Philips: $30 Bluetooth Streaming Device, Soundbar with Detachable Wireless Speakers and an Unusual Baby Monitor [CES 2013]
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Y’know how we said something or other about how iHome had an avalanche of new products? Yeah, forget we said that; the amount of new products at the Philips fort (really, they had, like, an encampment) made the iHome avalanche look like a powder dusting. And amazingly, most of it is actually worth talking about. Here’re the highlights from our booth tour.
There isn’t exactly a lack of iOS-connected baby monitors on the market, but the In.Sight Baby Monitor also comes with both temperature and humidity sensors, and it can alert you when the atmosphere is awry. It also lets parents listen to the audio stream even through the iPhone’s lockscreen, and talk to the baby through the camera’s speaker. Available now for $170.
The big bar above with the teardrop-shaped cross-section is the Philips Fidelio Soundbar HTL9100, the first soundbar in their high-end Fidelio line. Besides sounding pretty fantastic, two wireless speakers are attached magnetically to both ends of the bar; yank them off and voila, you’ve got a 5.1 surround system (with the included subwoofer, not pictured). Mysteriously, the wireless speakers use some form of proprietary signal rather than Bluetooth, wifi or DLNA. The HTL9100 arrives mid year with a hefty $800 price tag.
Compared to all the other flashy stuff at CES, this little Bluetooth streaming pebble is pretty unremarkable — except that it’s $30. Which means that essentially any speaker system you plug the Bluetooth Hi-Fi into becomes a Bluetooth device. For $30. Assuming it performs well enough, this is a pretty big deal — many Bluetooth streamers cost considerably more. Available this month.