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REVIEW Edition - IFA International 2017

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  • Berlin
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  • Appliances
  • September
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SEEN @ IFA PORTABLE SPEAKERS PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT SPOTLIGHT ON PORTABLE SPEAKERS © Reykjavik With sales numbering in the tens of millions each year, portable speakers are one of the most important categories in consumer electronics. Nowadays, next to headphones, they are the most popular way to listen to music. Speaking to IFA International, Jamie Biesemans, manager of EISA’s HiFi Expert Group, identified a number of key innovations on show at IFA 2017. According to Biesemans, sound has to be seen: “Portable speakers are often used by groups of younger consumers to enjoy musical socially – or even to get a party going; a fact manufacturers have certainly not lost sight of. More and more speakers feature LED based lighting built-in, allowing for cool visual effects matching the music.” He also says there is a trend towards “more is better. Many new portable speakers can be hooked up wirelessly to create a stereo combination. Some brands go even further by allowing the listener to create ad hoc sound systems consisting of many speakers, even up to 100 units. This ability encourages repeat sales but also plays into the social aspect of portable speakers.” Sound quality is, of course, an important consideration, says Biesemans: “Virtually all portable speakers use Bluetooth to receive music wirelessly from smartphones and other devices. There are several high quality codecs getting more traction. AptX and LDAC offer close to CD quality, and are supported on more and more mobile devices” ERUPTION OF SOUND It’s the smallest loudspeaker yet seen in the Vifa range, but nonetheless Reykjavik still has an impressively powerful sound, due to its shape allowing a 360° experience. The speaker’s ultra-compact, pebble-like design is just as intriguing and understated as the rough Icelandic nature that inspired this loudspeaker. Materialwise, one model comes in the classic, high-quality Kvadrat woollen fabric that covers Vifa’s other products. But Reykjavik is also available in a rough, rocky version of anodised aluminum. Reykjavik is the fifth wireless loudspeaker launched by Vifa in only three years. It is a high-end, highly intuitive and aesthetically attractive product, which doesn’t compromise the authentic sound that has been a core value for the Vifa brand. KEY SELLING POINTS 1 Great sound – due to the shape which allows a 360° experience 2 Size – smallest speaker in the Vifa range 3 Design – Choice of classic fabric or anodised aluminium finish KEY SELLING POINTS 1 Smart Can be managed via Alexa voice control 2 Mobile A lightweight battery gives Zipp extra mobility 3 Design Elegant Scandinavian design © Reykjavik LIBRATONE BRINGS AWARD-WINNING ZIPP SPEAKER TO IFA At IFA for the first time, Dutch company Libratone is promoting its acclaimed wireless Zipp speaker, and its recent upgrade to the smart home revolution via Amazon Alexa voice integration. While the Zipp Copenhagen model flaunts its Scandinavian design credentials by pairing ultra high quality aluminium top and base with a pure wool speaker sleeve, the speaker has taken a major technological leap by giving users control of the device via the power of their own voice. By working with all Alexa commands, Zipp can also be operated alongside a suite of connected smart home devices. Best of all, existing Zipp customers can get the new feature free of charge through a simple update on the Libratone app. “Libratone is on a quest to set music free and the ability to control your ZIPP with your voice is an important step in this direction,” said Simon Peschcke-Køedt, VP of Global Marketing and Head of Libratone Denmark. 24

SEEN @ IFA AUDIO PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT MAX BOX FROM EASY MOBILE KEY SELLING POINTS 1 Ease of use Simple to clip on the handlebars 2 Sound quality 360° hi-fi 3 Design Looks great on any cycle Easy Mobile, a brand born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, presented the Max Box – a Bluetooth speaker for one’s bike, with easy access remote control. Following the evolution and adaptations that the population has experienced in the last decade, when the phone was to call, but now is part of our life connecting us in so many ways, Easy Mobile was born with the mission to contribute to the improvement of quality of life using technology. The company’s new Max Box clips easily onto the handlebars, enabling the rider to entertain him or herself (and the neighbours, too!), while taking in the fresh air and getting a little exercise. Able to rotate 360°, and with a battery that can last up to 12 hours, the Max Box is compatible with all Bluetooth devices and 3.5mm audio outputs. KEY SELLING POINTS 1 Easy streaming The Stereo 2 features aptX-capable Bluetooth wireless music streaming; 2 Making connections Connection to smartphones and tablets is straightforward 3 Wellbeing Relaxing ‘wellness’ sounds are a welcome addition SONORO UNVEILS STEREO 2 This all-in-one stereo home music system from Sonoro Audio GmbH features stylish design, handcrafted build, premium audio performance and a diverse range of technology. Features include an aptX-capable Bluetooth wireless music streaming, an integrated CD player, DAB and FM radio. There is even the option of a control for smart lighting. A powerful 2.1 speaker system features a built-in sub-woofer, driven by the integrated amplifier. Connection to smartphones and tablets is straightforward, due to Bluetooth streaming. The Stereo 2 also features a CD player and FM/ DAB/DAB+. “Wellness” is a significant focus of the Stereo 2, with whale song, rain, waves and a plethora of other soothing sounds at the users’ disposal. It also includes birdsong and soothing voices, that guide users through relaxation exercises. KEY SELLING POINTS 1 The first stereo mobile audio system on the market 2 Sold as a pair, the 360-degree speakers can be set up to 10 metres apart 3 Compact, minimalistic design coupled with impressive sound quality DEFUNC’S DUO BRINGS STEREO TO MOBILE AUDIO Swedish audio and sound company DeFunc returned to IFA with a suite of new products, including the Speaker Duo mobile audio system, the first of its kind on the market. Unlike the preponderant single portable speaker, the stylish Duo speaker set offers a stereo mobile audio experience via two 360-degree, Bluetooth connected speakers that can be set up to 10 metres apart - depending on the size of the room and the number of people listening. The result is much richer, full-room sound experience that doesn’t compromise on portability. Boasting minimalistic Scandinavian design, impressive volume and bass, and a compact circular design (only 6cm in height) and light weight (412 grams), the DeFunc Duo is pitched broadly at consumers in the market for home speakers or mobile audio when travelling. IFA International • Friday 15 th September 2017 25

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