Audio News for October 23, 2015

Sonos’ “Next Big Thing” – is that they will be opening aspects of their platform to that other companies can work with it, integrating with Sonos speakers and soundbars without having to reverse-engineer Sonos software. They intend to provide home automation users with “the right amount of control without compromising sound quality and ease of use,” but have not said when this would be available.

Libratone Returns with Mini Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Speakers – The Danish-based company was sold last year to Asian investors and Libratone management. Their new lower price point speakers are portable, with seven fabric color-cover options, and can send music via Apple AirPlay from a mobile device to more than one speaker at a time. They are battery-powered (8 to 10-hour battery life), cylindrical, and disperse sound over 360 degrees.

Best Buy Offers Free Holiday Shipping – Beginning Oct. 25 Best Buy will offer free shipping on all online order thru Jan. 2. They have also added a live-chat feature to their mobile app, the BlueAssist. Free Geek Squad setup on select products is also part of the holiday stategy.

Amazon Q3 Sales and Earnings Soar – amazon.com has recoved from its $438 million loss of a year ago by posting a $79 million profit in Q3 of this year. The e-tailer had a 23% increase in net sales and a 78% boost from the company’s web services unit, though there was a $1.3 billion hit from unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Founder/CEO Jeff Bezos said their new $50 Fire tablet is their No. 1 best-selling product on the site, prompting them to manufacture millions more above plan. Amazon projects a Q4 growth rate of sales between 14% and 25%.

Launch of ‘All-Digital, All-Touch’ Superstore – Video & Audio center in Woodland Hills, CA has a new flagship store described as the first all-digital, all-touch consumer technology superstore. It will embrace the latest technological advancements in sight, sound and movement, including TV, streaming audio, mobile devices, wareables and robotics. Among the cutting-edge techology products on display are the world’s first 105-inch panoramic 5K HDTV with a 21:9 aspect ratio (from LG), the new Play:5 Sonos audio system, a new curved and flat OLED 4K TV with HDR, the world’s thinnest 4K 75-inch HDTV (from Sony), and Monster’s 24K BackFloat floating Bluetooth speaker and Black Platinum headphones.

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