Audio News for July 15, 2011

by | Jul 15, 2011 | Audio News | 0 comments

A Trend in Headphones – A Sony VP has stated that he sees several new trends in the headphone world which are making it a more important part of audio than ever before: There is a renewed interest in sound quality. Prices are going up as customers spend their discretionary income on headphone products sounding better than what’s provided with their MP3 players and smartphones (which are the pits). Customers are buying multiple headphones to suit their fashion and lifestyle needs, and savy dealers are tying in to this. Lastly, smartphones are quickly becoming primary music-listening devices – resulting in a demand for headsets that can handle both calls and music. We’d like to add two points to his trends: 1) No earbuds can compare in sound quality to over or on-the-ear standard headphones, and 2) Don’t forget dedicated headphone amps.

Sony Defends Their Active-Shutter 3DTVs – Reacting to attacks on the active-shutter 3D approach by competitor LG Electronics, Sony Electronics Home Division spokesman said consumer actions speaker louder than their alleged words.  Rebutting LG’s consumer study claiming that 80% of viewers prefer the passive glasses 3D technology over the active-shutter system, a Samsung VP said the May 2011 NPD data shows active-shutter outselling passive glasses by about 6 to 1, and June sell-thru numbers showed nearly 90% of 3DTV purchases were of the active-shutter variety. The Sony VP said their active lens technology delivers the brightest 3D images available, and in HD for both 3D and 2D.

First Inexpensive Portable Recorder With Five Mikes
– Tokyo-based Zoom has introduced a new generation of portable recording with their H2n Handy Recorder. It boasts five studio-quality mikes built in, and four recording modes: Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90-degree X/Y stereo, two-channel, and four or five channel surround. Mid-Side micing has never been offered in a handheld recorder before. It has a 1.8-inch backlit LCD display and a built-in reference speaker. Over 20 hours of continuous operation requires just two AA alkaline batteries, there is a data recovery function, and a USB 2.0 interface – allowing its use as a USB mike directly into a computer. SRP is only $199.

Klipsch Group Acquisition Boosts Audiovox Income – Audiovox has reversed its former operating losses due solely to its acquisition of the Klipsch Group. Gross margins rose over 26% due to Klipsch’s high-end audio sales, automotive OEM, and a shift away from low-margin consumer electronics and fulfillment programs toward higher-margin accessories and mobile electronics. The Klipsch gains offset lower sales of consumer goods and satellite-radio products made by Audiovox.

Flat-Panel TV Prices Increase – For the third month in a row, U.S. pricing of flat-panel TVs increased last month, fueled by the increasing availability of high-priced active 3D LCD TVs. According to an IHS iSuppli report, the overall average price for LCD TVs is now $1,050 and $1,590 for plasma displays. There was a 7% price difference between the active-shutter 3D systems and the less expensive passive polarized glasses systems. The biggest declines were in the 20-inch and smaller group, while U.S. LED shipments in the 30-34-inch range are expected to jump 96% this year. Smaller-size TVs began to have Internet connections which helped them to compete with the medium- and larger-sized TV market. A spokesman said that as the country continues to grapple with a weak housing market, high unemployment and elevated gas prices, brands will need to keep offering attractive prices for more advanced features such as full HD, LED, Internet capabilities and 3D.
 

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