future.