CES 2013 audio bites

Featured, Industry News — By on January 10, 2013 11:58

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, geeks and tech watchers have been catching up on the latest useful, and not so useful gadgets to arrive on the market – ‘smart’ cutlery that monitors how fast we eat? Really?

Rather closer to our hearts, here are some of the audio highlights we have spotted amongst the many reports from this year’s event.

Automobile magazine reports that Audi has one of its huge Q7 SUVs at the show, complete with a 24 speaker very high quality 3D surround system from Bang & Olufson featuring speakers embedded in the car’s A pillars.

In this video, Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome joins Bill Herz, AMD’s Chief Multimedia Technologist in their SurRound room; a circular space with 10 1080p TVs embedded in the wall, end on, pushing a combined image resolution of 10,800 x 1920 – 20 megapixels of imaging at 30 frames per second, which is 600 megapixels per second. Each TV has four speakers, providing a total of 32 channels of surround audio.

Chord Electronics’ £7,500 high-end DSX 1000 network streamer features an FPGA that controls all the unit’s decoding, clocking, WTA filtering, and the latest Pulse Array DAC. The makers say their product has “a significant sonic advantage over ordinary network players with off-the-shelf DAC chips”. Well, they would, wouldn’t they? Have you experienced the DSX 1000? Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Another high-end highlight is T&A’s PA 1000 HV integrated amp. at a cool ten grand, which will soon be joined by the MP 3000 multi-source player – CD drive, streamer, FM tuner and ‘Super-DAC’, all in a single box. Yours for just under £8,000. Nice.

Amongst all the speakers on offer, soundbars and portable wireless devices seem to be this year’s favourite flavours. Endgadget reported on Samsung’s new product launches, including:

“… a sound bar to pack a built-in vacuum tube and Bluetooth for connecting to tubes of another kind (read: TVs). A portable wireless Bluetooth speaker (labeled the DA-F60), pumps out tunes with the apt-X audio codec and leverages NFC to connect to devices. Home theater buffs were also given a nod with a 7.1 channel surround sound system intended to be used with the firm’s line of 2013 televisions.”

What Hi-fi spotted a new Apple Airplay-based wireless speaker system from Behringer, that looks pretty handy for anybody with a house-full of iOS devices.

Celebrity-brand headphones is a growth market too, Friend of Compressorhead, Lemmy was on hand to launch Motörhead’s latest Motörheadphones.

, while The House Of Marley got in on the act too, with a new range of headphones, inspired by Bob, made from sustainable materials, and with some great model names; Rise-Up, Harambe, Buffalo Soldier, Riddim, Legend, and Liberate.

That’s just a soupcon, a smattering, of what’s on show at CES 2013 that interests us. There’s plenty more to tell you about audio-wise, and otherwise, from this year’s event, and we’ll be doing just that over the course of the next few days.


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