Trends Seen at CES – It was more than obvious at the recent Consumer Electronics Show that home audio suppliers want to participate in the MP3 explosion thru building MP3 player connectivity into more of their products. Flash-memory boom boxes were shown by some firms, and some MP3 portables were able to time-shift satellite radio content when plugged into an XM-ready home docking station. Several makers showed XM-ready components, even as a feature of an LCD TV. A new category of HTiB has appeared: various technologies to create 5.1 soundfields from just a pair of speakers or a pair plus a subwoofer. Wireless surround speakers are another trend seeking to answer the objection of many users to running cables to the surrounds. Pioneer aimed to reduce clutter even further by packing all the audio electronics including amps into the subwoofer enclosure. More of the two-channel shelf systems included DVD players as well as MP3 player connections. In loudspeakers – the one audio area which hasn’t suffered lagging sales as much as the electronics – the focus was on design-oriented models to go with the hot flat panel video displays and narrow-depth rear-projection HDTVs. The focus is on long and narrow enclosures with a small footprint, and the speakers are often suggested for wall-hanging [good luck getting good sound that way…Ed.] Jamo and others introduced enclosure-less speakers. Table radios are still around, and are being brought up to date with XM-radio capability (Crosley and Eton) and the new digital HD Radio technology (Boston Acoustics).
Wayne Shorter – In Memoriam
Rememberance of the artist