1 year ago

Day 4 - IFA International

  • Text
  • Philips
  • Products
  • Audio
  • Berlin
  • Consumer
  • Devices
  • Wireless
  • Curved
  • Streaming
  • Eisa


BUYERS' GUIDE STREAMING SOUND SYSTEMS STATE OF PLAY Historically, the primary way to access content was through ownership. Watching a film, reading a book, listening to a song or playing a video game generally relied on first owning it. The field of streaming sound systems has changed all that, and today it is one of the most complex, but also one of the most exciting fields in our industry. Having begun with simple internet radio systems and iPod docks some years ago, the sector has exploded, with a huge range of device styles and applications. MARKET Audio systems that allow music streaming continue to be highly popular in 2014. Network music systems which facilitate multi-room solutions are especially in demand. Several major manufacturers are stepping into the space which had until recently only been occupied by specialist audio companies. Mainstream brands such as Panasonic, JBL, LG and Samsung are showing all-new product at this year’s IFA. The advantage for the mainstream providers is that such a system may be coupled with other devices such as TV, tablets etc. SOLD X’000 UNITS OF CONNECTED AUDIO DEVICES IN EU6* Network Music System Connected AHS 118.8 59.0 Jan 12-Jun 12 * EU6 = Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Netherlands 205.3 65.1 Jan 13-Jun 13 +122% 523.8 76.6 Jan 14-Jun 14 CONTACT Bettina Steinbrenner Marketing Manager Home Consumer Electronics GfK Retail and Technology THE FUTURE Mobile devices like smartphones or tablets now are the main source of music for many consumers, be it playing from their own library or streaming from the cloud. Wireless sound systems will continue to be the perfect match for this trend as they allow easy and versatile connection to whichever device the user owns. KEY SELLING POINTS TECHNOLOGY Bluetooth Support for “audiophile” Bluetooth, dubbed aptX is highly recommendable. While still a compressed transmission format, it nevertheless offers better sound quality than a standard Bluetooth connection. AirPlay Apple's AirPlay technology seems to have lost some of its momentum but will still be supported by many streaming products, especially in higher price classes. For fans of iDevices, this technology must be listed in the spec sheet. Multi-room More and more manufacturers offer entire eco-systems of wireless products that can easily form a music network in the consumer's home. Technological challenges that had to be solved in this case are the range of the wireless connections under different conditions, and synchronising the music when played from one source to a number of end devices. FEATURES App Control: In all streaming audio systems that use a standard network infrastructure in the home (AirPlay, DLNA etc.), the ability to control all aspects of the music playback via an App on Android and/or iOS devices is a key factor. Streaming Services Streaming Services like Spotify, Deezer or Soundcloud have quickly revolutionised the way people consume music. Many manufacturers have integrated some of these services directly into their streaming audio products. Integration Many streaming devices are designed to work as stand-alone products, but there are smarter solutions in the market. Some devices can be connected to existing stereo or home theatre systems. INNOVATING @ IFA PHILIPS SPOTIFY MULTI-ROOM SPEAKERS The Philips Spotify multi-room speakers are the first dedicated Philips audio solution for Spotify users. Incorporating Spotify Connect, controlling music across smartphones, tablet and speakers from the native Spotify app is effortless. Users can place Philips Spotify multi-room speakers throughout the home and stream music to every room at the same time. » HALL 22 / STAND 101 DESIGN On The Go The most basic version of a streaming sound system is designed to fit into the palm of a hand and to be used everywhere the owner takes is. A long-lasting battery, possibility to charge mobile devices and a stylish yet rugged design are key in this category. Docking Station Without a Dock Wireless one-box audio systems have almost completely replaced the category of products formerly know as docking stations. Although often in theory portable, these devices tend to be used as the stationary main source of music in the home. They should reflect current trends in interior design. Desktop Systems While too large to be taken everywhere, these are still portable enough to be used as on-demand audio systems anywhere in the house, providing background music in the study as well as for a barbecue on the patio. The design also aims to fit into any modern interior and usually incorporates some kind of integrated stand for easy set-up. LG MUSIC FLOW LG introduces Music Flow, with the Music Flow Player app, whereby users can centrally manage their entire digital music library, even if music is stored across multiple devices, and control all Music Flow units in the home. » HALL 11.2 / STAND 101 LG Music Flow Speakers (models H3, H5, H7), Sound Bar (model HS6), Network Bridge (model R1) and the companion Music Flow Player application for smartphones form a total audio eco-system for the home. Philips Spotify Multi-room Speaker SW750M Our thanks to EISA for their help in compiling this buyers’ guide. » HALL 1.2 / STAND 204 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 204 » HALL 22 / STAND 101 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 204 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 113 IFA International • Monday 8 th September 2014 37

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