That thing dangling from the neck of Soundmatters' Lee Adams is the foxL Pocket Monitor, a portable audio device said to go as low as 80Hz. I'll just have to get one and see. The Bluetooth version is $249, the other $199.
Denon's receiver demos made good use of Dynamic Volume technology licensed from Audyssey. If the dynamics of action movie soundtracks are too much for you, you'll like the way Dynamic Volume keeps voices constant but curbs the more brutal excesses of effects -- by monitoring the signal, not just the room. If you watch TV programs via your receiver, it'll help tame those blaring ads too. Dynamic Volume is available as a firmware upgrade for some existing models. New models shown by Denon included the two-zone/two-source AVR1909, 90 watts times seven; the AVR989, 115 watts; the AVR889, 100 watts; and the AVR789, 90 watts. All have onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.
Two of three new Marantz receivers have onboard decoding of Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and both flavors of DTS-HD. They include the SR6003, 100 watts times seven, $1200; the SR 5003, 90 watts, $800; and the SR4003, 80 watts, $549; all available September. That third one has high-res PCM input, so it'll have no trouble getting the good stuff from a Blu-ray player's built-in decoder. Marantz has one of those too – the BD7003, due in November for $799, is Profile 1.1/Bonus View, not Profile 2.0/BD Live. Marantz also made an odd decision affecting two new SACD players, the SA1552 ($1999) and SA8003 ($999). They have neither HDMI 1.2 outputs nor analog multichannel-outs. Presumably Marantz is aiming them at a two-channel audience. Pictured: BD7003 Blu atop SR6003 receiver.
B&W has extended its CM Series with the floorstanding CM9 ($1500/each), floorstanding CM7 ($1000/each), and CM5 monitor ($750/each), so may I change the subject now? I somehow became fascinated with the chunky CT7.3LCRS (pictured, $1500/each) and its smaller siblings, the CT7.4LCRS ($1000/each) and CT7.5LCRS ($600/each). The big one has two eight-inch fiber woofers, a six-inch Kevlar midrange, and a one-inch soft dome tweeter. These three speakers can muster up to 94, 93, and 92 decibels respectively and are designed for use with front-projection systems or maybe (yuck) cabinetry. The new CMs are coming in November and the CT7s have been shipping for the past couple of months.
Custom Theater System is the name Classé is giving a new series of rack-mount amps coming in spring. They include a 10-channel pre-pro, 300-watt Class AB monoblock, 600-watt Class AB monoblock, 300-watt Class AB stereo amp, and surround amp with 200 watts times five.
My reference receiver since 2001 has been the Rotel RSX-1065, so you can imagine the genuine excitement I felt at learning Rotel is about to drop its successor on an unsuspecting world. There are two of them, actually. The RSX-1560 has seven channels of Class D amplification for $2599, while the RSX-1550 has five channels of Class AB amplification for $1999. Both out in October. Please be advised that my longtime position on 7.1-channel surround (incidentally, both models process 7.1 channels) is that it's for idiots, clowns, suckers, and people who incorrectly believe that an average home theater needs more surround coverage than two speakers can provide. Other new Rotel models include a surround pre-pro, five- and two-channel amps, and (hmmm) no seven-channel amps.
NAD has added an advanced Sigma Designs VXP image processor to its two preamp processors, the M15 HD (at $4499, a major update from the previous M15 Masters' Series), the T175 HD Preamp-Tuner-Processor ($2999), and the T785 flagship AV receiver ($3999f-shown). In addition, these products will now fully decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio from bitstream.
Stewart launched a new cosmetic and convenience option for its retractable, non-masking screens. It's called Cabaret, and is available in a wide range of standard and custom colors, together with decorative lighting (assumably switchable during actual use!.) The convenience part is that the screen case may be cantilevered out from the wall by several inches--enough to mount a flat panel behind it.
Epson has long been the leader of LCD technology and they’ve brought another high-end LCD model to the market this year. The TW750UB is their new flagship LCD projector that will be shipping this December at a price just under $5,000.
Entertainment Experience is a new startup that is looking to start a new format war. The service is said to bring a more premium movie experience than the Blu-ray format for people using larger screen sizes. Studio support wasn’t specified but they claim to be in negotiations for 4,500 titles at launch in January.
Sim2 debuted a new variant of the C3X 1080 dubbed, HOST. This is a two-piece package where the video processing is in a separate box from the projector itself and the two are interlinked via a fiber optic connection. The fiber can be run at distances up to 750ft giving a TON of flexibility in placement.
Stewart Filmscreen showed a couple of new products at their press event and their booth. The biggest buzz was the Cabaret, which is a designer housing for a retractable screen that can be customized to fit any dcor. The housing sports aluminum end caps and a removable valance that can be outfitted with different finishes, including fabrics, and sport just about any color imaginable. There is even an optional lighting feature that can be used for biasing or just good looks. Pretty snazzy!