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CES 2013 & T.H.E. Show Report  2013
CES 2013 Show Report & CES Coverage   T.H.E. Show 2013 Las Vegas Report
CES & T.H.E. Show Report 2013
Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin

  Ferrari, an Italian car company always looking to license their name on everything from t-shirts to men's cologne to writing paper and ceramic plates, has now brought about Ferrari by Logic3. Their Cavallino GT1 Bluetooth ($649) speaker dock is, according to the company, "the ultimate 2.2.1 speaker system that that combines superb sound with luxury and style that is as amazing to look at, as it is to listen to." Joining the Ferrari Cavallino Collection, the GT1 Bluetooth speaker dock incorporates premium materials combined with superior design to create a product that provides the ultimate luxurious experience fitting of the Ferrari brand. Featuring a 2.2.1 speaker system with an integrated 6.5" subwoofer, Class HD technology and includes DSP. The GT1 incorporates Bluetooth allowing users to listen to music via their Android, Windows or Apple iOS devices.


Furutech and Alpha Design Labs are at 2013 CES with an expanding line of Japanese-designed precision products including the H118 headphones making their official debut. The headband and tapered over-the-ear transducer shape make the H118 Headphones supremely comfortable. ADL's H118 is balanced in a completely audiophile way and of course may be pairs with Alpha Design Labs Esprit or GT40 USB DAC/Preamplifiers, the Stride and Cruise Portable Headphone Amplifiers, or any other quality headphone playback system. These dynamic closed-back circumaural headphones provide high noise attenuation and low distortion from the tailor-made diaphragms. Impressive 40mm extra-large high-flux neodymium magnet and ring between voice-coil and diaphragm keeps ultra-high-frequencies in phase. Extremely light-weight coils of copper-coated special aluminum alloy wire and Furutech nonmagnetic rhodium-plated stereo Alpha mini XLR socket are also part of this high-end audio design. Sensitivity is 98dB, frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and rated impedance is 68 Ohm. Also from Furutech/ADL are new cables such as their iHP35 series 3.5mm stereo connectors, 3.5mm-to-MMCX, and 3.5mm-to-mini-XLR. ADL also showed a prototype of the X1 24/192 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier that goes anywhere and stacks easily with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery and digital inputs for iDevices, Androids and PCs.


CEntrance announced at CES 2013 two new licensees for its Windows Audio Drivers. Mixing console maker DiGiCo and renowned hi-fi brand McIntosh have licensed CEntrance driver technology for use in their advanced new products. James Gordon, Managing Director at DiGiCo stated, "We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with CEntrance throughout this very technical project. It's been a great success." McIntosh released a new line of home audio products with integrated DACs, which demanded the highest audio quality and simple, worry-free operation. CEntrance delivered on all counts for the companies with its Windows software solution offering crash-proof operation at the lowest latency settings with the highest level of performance. The CEntrance Universal Driver Engine is at the core of the licensed technology. Compatible with all versions of Windows - XP all the way through Windows 8, the robust, low-latency kernel-level CEntrance driver is a perfect match for any computer audio application - be it home audio or pro audio. CEntrance has recently partnered with XMOS Semiconductor to offer an easy path to market for USB audio solutions utilizing CEntrance's proprietary software. In addition to USB audio, CEntrance is highly experienced with portable and embedded Linux applications, and is an Apple MFI licensee for iPhone, iPad and iPod hardware and software development.


The HDBaseT Alliance, a consortium working to establish HDBaseT technology as the standard for HD digital connectivity, is demonstrating how HDBaseT delivers uncompressed HD video, audio, power, Internet and various control signals through a single CAT5e/6 cable. The Connected Home demonstration will show how HDBaseT can replace all of the cables, power bricks and cords that clutter up the typical home entertainment system. "HDBaseT represents the next significant step in the evolution of connected home entertainment, and as demand for HDBaseT grows, so does the HDBaseT Alliance," said Ariel Sobelman, president, HDBaseT Alliance. "The HDBaseT Alliance has raised the awareness and adoption of HDBaseT within the professional community, and as more products become available throughout 2013, consumers will be able to enjoy the same benefits professionals are already familiar with: a simple, elegant and low-cost method for connecting all of their multimedia systems throughout their homes." Pioneer and Onkyo are the newest members of the HDBaseT Alliance, founded in 2010 by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor. The Alliance promotes HDBaseT technology as the standard for HD digital connectivity in response to both an industry demand for converged distribution of HD multimedia content and the lack of adequate existing technologies. HDBaseT eliminates distance limitations and provides a simple and low-cost alternative to running multiple cables and cords without compromising on quality.



Bring on the band and musician licensing as ON.EARZ 'Listen with the Legends' series of headphones are inspired by three icons of past generations: AC/DC, Elvis Presley and James Dean ($99 each). Of course we can first wonder if James Dean personally approved of this design.... Vintage design coupled with high-performance audio plus nostalgia reigns supreme here. Each headphone is created with exclusive materials including brushed aluminum and comfortable, soft materials. The 40mm high performance dynamic drivers Australian band AC/DC's model is exemplified with supple black material on the headphone’s headband and ear cups topped with chrome studs. Finishing off the rocker look is brushed aluminum on the foldable brackets. Elvis Presley version uses soft brown material embossed on the headphones and ear cups gives off a retro feel. Brushed aluminum finishes off this stylish and vintage product. Lastly, bring 'em back from the dead James Dean version features a combination of denim and comfortable materials, and red jacket fabric to replicate the outfit Dean famously wore in his breakout role. The foldable brackets are made from brushed aluminum. All models have an impedance of 32 Ohms, a sensitivity of 108dB and frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.


emm Labs is at CES 2013 with their new XDS1 V2 ($25,000) that follows the company's award winning previous version XDS1. The unit has been updated with a vast array of new digital systems based on the DAC2X. The XDS1 now includes all-new S/PDIF coax, optical TosLink, AES/EBU and USB inputs. Each is now able to support up to 24bit 192kHz. Of course USB input also supports DSD streaming as well. Digital outputs include EMM Optilink and AES/EBU. MFAST technology ensures instant signal acquisition and jitter-free performance. The Meitner Digital Audio Translator (MDAT) signal processing technology has also been updated. Analog output is via unbalanced RCA or balanced XLR and the USB Port supports software upgrades, there is a wired RS-232 control plus users can enjoy the external IR remote control unit.

Also from emm Labs at CES 2013 is their TSDX1 CD/SACD reference transport unit. The TSDX CD/SACD transport has been built with the award winning technology used in the XDS1. Like the DAC2X, the TSDX transport has also been endowed with the latest generation MDAT up-converting DSP. It connects to the DAC2X via EMM's proprietary EMM Optilink optical connection which galvanically isolates the transport from the DAC. Like the XDS1 V2 it has the latest Meitner Digital Audio Translator (MDAT) signal processing technology and up-sampling both CD and SACD audio to double DSD (5.6Mhz). TSDX also uses EMM's latest generation reference high-isolation resonant mode power supply. The TSDX+DAC2X combo represents EMM Labs latest reference system.


Since many of us audiophiles and use the wonderful and easy to use Pandora service... Pandora is here at CES and is now available on more than 1,000 integrations, including automobiles, automotive aftermarket devices and consumer electronic devices, making it simple for listeners to enjoy the personalized radio service anytime, anywhere and meeting consumers' demand for mobility and availability. The Chrysler Group has joined the extensive roster of automotive brands to integrate Pandora into the vehicle. Chrysler now stands alongside 19 of the top automotive brands in the U.S. and seven leading aftermarket manufacturers that offer seamless Pandora access via the in-dash entertainment system. In addition to over 175 aftermarket devices, there are now more than 85 different car models that include Pandora with more scheduled to become available throughout 2013. To date, more than 1 million listeners have already tuned in to hear Pandora via these automotive integrations – enjoying Pandora as easily as they would listen to traditional radio. Pandora continues to expand its leadership position as one of the leading apps across all connected devices, both mobile and in-home. Pandora is now available on more than 760 consumer electronic devices – an increase from 450 at this time last year – which enable the more than 175 million registered users to tune in to their personalized radio stations at any time during the day. Through connected devices and smartphones, Pandora continues to be an industry leader in mobile and device usage. More than 125 million registered users have accessed Pandora via a smartphone or tablet and more than 75 percent of Pandora's listening occurs on a mobile or other connected device.


And since i know more than a few audiophiles who use this, Tivoli Audio's most acclaimed Model One FM/AM table radio just went wireless with their newly introduced Model One BT with Bluetooth wireless technology ($259). With the addition of Bluetooth wireless technology, when you're not listening to your favorite AM/FM stations you can listen to the music from your phone, computer, MP3 player or other Bluetooth technology-enabled device. With the Bluetooth wireless technology's advanced A2DP profile your music will never miss a beat. Despite its compact size of 4.5" x 8.37" x 5.25 (HxWxD), the Model One BT has a 30' Bluetooth reception range. Its Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) results in low-to-no noise interference with other wireless devices. It features a large 5:1 ration tuning dial and 3" full range, long-throw driver for high fidelity sound. By switching to auxiliary to activate the Bluetooth, the Model One BT will remember up to eight paired devices. In addition to high-performance sound, the Model One BT comes in five decorator finishes in furniture-grade wood veneer cabinets for display in any room of the home or office. Model One BT comes in Walnut/Beige, Cherry/Silver, Black Ash/Silver, Black Ash/Black-Silver, and White/Silver.


Focal is showing their Air Concept and Chorus 700 Series speakers. The Concept had to meet the criteria of offering hi-fi quality sound reproduction (timbre/dynamic/sound image) in rooms measuring up to 30 m2 plus eliminate all cables apart from the mains cable. Also a requirement is to have a distant hub transmitting uncompressed audio over a 2.4 GHz radio link acting as a "concentrator" for the multiple sources which surround us, whether digital, analog or even Bluetooth. Focal's hopes was to offer this below $2600. The two, Focal designed and manufactured, compact "Speak-Air" floorstanders, equipped with two 13 cm woofers and a tweeter, provide deep bass to avoid having recourse to a subwoofer. The active option with digital integrated amplifier allowed Focal to deliver a significant power of 80 Watts. Focal's Hub-Air terminal is a real digital preamplifier with integrated emitter. The hub is equipped with a complete array of inputs fully remote controllable; allowing selection of inputs and control of volume.

Focal's new Chorus 700 Series features a new design for "a design for the post crisis market" as described by Gérard Chrétien of Focal. The 700s use Focal's Polyglass bass and mid-bass units for bass with an open and explicit mid-range. Focal’s unique AlMg HF tweeter driver produces the uppermost frequencies. The Focal team carefully voiced the Series 700 and finalizing the crossover to optimize the overall performance. Focal's 700s are realistically priced for the audio enthusiast with a more modest pocket starting at around $495 for the bookshelf 705 up to $1695 for the 726 floorstander.


Bang & Olufsen used CES2013 to launch their BeoPlay A9 ($2,699) premium active speaker system. These speakers integrate an dedicated components with provocative design to create a complete sound solution. The BeoPlay A9 is a 2.1 bass reflex loudspeaker system that combines five dedicated speaker units and amplifiers. These speakers also feature a fine-tuned DSP algorithm and patented Adaptive Bass Linearization technology. In addition, wireless connectivity to an iPhone, iPad or Android device is supported. BeoPlay A9 packs two 0.75-inch tweeters and two 3-inch midrange units, with all four driven by separate 80-watt class D amplifiers. An 8-inch bass unit is powered by 160 watts from its own class D amplifier. B&O's BeoPlay A9 can be placed either on the floor or hung on the wall. Users can choose between a range of colors for the fabric cover, and change them in a snap. Solid wood legs are available in oak, beech or teak whilst fabric covers are available in silver, white, black, red, green and brown.


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