Best The of CES 2018
TVs Audio Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Robots Wearables and More!
The International CES is the center of the universe for the consumer electronics industry. Every January, thousands of companies from around the planet gather in Las Vegas to show their prototypes and products just about ready to hit the market. Media flock to the event like migrating Canadian geese, in search of the coolest tech and a glimpse of the future. While covering all of the exhibitors is an impossible trick, we do our best to sort through all the noise and seek out the companies and products that stand apart from the crowd. Here are some of the very best products we found on the show floor this year. So feast your eyes and have your credit card on standby.
TVs at CES 2018
Stealing this year’s show, in the TV department, LG showcased its remarkable looking 65-inch rollable OLED TV (just look at the pictures on this page!) The entire TV screen rolls up neatly into a compact box, which stores all the electronics. Two years ago, LG showed a small 18-inch rollable TV and it appears that the company has been able to scale this up all the way up to a UHD (4K) 65-inch TV. At this point it is just a prototype, but a sure indication of things to come. LG has also said at CES that its future TVs will add a voice assistant (such as Google Assistant), and announced an 88inch 8K TV.
LG also unveiled its full line of LG AI OLED and LG AI SUPER UHD TVs for release in 2018. The company will add nine new 4K LG AI OLED TVs in different design configurations and sizes, ranging from 55- to 77-inches (series W8, E8, C8 and B8). This year, LG will also introduce seven brand new 4K LG AI SUPER UHD TV models, ranging in size from 55- to 75-inches (series K9500, K9000 and K8000). All of these new models, from both series, will introduce a new feature called ThinQ artificial intelligence, enabling the implementation of hundreds of voice commands via webOS as well as third-party AI services. LG ThinQ combines the webOS Smart TV platform with Google Assistant to create AI capability that allows voice commands to control TV functions, search for content and control
other connected IoT devices.
The big news from Samsung at CES 2018 was “The Wall” TV – the world’s first consumer modular MicroLED 146-inch TV. Samsung’s “The Wall,” a 146-inch modular TV with MicroLED technology delivers incredible definition, without restrictions to size, resolution or form. It is a self-emitting TV with micrometer ( m) scale LEDs – which are much smaller than current LEDs, and serve as their own source of light. MicroLED technology eliminates the need for color filters or backlight, yet allows the screen to offer the ultimate viewing experience. Also, the MicroLED screen excels in durability and effectiveness, including luminous efficiency, light source lifetime and power consumption. Thanks to its module-based, bezel-less design, The Wall also allows consumers to customize their television sizes and shapes to suit their needs. The screen can adapt to serve different purposes, such as creating a wall-size display or a display that covers your entire kitchen backsplash. Can you imagine?
Samsung has also announced that in Q2 of 2018, it will launch the world’s first QLED TV featuring 8K AI technology. This AI technology will upscale standard definition content to 8K resolution. It employs a proprietary algorithm to adjust screen resolution based on the picture characteristics of each scene, to continuously improve picture quality and transform any content into highresolution 8K. To top it all off, Samsung also showed its enhanced 2018 Smart TV platform which includes Bixby, SmartThings and Universal Guide. Bixby is an assistant platform developed by Samsung that enables easier interaction between the TV and its users, thanks to its intuitive UX, and comprehensive voice analysis capabilities. 2018 Samsung Smart TVs will also offer easier sharing and connectivity, thanks to SmartThings, Samsung’s IoT platform hub. This hub offers a simpler way to control the television and sync with other devices. 2018 will also see the launch of Universal Guide – an advanced program guide which automatically recommends TV programs and content according to a user’s preferences.
In other OLED news, Sony revealed its new 4K OLED BRAVIA A8F TV Series at this year’s show. This series comes equipped with a 4K HDR image processor called the X1 Extreme together with the Sony’s proprietary Acoustic Surface technology that vibrates the display and enables sound to be output directly from the TV screen. The Sony A8F series will be available in 55 and 65inch sizes, equipped with 4K resolution, HDR and Dolby Vision technology. The company also showcased an 8K display featuring the next-generation X1 Ultimate picture processor. Combined with Sony’s unique backlight technology, the prototype 8K display demo showed off real-time processing of 8K HDR content as well as a peak brightness of 10,000nits, the highest in the HDR format.
Another company pushing hard for adoption of OLED TVs is Panasonic. The company launched four new OLED TVs at this year’s CES. The 77-inch EZ1000 from 2017 will be joined in 2018 by the FZ950 and FZ800 series, both available in 65-inch and 55-inch screen sizes. Featuring new OLED panels, combined with the newest generation of Panasonic’s Hollywood-tuned HCX video processor, the FZ950 and FZ800 provide significant under-the-hood advancements. The four new models will be the first OLED screens which support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology and will therefore be capable of streaming several hundred hours of the Amazon Prime Video HDR10+ catalogue.
Panasonic also expanded its line-up of Ultra HD Blu-ray players with the addition of two new models for 2018 – the DP-UB820 and DP-UB420. Both models support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology, the next-generation HDR format. These two models join the existing DP-UB330/DP-UB320 models. At CES 2018, Sharp showcased roomsize displays, taking attendees on a tour of the future home display experience. The company is transforming the old school oneto-one display experience to adapt to a new
world of ubiquitous screens, multi-window, multi-display engagement, designed to seamlessly manage a variety of applications and content – entertainment, sports, social media, smart home functionality and new experiences – made possible through advances in form factor, display resolution, picture quality, processing and bandwidth. Sharp demonstrated a Multi-Visual 85” 8K LCD Display and the company’s testament to mass produce 8K displays. Equipped with the latest, most powerful generation Panasonic HCX 4K video processor and latest generation HDR OLED panels, these new models are said to deliver the most accurate and compelling high dynamic range (HDR) pictures ever.
Virtual Reality at CES 2018
HTC took the opportunity at this year’s CES to introduce a brand new HTC Vive Pro VR Headset, which offers significant upgrades over the existing HTC Vive. The Vive Pro is equipped with dual-OLED displays offering a resolution of 2880 x 1600 pixels combined, a 78% increase in resolution over the current Vive model. This increased resolution enhances immersion, and the improved clarity means text, graphics and overall experience all come into sharper view. Vive Pro also features integrated, high-performance headphones with a builtin amplifier to offer a heightened sense of presence and an overall richer sound. The Vive Pro also features a redesigned head strap which offers increased comfort. Other improvements include dual microphones with active noise cancellation and dual front-facing cameras designed to empower developer creativity. Availability and pricing has not been announced yet.
HTC also revealed the Vive Wireless Adaptor at CES, which will enable the use of both the Vive and the Vive Pro VR headsets in a completely wireless fashion. The Vive Wireless Adaptor features Intel’s WiGig technology that operates in the interference-free 60Ghz band, which means lower latency and better performance. The Vive Wireless Adaptor will ship in Q3 of 2018.
The Lenovo Mirage Solo is a first selfcontained VR headset based on Google’s Daydream platform that will retail for under $400 US. Instead of relying on a smartphone, it contains all of its own hardware, which includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 VR platform, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (expandable via microSD card) and a battery that lasts 7 hours. Each eye gets a 5.5-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1280 x 1440 pixels. The Lenovo Mirage Solo supports the same VR experiences as existing Daydream headsets. To further enhance gameplay, you can pair this headset with the wireless Daydream controller, turning it into a virtual baseball bat, steering wheel or whatever fits your chosen app. You can also create your own VR content by pairing the headset with the Lenovo Mirage Camera with Daydream. This pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera captures 3D photos and videos with its dual 13 MP fisheye camera and its 180 x 180 degree field of view.
The ZEISS VR ONE Connect bridges the gap between PC-connected VR gaming and mobile VR by connecting the smartphone in the mobile VR headset to your gaming PC. The product gives mobile VR users more interactive gaming possibilities than ever before by allowing them to play games through SteamVR, an online community that allows access to VR content. It boasts a high-quality VR experience, is compatible with iOS and Android phones and costs just $129 US. The ZEISS VR ONE Connect comes with two wireless 3DoF (degrees of freedom) controllers that are linked to the smartphone via Low Energy (LE) Bluetooth.
Unlike competitor headsets, the ASUS Windows Mixed Reality Headset doesn’t need external sensors, making the initial setup very simple. It utilizes two built-in front-facing tracking cameras with six-degrees-of-freedom position tracking, and
32 LED lights on each controller that allow the headset to map the user’s environment, and track their movements and controllers seamlessly. The headset contains multiple sensors — gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer — that determine the user’s orientation, and thanks to its phenomenal inside-out tracking design, virtual and physical worlds will be perfectly synced, and free of latency or distortion. The ASUS Windows Mixed Reality Headset delivers crystal-clear visuals, thanks to a 3K (2880 x 1440) resolution display and up to a 90Hz refresh rate. What’s more, the headset supports over 20,000 Windows apps and more than 2,000 Steam VR titles, so users can watch immersive 360 degree videos and play games like never before. Its “flip-able” design allows users to simply lift the visor for a temporary reality check, and flip it back down to instantly immerse themselves in the virtual world again. At less than 400g, it is said to be ultralight and very comfortable.
Augmented Reality at CES 2018
NAVION is the first True Augmented Reality car navigation system. Placed on a dashboard, it shows directions, trip details and displays real-time indicators for things like pedestrians, POIs or road hazards exactly where the driver needs them to be — on the road ahead — with no headgear or eyewear required. NAVION is able to work in a hands-free mode to get the driver safely to the destination. It responds to voice commands or hand gestures.
Another WayRay’s attraction at CES 2018 was a multicolored Holographic Augmented Reality display device designed to transform the car windshield into a new medium for information. 2018’s version has the greatest FOV (field of view) on the market and is capable of multicolored virtual object creation. Moreover, the technology allows the solution to act like a fully-featured non-wearable augmented reality infotainment system. It shows relevant information at a comfortable distance for users’ eyes — from 3 ft to infinity. The company also launched a product named Element, an insightful interactive car tracker for smart driving. It tracks the driver’s activity at the wheel and oversees the driving performance.
Kolibree, a manufacturer of connected oral care solutions launched the Magik toothbrush at CES, a kid’s AR-enabled toothbrush that turns any smartphone into a game console for fighting cavities and plaque. Kolibree uses Augmented Reality (AR) to gamify teeth brushing with its interactive toothbrush for children. It uses fun, imaginative filters, sticker packs and more to turn a chore into a magical experience. Magik bridges the gap between oral hygiene and fun by connecting kids toothbrushes to an in-app game through advanced AR technology. Magik’s app offers 15 different worlds for kids to immerse themselves in, turning the chore of getting ready for bed into a ‘choose your own adventure’.
Robots at CES 2018
Robots where just about everywhere at this year’s CES. Ubtech showed a number of really cool robots including the Ubtech Walker, a biped robot designed to serve as your personal butler at home or work. Ubtech plans to add arms to the robot sometime this year, along with additional interactive functions, in order to turn it into a complete intelligent humanoid robot.
The company also showed off the Ubtech Lynx, its first intelligent humanoid robot to feature Amazon’s cloud-based voice service. The Lynx features voice, facial and presence recognition, with key highlights that include a Surveillance Mode and an Avatar Mode. In addition to this, Ubtech also demonstrated the Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper Robot (an interactive toy), Cruzr (a cloudbased AI robot designed for commercial applications) and Jimu Robot (an interactive robotic building block system for kids 8-14).
3E stands for Empower, Experience and Empathy – 3 ways in which Honda thinks robots can enhance our lives in the future. All four of these robots are prototypes and although their functionality at this point is pretty vague, they are intended to work independently and in teams.
The Honda 3E-A18 is an empathetic robot designed to make an emotional connection between machines and humans. Its face can show emotions, and the robot can recognize and respond to the emotions of a person. It is driven by an omnidirectional wheel and has a soft exterior skin that invites people to touch it. The 3E-B18 is a futuristic vision for the wheelchair, designed for indoor and outdoor use by the disabled or elderly. It is capable of maintaining an upright seat position even when travelling up or downhill. It can also transform into a motorized luggage cart or a stroller thanks to additional attachments. The 3E-C18 looks like a cute cooler on wheels. It is designed to carry items, and has a deployable canopy that reveals a flat surface that can be used as a mobile workspace. Thanks to its built-in AI, it can observe people and move autonomously. Lastly, the 3E-D18 is a robot designed to be used by construction crews, firefighters, search and rescue and other professions that require heavy lifting. It has a rail system on the top which can accommodate different types of gear to fit the job. The 3E-D18 is equipped with AI, various sensors and a GPS, which together allow it to operate autonomously even in rough environments.
Sony didn’t introduce anything particularly exciting at this year’s CES, but it did manage to steal the hearts of the media with one product. Sony’s robotic dog Aibo is back for 2018 and it’s cuter than ever! The original Aibo was introduced some 18 years ago and was prohibitively expensive, so chances are you’ve probably never seen one. The new Aibo features advanced mechatronics and AI to create a cuter, smarter, and more lifelike robotic pet companion. It’s still not cheap at
approximately $1,750 US, but at this price point it is certainly more accessible than its predecessor. The new Aibo is outfitted with tiny 1- and 2-axis actuators which enable its body to move along a total of 22 axes. This produces smoother, more natural movements — such as ear and tail wagging, as well as mouth, paw, and body motions. Equipped with two cameras and a multitude of sensors, Aibo is capable of recognizing its owners, as well as analyzing sounds and images. All of this technology allows Aibo to analyze praise, interpret smiles, and respond to petting, which helps to create a bond with its owners, said to grow over time.
LG’s Cloi is a cute little robot designed to help you control your smart home. Assuming its software can be corrected (the robot failed repeatedly on the stage during LG’s press conference and quickly became mocked on social media), this robot is designed to help with various tasks around your home, such as controlling lighting, security systems, scheduling, looking up recipes and even interacting with LG’s washing machines. The future of smart homes is very interesting indeed, although a little glitchy at the same time (at least for now). Think of Cloi as a rolling Google Home. In South Korea, LG already has a range of robots designed for hotels, airports and shopping malls.
Kuri is another robot we found cruising around the CES show floor this year. Introduced in 2017, this is one of the coolest robots you can actually purchase today. Pre-orders from 2017 have just started shipping and the company says that new orders will be shipping in about 2 months. Often called a social robot, Kuri can recognize faces, answer questions, take pics and videos, play games and roam around your home while smartly avoiding obstacles. Kuri offers a friendly disposition, emotive eyes and can be yours for a reasonable $799 US. We showcased KURI, along with other home robots, a few months ago in our “Robots to Rock Your World” feature on www. novo.press.
Buddy is another social home robot that was roaming the CES grounds and available for purchase today. With an 8-inch tablet-like touchscreen it offers a wide range of adorable expressions that will make your heart melt. It is packed with technology which includes a camera, ultrasound, infrared and thermal sensors, a range-finder sensor, a temperature sensor and ground detectors. Buddy is happy to take pics and videos, recommend recipes, test kids on homework, and even allows you to make video calls via its screen.
The Aeolus robot looks like a character straight out of The Jetsons and may be the bot we’ve all been waiting for. This home robot is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and comes equipped with an agile arm able to dynamically handle household objects. It can adapt to changing environments and independently learn, navigate and complete household tasks. The Aeolus robot’s advanced sensory and biometric technologies recognize and differentiate between family members, the physical living space and household items. It will even lookout for emergencies such as fire or a need to call for assistance. Just some of the tasks it can do include recognizing thousands of items and putting them away (essentially cleaning your home),
locating lost items, and vacuuming or dry mopping floors. It also offers integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Perhaps the best news is that it will actually be available for purchase by the end of 2018!
Sophia is an advanced humanoid robot that was showcased at CES interacting with visitors. She’s not a robot you can buy but rather a fantastic demo of where robotics and artificial intelligence are heading. Sophia has been toured around the world for a couple of years now but she continues to show off new enhancements and features each time she is shown. Partly powered by Google, she is capable of holding conversations almost like a real person. One of her latest upgrades are legs so she can move around freely. It’s just a matter of time before this kind of tech trickles down into home bots.
You might be wondering how a suitcase made it on to our robot list but the ForwardX CX-1 is no ordinary suitcase. Hauling luggage with your hands is so 2017! The CX-1 is a hands-free, fully autonomous carry-on suitcase that is happy to follow you around the airport and wherever your travels may take you.
Wearables at CES 2018
It might be hard to believe that such a product exists but it does indeed! The MARS earbuds are capable of in-ear translation in real-time and support 10 languages, including Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian. Only one pair of earbuds is required, with each person wearing just a single earbud. MARS also features automatic noise-blocking to reduce ambient noise and ensure clear voice recognition even in disruptive environments. With microphones placed “inside” the earpiece, MARS picks up a user’s voice directly through the ear canal, blocking outside sounds and providing clear phone calls. Even when used at a noisy location, like a rock concert or on a busy street, the user’s voice can be heard cleanly by the earbud microphones.
The latest generation of Kopin Corporation’s SOLOS Smart Glasses builds on the original features for cyclists by expanding the ecosystem to empower performance support for runners. SOLOS includes the most advanced Pupil display optics, which enable a ‘heads-up’ see-through experience with a larger eye box, enabling athletes to safely access their data in real-time. These new smart glasses offer new audio features including voice control, phone calls, listening to music and group chat communication. For runners, the enhanced software facilitates running metrics such as elapsed time, speed, power, pace, cadence, heart rate and more. Athletes can leverage wearable sensors to measure their run performance, set targets and use the SOLOS platform to track progress. In addition to performance features, runners can also listen to music, view mobile notifications and even receive audio and visual turn-by-turn instructions. SOLOS will also connect to a variety of training platforms to facilitate realtime workout goal progress prompts and feedback based on athletes’ performance targets. Audio and visual cues offer live guidance prompts during training sessions, not only helping athletes train safer, but also enabling them to reach their maximum performance.
Kopin also demonstrated the Elf VR reference design, the world’s most compact and lightweight virtual reality headset that boasts stereo 4K resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Elf is made possible by Kopin’s Lightning OLED microdisplays that boast an impressive pixel density of 2,940 PPI – approximately 400% higher than conventional TFT-LCD, OLED and AMOLED displays at 20% of the size. These display capabilities enable the Elf VR to eliminate the barriers and limitations that have long stood in the way of delivering an effective VR experience – uncomfortably bulky and heavy headset designs, the annoying pixelated “screen-door effect” due to insufficient display resolution, and frame rates that are too slow for fast action games, movies or sports.
The Freedom Guardian claims to be the industry’s most advanced medical alert device. This sophisticated wearable technology is designed to challenge industry stereotypes and revolutionize how older Americans age in place – or on the go. The Freedom Guardian is a discrete, customizable watch designed to blend in while providing round the clock monitoring, support and connectivity. The watch is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and it has a hi-res color touchscreen and oversized icons for ease of use. The device is audible, which is especially important for users whose eyesight may not be as good as it once was. It has the capability to read out the date, time and text messages sent through the Freedom Guardian app by members of the user’s care circle. Users can also dictate text messages in return. The Freedom Guardian’s safety features include: SOS with Two-Way Communication, GPS and Wi-Fi Location Finder, Voice Messaging and Safe Movement Zones.
After a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $6 million last year, MyKronoz showed both the ZeTime Petite (39mm) and Regular (44mm) hybrid smartwatches at CES 2018. The world’s first hybrid smartwatch with mechanical hands combined with a color touchscreen, ZeTime offers the classic design of a Swiss timepiece with the most advanced features of a smartwatch. MyKronoz’s proprietary ‘Smart Movement’ technology enables ZeTime’s always-on hands to function for up to 30 days with a single charge, ensuring the primary function of the watch – to tell time – is always running. Prices start at $199 US.
The Lenovo New Glass C220 Androidbased system consists of a Glass Unit and Pocket Unit and works by recognizing and identifying real-life objects using AI technologies. You experience AR through one eye, while keeping the other eye on the real world. Just download the app and then plug the Pocket Unit into the phone. The New Glass C220 is designed to work
in a variety of work and learning scenarios, from gathering information in your field of view, to giving step-by-step directions and instructions for repair, identifying disabled equipment and trouble-shooting issues with a remote colleague all while keeping your hands free.
Audio at CES 2018
Although technology products get the biggest spotlight at CES, every year, lots of new home audio products are launched at the show and this year was absolutely no different. One of the big trends we noticed this year was the integration of artificial intelligence systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant into portable and home audio products.
Debussy is a startup led by experienced audio engineers and designers that produces headphones like no other. Its line-up of headphones consists of three models called the Nathaniel, Clair de lune and Prelude (ranging from $590 to $4990 US; available for pre-order March 2018; to be released in 2019). At the heart of all the models is Iris, a “smart sound system” that consists of an OLED touchscreen display, a powerful processor, voice and gesture control and USB-C charging. The headphones offer 32 GB of on-board storage, but can also stream music wirelessly from online services such as Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz over 4G, Wi-fi and Bluetooth. Each model is said to offer exceptional sound quality, 20 hours of run time and comes in a variety of high-end finishes. We can’t wait to try these headphones out!
JBL’s Everest headphone / earphone line-up is among the first in the market to offer an on-board Google Assistant, which allows voice control and lets users receive notifications without needing to look at their smartphone or tablet. The Everest range consists of three models called the 710GA, 310GA and 110GA (priced from $99 US to $249 US). To access the Google Assistant, download the Assistant on your phone, connect the headphone and then simply touch the sensors located on the ear cup. Once activated, listeners can control volume, get access to meetings and events, and enjoy tracks on-the-go by saying simple phrases like, “volume up/down,” “tell me about my day” or “play pop music.” The headphone battery offers between 8 and 25 hours of listening, depending on the model.
Arcam introduced a brand new HDA product line at this year’s show. This product line includes the SA10 and SA20 integrated amplifiers, as well as the CDS50 SACD/CD player (which offers network streaming). Arcam says it will be the company’s best performing range of products to date. The SA10 sports class A/B amplifiers and offers 50 wpc of power, while the SA20 is equipped with class G amplifiers and produces 50 wpc. Both models offer five RCA inputs, two coax inputs and a single optical input. Expect to see them in stores this spring.
Sennheiser offered CES visitors a chance to experience its AMBEO 3D immersive audio technology featured in the AMBEO smart headset and a prototype AMBEO 3D soundbar. The headset lets users capture and listen to binaural audio recordings on their smartphones with unprecedented simplicity. The soundbar lets you place the AMBEO experience right in your living room by creating an immersive sound experience and a true as-if-there feeling without any additional components such as an external subwoofer. The Sennheiser HD 820 closed-back dynamic stereo headphones deliver astonishingly transparent sound, thanks to a unique glass transducer cover that minimizes resonances. This innovation ensures an incredibly realistic and natural sound field. While audiophile headphones
usually require an open-back design, the HD 820 changes the game by delivering exceptional, audiophile sound while insulating the listener from ambient noise.
Sennheiser ‘s new CX 6.00BT promises to deliver everything you need to enjoy brilliant sound on the go. This new in-ear wireless model features ear-canal earbuds joined by a cable around the neck – a lightweight design that is compact yet robust and provides superior fit and comfort. The CX 6.00BT delivers clear, detailed sound with an enhanced bass response and advanced wireless technology that includes Bluetooth 4.2 and Qualcomm apt-X. Support for apt-X Low Latency enhances gaming or video viewing by keeping visuals and sound in perfect sync.
The Denon AVR-X8500H is the industry’s first true 13.2 channel AV receiver (rated at 150 wpc @ 8 ohms) and will be Denon’s flagship product. As you might expect, it supports all the latest sound formats including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D, Apple AirPlay, Bluetooth and HEOS multi-room, just to mention a few. What’s more is that it also offers Amazon Alexa voice control. The AVRX8500H is also happy to play high-res audio such as DSD, WAV, ALAC and FLAC among others. On the video side, this receiver offers 8 HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs (HDCP 2.2). 4K 60 Hz video is supported, and the receiver offers pass-through of Dolby Vision and HDR video. It will be upgradeable to HDMI 2.1 in the near future, which will allow it to pass-through 8K video. Of course, the latest and greatest is going to cost you a pretty penny – $3,799 US to be precise.
Retro products are in high fashion these days. At CES, JBL introduced a modern take on the classic JBL L100 loudspeaker, a legendary 3-way bookshelf loudspeaker released back in 1970. Featuring a cool retro design, the L100 is available with an iconic Quadrex foam grille in black, orange, or blue (at $4,000 US). The enclosures are finished in a genuine, satin walnut wood veneer with black front and rear panels. The new L100 features the fundamental compact 12-inch 3-way design of its classic predecessor with improvements made to the transducers, enclosure tuning, and crossover network design. Designed by the same acoustic engineer that created the L100T3 in 1988, this new model uses a new 1-inch Titanium dome tweeter mated to a waveguide with an acoustic lens for optimal integration to a 5-inch cast-frame, pure-pulp cone midrange driver. The vertical HF and MF transducer arrangement is slightly offset to the right of the woofer below, with HF and MF attenuators located on the upper left of the front baffle. Low frequencies are delivered by a 12-inch cast-frame, white pure-pulp cone woofer operating in a bass-reflex enclosure system. Available this spring.
At CES 2018, Monster revealed with the company calls “True Wireless” headphone technology with the introduction of its AirLinks Elements, featuring a high-end jewelry themed design, and the sweat and water-resistant AirLinks iSport headphones. Both models feature AirLinks’ TrueWireless RF circuitry and unique antenna design to ensure a rock-solid, reliable signal, solving the common problem of audio drop-outs and poor Bluetooth performance. The AirLinks system’s two independent high quality drivers on each side, deliver perfectly balanced, outstanding audio performance. The right earbud may be worn individually and used for crystal-clear, hands free phone calls. Monster is offering a special insurance policy with both models – if you lose one of your earbuds, Monster will replace it for $20 (within one year of purchase).
Astell & Kern made its name by designing some of the finest portable music players in the world. And this year at CES, the company revealed a new desktop audio range of products branded as ACRO. The ACRO L1000 is a beautifully designed desktop amplifier, headphone amp and DAC. It is outfitted with 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 6.5mm and XLR audio outputs, as well as speaker terminals. A USB port lets you connect it to a PC or Mac. The L1000 utilizes two AK4490 DACs that are capable of playing hi-res audio files up to 32bit/384kHz without down-sampling. It also offers DSD playback (up to 11.2 MHz). The case and volume dial are designed out of aluminium and the volume dial has colored LEDs around it to indicate the listening level.
What is the appeal of direct drive technology in turntables? It’s the ability to eliminate sound degradation caused by rotation fluctuation and minute vibrations between the motor and the transmission mechanism. The Technics SP10-R is
centered around a double coil twin rotor-type coreless direct-drive motor with coils on both sides for 12-pole, 18-coil drive, and high enough torque to drive the heavy-weight-class platter with ultimate sovereignty. The result is a stable rotation, with nearly zero wow & flutter. The platter features a 10-mmthick brass weight, enhanced with tungsten weights on the outer periphery. The brass weight is laminated onto the aluminum diecast, giving the platter a total weight of 7.9 kg. A deadening rubber for eliminating unwanted vibration is attached to the rear surface to form a three-layer construction to achieve an even higher rigidity and provide excellent vibration-damping characteristics. For further noise reduction, the control unit is separated from the main unit and its switching power supply is equipped with unique technology that provides a voltage supply with minimal noise.
The Technics SL-1000R system features an S-type universal tonearm with a lightweight, high damping magnesium tonearm pipe and gimbal suspension. To further ensure the production of highly-vivid sounds, OFC is used for internal wiring, so that the music signal relayed from the cartridge is not dampened and the musical energy cut into the record is not lost.
The new Mark Levinson No. 585.5 integrated amp promises to deliver audio performance equal to the finest separates in a single component. Its Pure Phono stage features fully discrete, extremely low noise gain stages, with RIAA equalization implemented using a combination of active and passive filter circuits. Four gain settings, multiple resistive- and capacitive-loading settings, and an infrasonic filter are conveniently adjustable via the front panel or the remote control. The No. 585.5 provides four analog inputs, and six digital inputs, including asynchronous USB, optical, coaxial, and AES/EBU (XLR), to accommodate a wide variety of digital music sources, including 32-bit/192kHz PCM, as well as native DSD and DSD over PCM via USB. A subwoofer output is also provided with a selectable 80Hz high-pass filter for use in a 2.1-channel system.
Are you into gaming? The new Sennheiser GSP 600 delivers a truly excellent sound performance that shatters expectations of what a gaming headset can do. It features a new and improved speaker system designed and manufactured by Sennheiser, with improved aluminum voice coil speakers that ensure an exceptional audio experience with an increased sub-bass range that adds powerful impact to games and movies.
That’s it for this year’s CES coverage - hope you enjoyed it and if you like to read about upcoming hi-fi and tech products, tune in to www.novo.press for a daily dose of news.
LG’s 65-inch rollable OLED TV - wow!
LG’s 65-inch rollable OLED TV - rolling into its cabinet
Samsung’s “The Wall” modular TV
Panasonic’s FZ800 OLED TV Series
Sony’s A8F Bravia OLED TV Series
Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream VR Headset
HTC Vive Pro VR Headset
ZEISS VR ONE Connect Headset
ASUS Windows Mixed Reality Headset
WayRay NAVION AR Car Navigation System
Kolibree Magik AR Toothbrush
Honda 3E Concepts
Sony Aibo Robot Dog
Kuri Home Robot
Buddy Robot (from Blue Frog)
LG Cloi Home Robot
Mars Earbuds – Earbuds That Translate Conversations in Real-time
Sennheiser AMBEO Technology
JBL L100 Classic Loudspeakers
Astell & Kern ACRO L1000 Hi-res Desktop Amp and DAC
Technics SP-10R and Technics SL-1000R Direct Drive Turntables
Mark Levinson No. 585.5 Integrated Amplifier with Pure Phono Module