CEA Survey Sees Wireless Audio Growth – According to a survey from the Consumer Electronics Association 16% of consumers now own a portable wireless speaker and 10% own a wireless multiroom audio system, and adoption is growing. 44% of consumers who don’t own a wireless multiroom system are interesting in owning one. The primary listening location for wireless audio products were the living/family room (47%) and bedroom (28%). Friends, family and co-workers were the most important sources of information about wireless multiroom products and portable wireless speakers.

Samsung Offers Connected-Home Platform – Starting this month in the U.S. and South Korea, Smart Home Service will allow users to operate select Samsung home products including smart TVs, smartphones, cameras, major appliances and eatable devices thru a single application which connects thru a wireless home network. The system uses Android OS and will eventually extend to robot vacuum cleaners, fitness gear, medical, home security and energy management systems. It will enable consumers to turn off connected devices thru out the home by speaking “good night” into a TV remote. Users may also check the status of their laundry and select specific settings remotely. Users register for the Smart Home mobile app thru their Samsung account. The app for TVs will be available this month; it will allow users to add and manage all compatible devices and alliances connect to the home network.

Pioneer Launches Next Generation Shallow-mount In-vehicle Subwoofers – The three models of the ib-Flat series deliver more output, high power-handling, higher sensitivity and more installation flexibility than predecessors. They include a $180 12-inch, a $160 10-inch and a $140 8-inch. Enclosures for the drivers range from $60 to $200. The drivers have a convex cone made with mica-reinforced polypropylene resin to create a stiff and durable cone with reduced mass. A four-layer polyester resin voice coil helps dissipate heat quickly and boosts power handling.

TechHive Pans Hi-Res Audio – Many articles have been written on the pros and cons of Neil Young’s Pono hi-res digital audio crusade. There are problems with 192K/24-bit audio files, and just because you’ve purchased expensive hi-res audio files doesn’t mean you’ll be hearing them properly on your mobile device or even your home system (see our Guest Editorial this month). However, TechHive bluntly states: “The problem with high-resolution audio? To put it bluntly: you can’t hear the difference between high-resolution audio and a CD.”  Garbage! That’s like the cockeyed AES paper which claims to have tested a group of golden ears who couldn’t tell the difference between SACDs and standard CDs. If your ears/brain/system are really that poor, yes, then save your money and don’t spend anything on hi-res sources.