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CES Report & T.H.E. Show Products 2011
CES 2011 & CES Coverage   The Home Entertainment Show (THE Show)

Spendor A Series SpeakersBluebird Music, a United States distributor of Spendor and many other high-end audiophile equipment brands, is showing the Spendor A Series loudspeakers. The new Spendor A5, A6 and A9 floorstanding loudspeakers utilize drive units, tweeters and other design innovations developed for Spendor's new flagship ST and SA1 loudspeakers. Spendor A5 and A6 are compact high performance models, while the A9 is a powerful full size, full range, three-way loudspeaker. Each model benefits from important advances in Spendor’s drive unit technology, cabinet design and crossover engineering. New drive units based on technology developed for the recently launched Spendor SA1 ensure clear and natural midrange and open treble. Spendor has developed a pair of 150mm drivers specifically for the new A5 and a new 180mm driver for the new A6. With magnesium alloy chassis, excellent power handling and extremely low coloration these new drivers give the loudspeakers a remarkably big and powerful sound. A new 22mm wide-surround tweeter for the A5 and an advanced 29mm wide-surround tweeter for the A6 combine the extended frequency response of a small diaphragm with the low frequency characteristics of a larger diaphragm to give stable low distortion response over a very wide frequency range. A new approach to low-frequency engineering with minimum damping of the acoustic enclosure, combined with a 4th generation Spendor linear flow port, give the A5 and A6 an unrivalled ability to deliver deep articulate bass. The linear flow port panel, crossover network and high quality WBT terminals are arranged in a monoblock which is anchored directly into the cabinet to maintain an extremely rigid and resonance free structure. Internal cables are high-grade silver plated pure copper with halogen free dielectric. High linearity audio grade capacitors and an easy to drive 8 Ohm load deliver high performance and compatibility with a wide range of amplifiers and cables. The base of each cabinet has four machined steel stabilizer inserts. Available finishes include black ash, cherry and wenge. The plinth has a contrasting black satin lacquer finish.


Bogdan Audio Creations catalinaBogdan Audio Creations, with the company founder that has been building speakers for the past 25 years, is showing their Catalina monitors. The Catalina is a two way monitor design that uses the large RAAL ribbon tweeter matched with the famous 7" Scan Speak reinforced paper cone. Catalina's cabinet is a lamination of 18 layers; each layer is handcrafted from six separate pieces of three different materials. Those layers are solid Cherry wood, aluminum and MDF. The cabinet is 18" x 18" x 12" (HxDxW) finished in all natural solid Cherry wood only, with no stain, just a clear protective finish. Some of the features are: variable wall thickness on the horizontal and vertical plane with an minimum 2" thickness! Frequency response is from 38 Hz to 100 kHz, impedance 6 Ohms and sensitivity is 89dB/W/m. They also manufacture the Petra large floorstander, which is composed of 50 layers of hand cut MDF. Each layer is slightly different in shape and cut to my specific design specifications. Then each layers is stacked and laminated together. Each speaker has two chambers filled with damping material. The Petra is finished with Mercedes Benz "Mocha Black" paint and high glossy clear coat, the base is crafted from two layers of solid African Cocobolo wood and then clear coated. The natural reds, oranges and black accents of this beautiful African hardwood adds a beautiful touch. The trim around the tweeter also uses the natural beauty of the Cocobolo wood. Other color combinations are available with the base and drivers front remaining black. Frequency response is from 28 Hz to 100 kHz, impedance 6 Ohms and sensibility of 90dD/W/m using a RAAL tweeter, Eton 11" woofer and 7'' Eton midrange driver.


NOLAThe Nola Contender ($3400 per pair) is a slim floor standing tower loudspeaker which is the step up from the very popular Boxer bookshelf. Compared to the Boxer, the Contender offers sonic improvements in the areas of depth reproduction, dynamic range, low level resolution and bass extension. The low frequency response has been extended to a conservative 35 Hz with usable response to 25 Hz. The bass quality of the Contender however maintains the quick and nimble characteristic of the Boxer. The driver compliment consists of two low mass 6.5" bass drivers and one high resolution silk soft dome tweeter in a vertical array. Each bass driver is housed in a separate chamber and is individually ported. This technique, while costly, eliminates driver interference and provides increased clarity. The upper driver is ported to the rear, while the lower driver, is loaded by a downward firing port. The chambers are tuned to different frequencies to provide the smoothest and most extended in room bass response. The Contender is a true three-way system with the benefits of increased mid range clarity and yet it maintains the coherency of a good two-way. Specifications are as follows:

Frequency Response: 35 Hz to 28 kHz
Sensitivity: 90 dB/W/m
Impedance: 8 Ohm
Crossover : Three-way built on 2 boards which are point to point hand wired.
Utilizes premium 630 volt 3% polypropylene capacitors.
Finish: True Piano Cherry high gloss or True Piano Black high gloss
Includes set of premium spikes


NOLAThe Nola Announcer ($1500) is a high performance center channel loudspeaker which perfectly matches Contender and Boxer for multi channel and home theater applications. Announcer employs two 6.5" midrange/bass drivers and one high resolution silk dome tweeter. These are the same high quality drive units that are used in Contender and Boxer. The bass /midrange drivers are housed in a sealed cabinet for ease in installation and excellent dialog intelligibility in real word installations. Announcer is fully shielded to prevent video interference when placed close to video displays. Special techniques are employed in order to allow installation above or below the video display. Specifications are as follows:

Frequency Response: 55 Hz to 28 kHz
Sensitivity: 93 dB/W/m
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Drivers: Twin 6.5" low mass bass drivers and one 1" high resolution silk dome tweeter.
Crossovers: 2 board, hand wired with 630 volt premium polypropylene capacitors
Finish: True Piano Cheery high gloss or True Piano Black high gloss


HAI Hi-Fi 2Home Automation, Inc. (HAI), leading manufacturer of integrated security and home automation products since 1985, announced that the Hi-Fi 2 by HAI multi-room audio system is now available for worldwide distribution. HAI's Hi-Fi 2 was created for today's demanding homeowners. The base system features 8 zones and 8 sources and may be expanded to 16 zones. Zone amplification is a powerful 25 Watts RMS at 8 Ohms per channel (50 Watts per zone) and four zones have outputs for additional amplification. Installation remains simple with standard Cat-5 wiring and standard speaker wire. With Hi-Fi 2, users have the ability to listen to different sources at the same time at different volume levels throughout your home or set all zones to the same source and volume. The new OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) Volume-Source Control (VSC) displays source name, volume bar chart, bass, treble, balance and more. It features four hard buttons for control of volume, source, and power. VSCs act as infrared repeaters for source component control. Simply point the source's remote at the VSC and it will route the signal back to the original source component through the Remote Input Module (RIM). When used with an HAI Music Gateway, the VSC can also show metadata such as artist name and song title. Users can jump through songs on audio playlists using the VSC. Since the VSC supports Unicode and renders the text as an image on the display, dealers can customize the VSC to display all of HAI's currently supported foreign languages. Audio sources can be locally inputted at the Hi-Fi 2 amplifier, or located throughout the house using Remote Input Modules. Local input examples include items like HAI's Music Gateway and satellite/Internet radio tuners; Remote input examples include a home theater system, kitchen TV, iPod dock, etc. The color of the VSC and RIM may be changed to complement the interior décor. They ship white and have color change kits available in almond, light almond, black, and ivory.


Zikmu ParrotZikmu Parrot, founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux as part of his determination to drive the inevitable breakthrough of mobile and wireless devices, showcased their 'Red Dragon' Parrot by Starck ($1600). As they unveiled the newest addition of its hi-fi wireless stereo speakers, Zikmu Parrot by Starck Red Dragon easily handles the Apple iPod/iPhone via top dock and other portable devices via line inputs. Adored or disliked but never ignored, red is a strong and bold color with a highly symbolic meaning. It represents 'joie de vivre' and optimism. Red is one of the stronger colors in the spectrum, yet other colors are available for the asking as pictured here. Specifications include:

Wireless Hi-Fi stereo speakers 
iPod/iPhone docking station
Listen to Web Radio (via a dedicated iPhone/iPod touch application)
RCA line-in input
Wi-Fi & Bluetooth audio streaming
Wi-Fi b/g with SES/WPS (Browsing & control)
Power Output: 100 Watts total
Software update via Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
Dimensions: 29" x 12.5" x 11.3" HxWxD
Weight: 17 lbs each


GracenoteGracenote, a pioneer in the digital media industry that combines information, technology, services and applications to create ingenious entertainment solutions, today announced the next generation of its Discover music recommendation technology. This new technology will feature the use of sonic attributes such as Mood and Tempo and music descriptors like Genre, Origin, Era and Artist Type, to deliver smarter, more relevant track, artist and album recommendations as well as enable customers to offer personalized, one-touch Music Channels. The technology will allow music services to deliver a personal music experience for consumers when and where they want it, from mobile phones, tablets and media players to the desktop, connected televisions and other home digital entertainment devices. With the average person now listening to 17 to 19 hours of music per week and Cloud-based music services featuring millions of songs, the need for highly targeted music recommendations and channels is evident. Because music listeners can experience a range of emotions throughout their day, Discover's Music Channels are designed with the ability to match music with a consumer's mood by using Gracenote's sonic attribute technology to extract the "mood profile" of more than 30 million global music tracks.


Boston Acoustics A Series SpeakersBoston Acoustics brand new high value A Series of high-performance loudspeakers may offer great sound at reasonable pricing. All A Series three- and two-way models feature Boston's 1" Kortec soft dome tweeter for superior high frequency response. The new A Series includes their A 360 three-way floorstanders with dual 6.5" woofers, a 3.5" midrange and tweeter ($400). BA's A 250 two-way floorstander has dual 5.25" woofers and tweeter ($300). For bookshelf duties, the A 26 two-way has a 6.5" midrange/woofer and tweeter ($200). The smaller A 25 bookshelf two-way has a 5.25" woofer and tweeter ($150). If you need a center channel speaker, the Boston Acoustics A 225C two-way speaker includes dual 5.25 midrange/woofers and a tweeter ($250). Two new powered subwoofers, the 300-watt (650 watts peak) ASW 650 front-firing 10" ported and 150-watt (300 watts peak) down-firing 10" ported ASW 250 ($350) complete the lineup. "With the creation of our new A Series loudspeakers, Boston Acoustics has set the benchmark for loudspeaker performance, design, and value once again" said Eli Harary, Senior Vice President for for Boston Acoustics. "These stylish new A Series speakers redefine today's value/cost proposition and offer movie and music lovers the very best at-home listening experience."


RBH Sound Signatue SX SeriesRBH Sound (RBH), manufacturer of high performance custom home audio products, newly-designed Signature SX Series loudspeakers just debuted at CES 2011. RBH's new Signature SX Series replaces their award-winning, standard black finish Signature Series models and boasts a new modern, shapely and beautiful cabinet design. Each model also features RBH's proprietary aluminum cone technology, silk dome tweeters and curved cabinets made from double-layered medium density fiberboard (MDF), with 1.5-inch thick satin black front baffles. The curvature and construction of the cabinets serves two purposes. The first and most vital is the prevention of destructive internal standing waves, thereby increasing sound quality. The second is to give the series its new, contemporary flair. Following traditional Signature Series design, the SX Series cabinets are all internally-braced to increase cabinet rigidity, further increasing sound quality. To appease audio purists and make wiring easier, all models feature high quality five-way binding posts, with tower models featuring two pairs, allowing for bi-wiring and/or bi-amplification. RBH's Signature SX Series consists of the standard line and a reference line. The reference line versions feature upgraded 6.5-inch fixed phase plug aluminum cone woofers, a liquid-cooled Scanspeak silk dome tweeter, and a modified crossover network to manage the upgraded drivers. The reference-level upgrades provide increased power handling and improved resolution, resulting in increased sonic clarity and performance.


Audio-Technica ATH-W1000xAudio-Technica announced the introduction of its ATH-W1000x (pictured), ATH-AD900 and ATH-A900 headphones, three audiophile models designed to deliver exceptional fidelity and musical realism. The over-ear ATH-W1000x "Grandioso" audiophile headphones are the 10th generation of Audio-Technica's acclaimed W Series headphones, which have long been prized by discriminating listeners and music lovers. The ear cups of the ATH-W1000x have an American black cherry wood housing that gives the headphones an elegant appearance; the wood's anti-resonant quality also contributes to the headphones' superlative clarity and resolution. The ATH-W1000x employs a large-diameter 53 mm driver, high-power rare earth-magnet drive system and OFC-6N oxygen-free copper-wire voice coils, and a double air damping system (for deep bass reproduction), along with additional refinements -- even the cord wire is made from PCOCC oxygen-free copper. The sonic result is a 5 Hz to 42 kHz frequency response, extraordinary dynamic impact, and a smooth tonal balance with deep bass. The open-air ATH-AD900 is ideal for listeners who prefer the spacious quality of open-back headphones. They combine musically involving sound with total comfort, thanks to their lightweight, honeycomb aluminum casing and self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing. The ATH-AD900 features 53 mm drivers with neodymium magnets and Audio-Technica's copper-clad aluminum-wire (CCAW) voice coil technology for superior audio reproduction with a 5 Hz to 35 kHz frequency response. The Audio-Technica ATH-W1000x, ATH-AD900 and ATH-A900 audiophile headphones will be available at suggested retail prices of $699.95, $299.99 and $249.99 respectively in February 2011.


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