If anything, the conglomerates certainly do do their homework, especially at CES 2013.
They’d be remiss not to send representatives to other exhibitors, especially those with innovative and emerging technologies. The companies then turn around and capitalize on those technologies with potential, perhaps to the dismay of the smaller companies.
This year, Panasonic is getting into bone-induction, but the leader in the sector, Aftershokz, welcomes the entry, believing it will bring more awareness to the tech.
Forefront of Bone Induction
For their part, Aftershokz came out with second generations of both their popular bone induction, open ear sport headphones. On the Sportz 2 and Sportz M2, the in-line control box is 30% smaller and lighter overall, is more strategically positioned for easy access, and has a firmer clip for securing to clothing. Additionally, the control box offers more functionality so users can keep mobile devices safely tucked away during activity-power the unit on/off, adjust volume levels, play/pause/advance music and make/take phone calls (Sportz M2 only).
Style and Sound
The always reliable source for sounds, hmdx updated their Jam line with their JamPlus. Bluetooth-enabled, the JamPlus can be paired with another while the rechargeable battery provides 4 hours of wireless play. Their Jam XT is splash proof, drop proof, and dirt proof. They also have the Bluetooth enabled Jam Fusion headphones with rechargeable batteries that provide 6 hours of play.
I favored ihome’s iBT44 Bluetooth Portable FM Stereo Boombox with USB Charging because of its rubberized finished. The kitsch factor made it stand out from the rest. It can charge mobile devices via USB and has two 4″ woofers and two 1″ tweeters.
Supertooth’s Disco2 is Bluetooth-enabled with a slim design. Providing a whopping 10 hours of play on a two hour charge, the Disco2 delivers 16 watts of sound with two powerful speakers on the front and high-efficiency bass-reflex system at the back of the unit.
Leaps and Bounds Above
Always a highlight at CES and the ancillary shows where they bring buffed guys to do gymnastic tricks, Yurbuds added to their in-ear sports bud. Yurbuds’ tech allows their buds to stay put, even in the most strenuous of activities including back flips. Yurbuds now has a behind-the-ear earphone with a Kevlar cord and a 3 button mic. The Focus Limited Edition’s Twist Lock Technology allows the stay-put reliability Yurbuds is known for. They’re also sweat and water resistant. The Focus LE also comes in a wireless version.
A Step Above
Pioneer pumped up the volume at its CES booth with DJ Babychino the World’s Youngest DJ jamming on one of Pioneer’s newly released DJ Systems. Pioneer came out with its XDJ-AERO, the industry’s first Wi-Fi DJ system mid 2012. It can wirelessly play music tracks from smart devices and enables users to mix and arrange their favorite music tracks stored on their smart devices via Wi-Fi, as well as on USB memory devices and computers via included DJ software. The XDJ-AERO can even create its own wireless access point.
What sets Pioneer apart from the crowd is that renowned speaker designed Andrew Jones works with each speaker to make sure that it’s to his standards. Jones is responsible for extremely high-end speakers that sell close to six figures so the mere fact that a speaker priced at $299 passed his test is well worth the price. Pioneer’s new wireless music speaker systems are equipped with the latest wireless technologies including Apple’s AirPlay, DLNA 1.5 and Wireless Direct. Like the XDJ-AERO, these speakers can act as a wireless access point.
These days, it’s imperative that companies distinguish them from the field. Otherwise it’s difficult to tell them apart.
Even on the CES show floor, it’s common to think that you’ve accidentally circled back if only the products were looked at. Practically every both has brightly colored, portable minis.
Sound matters, but so do flexibility, durability, and price.