Audio News for March 22, 2013

by | Mar 22, 2013 | Audio News

Samsung Audio Line for 2013 – Samsung will be expanding its soundbar selection, introducing its first two floor-standing Giga Sound systems targeted at youth and amateur DJs, and scaling back on its HTiBoxes.  Their first portable Bluetooth speaker is a new item, joining a series of tabletop digital media speakers being carried over. No new AVRs are planned. Soundbars now number four and range from $179 to $799. The Giga systems are 2.2-channel with youth-oriented cosmetics and an oversize source component-amp incorporating a CD player, turner, stereo Bluetooth with AptX, two USB inputs and an Aux input. Illuminated rings around the drivers flash to 15 different beats. Users can sing into the mic, record their voice and accompany music onto a USB drive. The system is biamped and features a 15-inch subwoofer in each three-way speaker cabinet, along with an 8-inch midrange and horn-loaded tweeter. Three of the Samsung HTiBs have DTS=Neo Fusion post-processing, adding virtual channels to 5.1 and 7.1 complements. They have 3D Blu-ray players, wired subs, and USB ports to play back audio from mass-storage devices and MP3 players. The top three models add DLNA networking and stereo Bluetooth. The top HTiB (HW-F750) adds 2K to 4K up-scaling, two front tower speakers, and all speakers have ceramic polyprop diaphragms to speed up reaction time. It is 7.1 channels, 310 watt output available in black or silver, and is said to be the world’s first soundbar with a vacuum-tube preamp.

Amazon and Sam’s Tops in Customer Experience – The Temkin Group did a survey of 10,000 shoppers at brick-and-mortar stores, and found that Sam’s Club and Amazon provided the best customer experience, Apple Stores received just an “OK”, and Radio Shack came in last place again. The rankings measured three components: functionality, accessibility and emotion.

B&W Expands AirPlay Speaker Selection – Bowers & Wilkins have launched two new models of AirPlay-equipped speakers with Apple’s eight-pin Lightning connector.  This allows streaming music to one speaker from i devices, whether the music is stored on the device or streamed from the Internet, as well as from a computer’s iTunes playlist. (In the last case music on PCs can be streamed to multiple Airplay speakers thruout the house.) They have not only AirPlay but also Wi-Fi, and can dock with the iPhone 5, 5th-generation iPod Touch and 7th generation iPod Nano. The zeppelin-shaped Zeppelin Air LCM will join the Zeppelin Air with Apple’s 30-pin dock connector in May, both at a $599 price.

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