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Holiday Home Audio Trends

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Bowers and Wilkins Mini Zepplin iPod Dock

More and more we are seeing high-end, high quality audio solutions evolving into a more mainstream demand, thanks in great part to the fact that obtaining a high-fidelity music experience no longer has to cost you a fortune nor is it too complicated or sophisticated for the average homeowner.

Especially with the popularity of flat panel TVs, that leave little room for quality speakers and sound, consumers are finding it more of a challenge to get a high-end audio experience from their TV alone, leading the typical home entertainment enthusiast to opt for an alternative to the traditional sound system. This though process and need for better audio is exactly why products like soundbars and wireless speakers have stepped into the limelight. Not only do they tend to be discreet and simple to use, but they also offer a unique sound solution that fits the bill.

With the holidays underway, you may find yourself at a loss for how to please the sound lover on your list, which is why we’ve done the research for you, regarding some of the hottest home audio trends. We’ve even included a list chock-full of great gift ideas that are sure to bring music (high quality, of course!) to your ears.

Soundbars

There’s no denying that soundbars had a bit of rough start, far too many traditional home theater enthusiasts felt they were too much of a compromise being that they offered virtual surround-sound instead of the real thing. However, as technology has improved, o has the soundbars’ reputation and popularity.

Being that flat-panel televisions continue to grow slimmer, greatly limiting their ability to offer quality sound, soundbars have stepped in to fill that sound gap, delivering a great solution that addressed the poor sound quality produced my today’s flatscreen. Soundbars today offer a high-fidelity experience and typically cost less than one would spend investing in a traditional surround-sound setup.

Goldenear Technoloy’s SuperCinema® 3D Array™ is a perfect example that displays just how far the soundbar has come. the SuperCinema 3D Array is a remarkable new loudspeaker system that combines the elegant form factor of a soundbar with the extraordinary sonic performance of a true surround system. Aside from its compelling visual appeal, GoldenEar Technology has also developed a unique new technology soundbar that incorporates special 3D image optimization technology to achieve superbly lifelike, wide, deep 3D playback realism with virtually no acoustic coloration.

Ipod Docks

When it comes to listening and discovering new music, there are a variety of products that work hard to meet the typical music-lover’s needs, one of the most popular being the iPod dock. iPod docks are known for their versatility, allowing you an easy avenue for listening to music nearly anywhere on your home, due to their small size and portability. Like any music-specific technology, over the years the iPod dock has evolved to not only generate better sound quality but also allows simple streaming of music files directly from a device via its dock, or even better, wirelessly.

When looking for the perfect iPod dock, companies such as  Bowers & Wilkins (think Zepplin Mini for smaller spaces such as desktops), Samsung and Sonos have crafted some very poweful,  high-quality solutions – that also boast incredible aesthetic appeal – while you can also find, simpler, more affordable options from brands like Sony and Yamaha.

Wireless Connectivity

The latest change in speaker quality and performance has been the introduction of wireless connectivity, which has reached a level in which it can operate seamlessly without dropout. Even more importantly, wireless transmissions can now match the sound quality of direct cord connections, opening up endless options for speaker placement within and around your home.

The ability to control your music, without having to leave the comfort of your couch, is just one benefit. A variety wireless solutions also offer impressive bonus features, such as Pioneer Electronics’ A4, which features a built-in sub-woofer. With best-in-class Wi-Fi sound quality the A4 has the power to pack large spaces with crystal clear Wi-Fi audio perfection.

Aiming to enhance connectivity, many products, like the A4, depend upon a variety of ways to connect and play:

  • AirPlay® is a revolutionary way of enjoying your music anywhere in your home, and the A4 is AirPlay compatible right out of the box. Wirelessly stream music from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or your iTunes-running Mac or PC directly to the speaker. Plus use your iPhone or iPad device’s familiar controls to change the volume and switch songs.
  • HTC Connect™ is for Android® owners who, until now, have constantly asked, “What about me?” The good news is your speaker has arrived. A Pioneer exclusive, the A4 proudly supports HTC Connect, compatible with HTC One series phones. HTC Connect makes it easy to wirelessly stream your favorite music straight from your HTC One phone. There’s no need for a separate app; HTC Connect is built right into your phone’s music player.
  • DLNA 1.5 certified, the A4 connects seamlessly to all other DLNA compliant devices.

Whether you’re looking for a soundbar to amp up the surround sound quality of your home theater set-up or know an extra special music lover who could really rock out with a premium iPod dock, there’s no denying that this holiday season is all about home audio. And, with so many high-quality audio options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect piece of audio technology for every enthusiast on your list.

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