CES 2018 – The Audio Products You Should Look Out For
CES 2018 has been and gone and we have seen some weird and wacky audio products. Check out the ones to look out for below:
Arcam has unveiled a new design at this year’s show, taking the wraps off some early examples of three new products. Alongside the SA10 and SA20 integrated amplifiers, we can look forward to seeing the CDS50, a network streamer and CD/SACD player. Arcam assures us it’s very early days for these products, and the finish is likely to see further fine tuning, but the new-look fascia – the first in 19 years – is here to stay. The products should be on display at the Bristol Show in the UK in February, ahead of a spring launch.
Audeze iSine LX
The Audeze brand is hugely popular with serious headphone afficianados thanks in part to its preference for planar magnetic drivers and eye-catching designs. The company’s newest pair of earphones tick both those boxes but it’s the ultra-low, $200 price tag – it’s all relative – that caught our eye. Light and comfortable, almost in spite of their bold styling, the iSine LX earphones claim serioulsy low levels of distortion. The option of the Cipher Lightning cable, complete with DAC, is a nice touch, too.
B&O Play Beoplay H9i
If Bang & Olufsen is calling the H9i cans its “most luxurious headphones”, then we’re most certainly interested. As is expected at this price (£450), they feature wireless connectivity and active noise-cancelling. An update to the H9s, they boast a more streamlined design, complete with touch controls, a boosted battery life of up to 18 hours when using ANC and Bluetooth, and better noise-cancellation. They didn’t sound too shabby, either.
JBL L100 Classic
Not smitten by voice control and virtual assistants? Prefer to keep things simple? JBL is on the same wavelength. While the company has plenty of more forward-looking products on show at CES, from headphones to wireless speakers, it has also found time to revive and reintroduce the company’s all-time best-selling speakers, the L100s. The originals were launched at CES back in 1970 and now they’re back – albeit with bang-up-to-date components, including new tweeters and a fresh crossover design. The classic design hasn’t gone far, however, which is alright by us. Due out in spring, the JBL L100 Classic speakers will cost $4000 per pair.
The enduringly popular Technics brand continues its renaissance with a further step into high-end hi-fi. Two new turntables are on show at CES, the SP-10R, first previewed last year, and the new flagship SL-1000R. Updated versions of the classic SP-10 Series, and taking learnings from the new SP-1200, these are high-end decks aimed squarely at the hi-fi market rather than DJs (there’s no pitch control). The SP-10R features the deck itself and a separate Control Unit power supply, while the SP-1000R adds a rigid cabinet for insulation and the tonearm. In fact, there’s scope for easily adding up to three tonearms (pictured). That beautiful engineering doesn’t come cheap however: the SP-10R costs $10,000, while the SL-1000R is $20,000. Let’s hope they sound as good as they look.
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