Leaving Las Vegas

Following are a few postcards from the now-concluded 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This is not a weighty wrapup or even a best-of-show story, just a few things that caught our fancy.

The INFORMATION sign hanging over the bar at the Sony exhibit was the definitive comment on notoriously content-free pre-show press events. At least, we hope it was a comment.

Shure’s Chris Lyon wore his heart on his sleeve and his products around his neck. The E500 earbuds ($499) had three drivers, isolating pads, noise cancellation, and managed to cut the show floor's dull roar down to a whisper.

Danish Scandyna exhibited exuberant Podspeakers in various shapes and colors.

Wharfedale showed some curvaceous on-walls for delivery later this year.

NXT flat-panel drivers animate tiny Mission cubes. No delivery date is slated for these cute three-inch-tall prototypes.

Did you know Samsung makes cool tweeter-on-top speakers? This poor puppy wasn’t even hooked up though her floorstanding sister was.

Samsung gets two mentions for having the most imaginative of the large booths, including a rotating doll house with six demographic vignettes celebrating the company's digital photo gear. Apparently research shows that men on motorcycles love taking pictures of one another.

DAvED stands for Digital Audio via Electrical Distribution and it’s Marantz’s way of going multizone through home power lines. This retro-radio-like object is the ZC4001 client and it takes orders from the ZR6001 surround receiver.

We envy anyone who can afford $5650 for Naim’s n-Vi, a British-accented, ultra-high-end, one-stop solution to all your surround amplification and DVD-playing needs. It's much prettier than the picture suggests.

Radios, of all things, made a huge comeback and the most desirable one was Polk’s I-Sonic ($599), a triple threat with XM satellite, HD Radio digital over-the-air, and AM/FM analog reception.

The prettiest radios at the show were these Porsche-designed beauties from Eton in the U.K. We’d tell you more if their press CD hadn’t crashed our PC.

We like radios—have you noticed that? The Takahashi One ($699) also plays CDs and will enter the U.S. courtesy of Music Hall later in the year.

Wireworld’s HDMI and DVI cables—here displayed by publicist and hand model Gordon Sell—achieve flatness and flexibility by placing the conductors alongside one another, instead of bunching them together. Got $59.95-129.95 per meter, big spender?

Here's an easy way to transfer vinyl to MP3 without going through a phono-preamp-equipped audio system. Ion’s iTTUSB turntable ($139) connects directly to your PC's USB port.

Lantern, TV, and radio—what more do you need on a camping trip? Carry it all with one convenient handle thanks to Jeep's fully loaded Jerry Can, sold for approximately $100 on the net.

Mark Fleischmann is the author of the annually updated book Practical Home Theater. For links to the latest edition, visit www.quietriverpress.com.

Andrew Everard's picture

Little Mission M-cube speakers are already on sale here in the UK: they're really rather good, and have been reviewed by several of the Brit magazines. See www.mission-cube.com microsite for more...Andrew EverardAudio Editor, The Gramophone