Style and Substance
Tymphany is a company that came into being last year through a merger of Tymphany Corporation and Danish Sound Technology (the producer of such famous audio transducer brands as Peerless, ScanSpeak, and Vifa). While not actually out on the Show floor, the company was showing off their Tymphany Linear Array Transducer (LAT) bass driver.
The Tymphany LAT uses a linear array of many small diaphragms. Essentially, the LAT is a column of "wafers" that's driven back and forth by opposing end motors. One motor drives every other one of the wafer-like diaphragms in one direction while the second motor drives the remaining half in the opposite direction. Bass is pushed out through flow ports along the side of the housing. The two biggest benefits of the design are significantly reduced distortion and a form factor that's much more design friendly than the traditional cone driver. Alpine will come out with two car subwoofer systems - the $750 PLV-7 for SUVs and hatchbacks and the $650 PLT-5 for smaller vehicles - around March/April.
NXT, the guys who are known for their flat-panel speaker technology, announced that the new Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV will include an NXT-equipped roof liner speaker system when it rolls onto dealers' lots in March of this year. The new 4x4 will be the first mass-production vehicle in the world to incorporate NXT SurfaceSound technology in the roof liner.
In their Las Vegas Hilton hotel suite, NXT showed an array of current products using NXT's SoundVu and SurfaceSound technologies along with a number of concepts which were extremely interesting to see and hear. The product concepts ran from the mundane (a very flexible pillow speaker that could be used to listen to late-night talk radio, music, or with an alarm clock so you don't wake your spouse) to the exotic (a lightweight over-the-ear wireless headset that transferred sound through the external part of your ear). In between, NXT demonstrated laptops and cell phones in which the screen was the actual speaker.
It's highly likely that the traditional electronics/gadget guy won't "get" what HANNspree is all about.
I'll admit I was less than enthusiastic when I first heard about the company last year. They make "design-driven, lifestyle-inspired home entertainment products" - mainly LCD TVs, although that's now changing - that are distinctly different from just about any TV you've ever seen before. HANNspree's TV cabinet shapes include Barbie princess carriages, pigs, basketballs, and quite a lot more.
Until now, almost all HANNspree models were under 19-inches in diagonal, but the news at CES is that HANNspree will be introducing larger screen sizes including 26-inch, 32-inch, and 37-inch models most of which will include HDMI with HDCP inputs, 5-in-1 memory card slots, and 1366 x 768 resolution. Forty-two inch and larger sets will be 1920 x 1080, and every set above 22 inches will have a built-in digital tuner.
HANNspree also announced their first portable product, the HANNSmobi DVD player/LCD TV combo ($399.99). The new model includes a 7-inch widescreen LCD display, a removable TV tuner pack, along with MP3 playback capability and more.