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System Integration for the Connected Home

Audio

Statista: Smart Speakers Getting More Popular

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Judging from a Statista chart smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo are becoming increasingly popular, at least in the US-- 39 million Americans own such a device, and more people use them to access news, information and music.

Alexa statista

The chart is based on a November 2017 survey of 806 smart speaker owners conducted by NPR and Edison Research. It shows around 66% of smart speakers owners do not want to go back to life without the "little helper," while 39% are spending less time using the radio. This is perhaps not surprising, since listening to music (in many cases online radio) is one of the most commonly used features of the devices.

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PMC Home Cinema Audio at ISE 2018

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PMC takes on home cinema at ISE 2018-- a partnership with Stewart Filmscreen has it present premium product lines aimed at the high-end home theatres and custom install markets.

PMC ISE 2018Hiding behind a Stewart Filmscreen acoustically transparent borderless screen are wafer2 series speakers promising the "ultimate in audio transparency for home theatre." Also showcased are the BB6 and QB1 large scale active speakers with active DSP control. PMC says many major Hollywood studios and film composers use these speakers as they score blockbuster films, and in home theatres they provide customers with movies sounding exactly how the director intended.

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Klipsch Puts Google Assistant in Heritage Wireless Speakers

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Heritage wirelessKlipsch announces the addition of a smart assistant in the next generation Heritage Wireless tabletop speakers-- specifically Google Assistant, providing voice control together with assistant functionality.

The Heritage Wireless speakers come in two flavours. The Three is a stereo tabletop with an integrated subwoofer for enhanced bass, while The One is a smaller, semi-portable tabletop speaker with a rechargeable battery. Both models feature a mid-century modern design, premium materials including a real wood veneer and copper switches and knobs, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

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The Modular Ashley Chloe Ensembl Speaker

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Headphone maker Ashley Chloe presents a modular smart speaker concept at CES 2018-- the Ensembl, a rose gold and cream cylinder with a series of stackable plastic discs on top.

Ensembl speakerThe main cylinder making the Ensembl as as the main speaker unit, but the addition of different modules turn into nothing less than a "smart wirelessly charged home entertainment system," at least according to the company. Actual modules were not available at the show, but the Ashley Chloe says these can include a 360-degree IP camera, glowing lantern disc, Qi charging base, battery and even a pico projector.

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The Redesigned Amphion Helium, Argon Speakers

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Amphion Loudspeakers announces the Helium410, Helium510, Argon0 and Argon1-- bookshelf loudspeakers with redesigned cabinets and, in the case of the two Helium models, higher class components.

Amphion loudspeakersThe major cabinet change in the smallest Helium and Argon models involves the repositioning of the reflex tube behind the woofer. According to the company the change improves bass response and enhances the clarity of the midrange.

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Extron Intros Pendant Speaker

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Extron enters the pendant speaker market with the SF 3PT-- an architecturally discrete loudspeaker aimed at high-ceiling and open-ceiling applications.

Extron PendantThe SF 3PT features a 3-inch full-range driver for speech reinforcement and music playback. It includes a 6.1m PendantConnect speaker cable, an Extron development combining speaker wires and a steel safety cable within a single outer jacket for a clean and secure installation.

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Klipsch Updates Reference Speakers

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Klipsch launches the next generation flagship Reference speakers-- the RF-7 III floorstanding speaker and the RC-64 III centre channel, both being enhanced versions of the previous Reference II series.

Klipsch referenceBoth described by the company as able to deliver ultra-sensitive, hard-hitting, accurate sound, the two speakers carry a new tweeter. It features a 1¾-inch titanium driver with an enhanced phase plug design able to improve sound pressure linearity at high frequencies. A Tractrix horn further improves high-frequency response and extension, while proprietary Cerametallic woofers minimise distortion and, when paired with the Tractrix horn, provide ultra-high sensitivity and high efficiency.

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