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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Audio

James Loudspeaker Intros Omni Planter Speakers

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James Loudspeaker announces a trio of Omni Planter speaker systems-- all featuring a down-firing subwoofer and designed for applications where in-ground solutions are not practical.

James PlantersThe Omni Planter models promise 360-degree "sparkling clear" audio, and house a decorative plant of choice inside the top section. The all-aluminium powder coated enclosure is available in an array of standard and custom colours, as well as different configurations such as units without rear-firing satellites (for use in corners or against a wall). For commercial applications and securing to solid surfaces the company offers tamper-proof brackets and bolts.

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Immersive Audio Technologies Buys StormAudio

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Immersive Audio Technologies Group acquires high-end home theatre outift StormAudio, following the management buyout of the Auro Technologies home entertainment and luxury audio product division.

StormAudio AVRThe buyout encompasses the StormAudio hardware brand, IP, infrastructure and inventory. It was organised by Auro Technologies senior VP Yves Trélohan, together with Brussels-based Saffelberg Investments. Immersive will use its Nantes, France facility as global HQ for sales, marketing, R&D and manufacturing, together with StormAudio's existing Novato, California N. American sales, marketing and dealer support subsidiary and Hong-Kong sales and service support center.

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Klipsch Reference Series Gets On-Wall Speakers

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Klipsch announces the Reference Premiere Design On-Wall Speakers, a selection of space efficient speakers designed for rooms with limited floor space ideal for use with wall-mounted flat panel TVs.

Klipsch On-wallThe series consists of 4 models-- the small RP-140D, medium RP-240D, large column-style RP-C40D and the RIP-440D SB 3-channel passive soundbar. The first three can be used as left, centre, right or surround speakers, and all models are equipped with 4-way keyholes for horizontal or vertical wall mounting.

Each speaker also includes a glass base installers can attach for placement on a tabletop or bookshelf, with the choice of either horizontal or vertical orientation.

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Apple Delays HomePod Speaker

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Customers eager to get the first Apple smart speaker are to receive some bad news-- the HomePod's initial release in the UK, US and Australia has been delayed until "early 2018."

HomePodApple does not give reason for the delay, other than it needing a "little more time" before the device is ready for launch. It is also unclear as to whether the delay will affect launch in other countries, but we can assume that will be exactly the case.

"We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," the full Apple statement reads. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."

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Klipsch Aims Powered Speakers at Premium Market

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Klipsch expands the plug-and-play Reference powered speaker series with the 2-channel R-28PF towers and the R-14PM monitor speakers, both promising "groundbreaking" technology.

Klipscsh speakerThe speakers feature easy setup to any audio source via wide range of digital, analog and wireless inputs, are turntable-, PC- and TV-ready, and feature a 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and RIAA-equalised phono preamplifier. Bluetooth allows use with any device, while a subwoofer output blends the speakers with any powered subwoofer.

The R-28PF floorstanding speakers push audio in a 2-channel configuration. They carry dual 8-inch copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofers, 1-inch linear travel suspension (LTS) in Tractrix horns and custom-designed bi-amplified ultra-low noise 260W amplifiers. A digital crossover, equaliser and limiters deliver high performance without distortion.

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Sony Readies Robotic Smart Speaker

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Sony looks to differentiate its take on the smart speaker with a spot of cuteness-- the Xperia Hello is an Alexa-compatible number featuring a 4.55-inch display and a round, animated face.

Sony Xperia HelloFirst presented in concept form back at MWC 2016, the Xperia Hello is an Android-based device able to recognise facial expressions and gestures as well as voice through a camera on top of the swivelling "face." The camera is paired with 7 microphones and 4 motion sensors, allowing the Hello to detect people approaching within a 3m radius.

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The Smallest McIntosh Amp Yet

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McIntosh announces the MA5300-- an integrated stereo amplifier packed in the most compact chassis from the company to date, featuring a range of analogue and digital inputs and a high-spec phono stage.

McIntosh MA5300The MA5300 measures 44 x 15 x 56cm, and offers 6 analogue inputs (x4 unbalanced, x1 balanced, x1 moving magnet) and x6 digital inputs (including x2 each for coax and optical). A USB port is also included, together with a special port for McIntosh MCT series SACD/CD players. Installers can re-name all inputs for simpler system control and configuration.

All digital inputs are housed in a DA 1 Digital Audio Module customers can remove for upgrades with future modules developed as new digital audio technologies arise. The DA1 uses an 8-channel 32-bit DAC, with support for DSD256 and DXD 384kHz files.

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