If you want to take your home theater audio to the next generation, Dynaudio has the right speakers for you at CES. Dynaudio just unleashed its latest loudspeaker in the triumphant Focus series, the Focus 360. A result of the company’s own research, the Focus 360 pledges to bring a superior sound environment to all of your favorite movies. It includes two 8-inch die-cast frame woofers that incorporate 3-inch voice coils. The innovative voice coils are created from lightweight aluminum and house a center magnet system which contributes to its efficient sound reproduction overall.
In addition to the new Focus 360, Dynaudio showed the cosmetically matching but smaller 220 II, heir to the original 220. In addition to a makeover that makes it resemble a smaller 360, it’s also got significant upgrades to the crossover and port tuning. Price is $2200/pair, shipping in March.
For those days when your significant other tells you to turn the volume down, Audio-Technica has a new set of headphones that will make your home theater experience a much more private one. Its latest bunch of headphones are easy on the ears and eyes, and they come in both in-ear and on-ear varieties.
Focal redesigned its Electra series a year or so ago to incorporate the beryllium tweeter originally found in the Utopia series. That revised Electra line remains available, but a new Electra S range makes for a more affordable (though not cheap) Electra package. The prices start at $3495/pair for the bookshelf 1007 S all the way up to $5995/pair for the floor-standing 1027 S. The CC 1000 S center will run you $2295, the SR 1000 S surrounds $3495/pair, and the SW 1000 S sub $2995. The big savings in the S series come from a somewhat less elaborate and expensive cabinet construction and finish, and the substitution of an Aluminum/Magnesium tweeter in place of the beryllium design in the Be range.
Epson demonstrated its top of the line ProCinema 7500UB LCD projector at CEDIA. It looked excellent there, but after undergoing further refinements to smooth out some pre-production wrinkles, its finally ready for prime time, with one of the best-looking images at the show. With a claimed native contrast ratio of 6000:1, it didn't appear to need the help of a dynamic iris (though it has one) to produce convincingly deep and rich blacks. Worked great with an anamorphic lens, too, on a 101" wide Stewart Studiotek 130 projection screen. The projector uses an HQV REON processor, has a full color management system, red, green, and blue-only modes for setup, and a claimed tight color alignment of the three panels. The best part may be the $4199 price.
Sanyo’s new full-HD LCD projector, the PLV-1080HD, may not sound like an entry-level model at first glance. It comes equipped with 1080p capabilities through its HD 3LCD panel and includes some advanced features that might make you think it’s too good to be true. Along with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, the projector also offers a newly designed variable iris to make your source material shine. SANYO designed the iris to quickly adjust the amount of light projected every 1/60th of a second. The company says this will make image quality stand out through its rich color and deeper blacks.
The One, a limited edition speaker from Totem Acoustics, has been released to celebrate that Canadian company's 20th anniversary. A 2-channel pair produced a sound that defied their size, and the dynamics of the speaker suggested that five or seven of them would not be out of place in a home theater system, mated to a suitable subwoofer. For music, the bass of the subwoofer-free pair in the demo was also surprisingly solid. $3495/pair.
Wisdom Audio’s S90i Sage Series in-wall/on-wall subwoofer stands out from the crowd of traditional subwoofers in its versatility alone. The in-wall/in-ceiling sub can be installed in-wall, in-ceiling, in a closet, or in the floors. However, Wisdom Audio says this sub deserves more than just praise for its ability to be concealed.
It’s no surprise that Rotel is highlighting its RSX-1560 A/V receiver at this year’s CES. The flagship 7.1-channel model has 7 X 100 watts of power for an immersive home theater experience. Rotel’s RSX-1560 ($2,599) also boasts four HDMI v1.3 inputs, Faroudja video processing, and Class D power that sets out to impress even the toughest audiophile.
Dome in this case doesn't mean a tweeter diaphragm, but rather Focal's new "Lifestyle Luxury" speaker package, consisting of small, two-way satellite speakers in a rounded enclosure together with a small, separate sub. The satellite is shown here. It's used for every channel, including the center. The tab is $1475 for a 2.1 channels and $2495 for a 5.1-channel system. The "Dome" satellite speakers themselves are available separately for $750/pair. Available in April.
Last, wireless HDMI is also coming from LG in a big way. At the press event the company didn’t elaborate on too many details, but did suggest it can pass signals as high in resolution as 1080p/60 “uncompressed.” I’m guessing in this context that means the wireless system itself doesn’t apply on the fly video compression to restrict bandwidth requirements while moving the HD signals around. No mention was made of the other side of this equation, which in the case of Blu-ray is bandwidth intensive lossless audio. I’ll visit LG on the showroom floor once the show opens and find out more. While single wires are great, no wires is even better- as long as it’s really the free lunch LG is claiming it to be!