Well it's been a busy two weeks for us. First, we were at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show for the first time ever from January 4-9, and I have been at the National Association of Music Merchants show for the past couple of days. A lot of very interesting things have been happening in the world of consumer electronics and audio. This is a summary of my own encounters.
My first encounter with CES was of course the CES Unveiled in New York City. This event was in November, and we had the chance to experience a lot of the new gadgetry appearing at this year's CES. I was fitted with Sonomax's then Soundcage headphones (now named Sculpted Eers) and enjoyed seeing a lot of revolutionary products such as the GPS enabled ski mask, Mavizon's GPS enabled car OBD sensor system (more to come on that later), and other products that could potentially change the field of consumer electronics in the near future.
A couple of months later, four of our writers, Jon Maltz, David Boehm, Matthew Torino, Michael Convente, and I flew from our home base in the New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania area to Las Vegas for what was one of the most interesting experiences of our lives.
It was our first CES show and it was a blast! Las Vegas is what they say– incredible casinos, great food, lights shining 24 hours a day, and streets lined with escort service handbooks. Our first day consisted of Matt Torino and Mike Convente attending the Las Vegas CES Unveiled (which was packed). They saw what I saw earlier and got their first taste of the immense crowds that we would experience for the next few days.
The next day was a private event for media. Many large companies set up mini demos that lasted around an hour in the Venetian conference rooms. If you've never been to the Venetian, it's worth visiting. The ceilings are painted like the skies and an Italian inspired canal flows through the shopping area complete with a gondola and Italian songs being sung in their native language. Back to the show– I attended the Netgear presentation where they unveiled new technologies in powerline, wireless, and QoS. Our writer David will have a good recap of this event in the next week. Our other writers attended LG's press conference, Sony, and others. They will be reporting shortly. I also attended Intel's press event on the media day and will have an article up shortly reviewing what they said.
During the CES show, I was lucky enough to meet with hundreds of companies. Some highlights include my visit with Razer, Logitech, Gigabyte, MSI, General Motors, Sleek Audio, Edifier, Sonomax, Deep Cool, GoPro, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Fuse, Antec, Blue Microphones, HiFiMan, Corsair, Samson, Beyerdynamic, Parrot, Bracketron, Powermat, Vobis Computers, Other World Computing, Cobra, Scosche, Gunnar… and well that's enough for now.
We will have articles about Gigabyte and MSI coming up shortly. We are in the process of reviewing Razer's Starcraft 2 line of perhipherals. Basically, we have a lot of fun things coming up soon so make sure you stay tuned and keep visiting for a chance to learn a lot more.
In the field of audio, hopefully you read my review of the Sonomax Sculpted Eers which I posted and reposted before CES. In my opinion, they made the most interesting thing I saw at CES this year. Yes, it trumped multiple companies glasses-free 3DTV systems (which all frankly sucked). Sonomax's system will allow for the standard listener to have custom headphones that sound good.
At CES, during my visit to Sleek Audio (complete with a 50 Cent sighting), I was lucky enough to check out their new SA7 prototype. It's a carbon fiber universal in-ear monitor with dual balanced armature drivers held within. Not only did they sound great, but like their other universal IEMs, you could tune them with their unique bass port and filters to fit the music you listen to most. I will hopefully have the opportunity to spend more time with them soon. Sleek also volunteered to send me their currently unreleased CT7 dual balanced armature driver custom in-ear monitors. I should have them in a few weeks to review for you guys. I have also heard good things about the 50 Cent line and would love to check them out as well.
Sonomax is also sending me their dual-BA driver system for me to compare with the big boys as well as their single dynamic driver system that I currently have.
After CES, I headed for sunny Southern California to check out the NAMM show. I was hoping to check out Ultimate Ears labs, but instead had to compromise by visiting their booth at the show. It was worth it though, as I was able to learn more about their product line and have two new custom IEM en route to review: the Ultimate Ears UE18 Custom, and the Ultimate Ears/Capitol Records Reference Custom IEM. I look forward to checking out both in comparison with the JH Audio custom IEM have reviewed in the past as well as with the Sleek CT7, which is supposedly very competitive with the best offerings of both JH Audio and Ultimate Ears.
As I mentioned before, keep your eyes open for our new content about CES and our soon to be bountiful product reviews of the gear we saw and played with at the CES and NAMM.