Magazine article Gramophone

Audio Products Are Literally Flying High: From Giant Consumer Electronics Companies to Specialist Brands, New Hi-Fi Products Keep on Coming

Magazine article Gramophone

Audio Products Are Literally Flying High: From Giant Consumer Electronics Companies to Specialist Brands, New Hi-Fi Products Keep on Coming

Article excerpt

One of the themes of the moment is the way the world's big consumer electronics companies seem to be rediscovering audio, which can only be a good thing. Last month I wrote about Samsung snapping up Harman International, and in this month's Audio Essay I'm looking at how another major player in the connected world is aiming to revolutionise the way we play music.

However, while the first fruits of the Samsung/Harman deal are yet to be seen, Korean rival LG is increasing its stake in the home audio market with a flying speaker! Well, a levitating speaker, anyway, in the form of its PJ9 (1). This egg-shaped wireless speaker will not only play music, podcasts and other content from a home network but will do so while floating above its charging base on powerful electromagnets. It has omnidirectional sound dispersion and a 10-hour battery life, and when the juice runs low will settle back on to its 'Levitation Station' base where it is recharged wirelessly. Brian Kwon, the company's head of home entertainment products, says the PJ9 'is not only eye-catching but also communicates the message that LG is serious about bringing something different to the table'. Or in this case, floating just above the table.

Back to earth with a bump, and it has been confirmed that turntable and engineering company SME has been bought by Cadence Group, which also has controlling interests in Spendor, Siltech Audio and Crystal Cables. The SME range of products (2) will now be distributed in the UK by Padood, and new SME CEO Stuart McNeilis says the takeover will bring 'increased investment allowing for new product development: the company will build on its legacy of designing and manufacturing the best tonearms and turntables in the world'. …

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