There are plenty of AV products showcased at CES. Here are a few that caught my home-theatre-centric eyes.
Pioneer Elite SX-S30
Not all viewing areas can accommodate a full surround system. Or, in my case, I don't want to use my living room mostly for two-channel listening, although I have my UHD Blu-ray player and Sony Playstation 3, which I use as a music server. Connecting them to my LG OLED B6 TV using its optical output is just not good enough - anything HDMI will be output as lossy Dolby Digital.
Thankfully, the Pioneer Elite SX-S30 is here. With its multiple HDMI 2.0a inputs complete with HDCP 2.2, I can connect various HDMI devices (and non HDMI devices, too), have them all processed internally within the receiver, amplified with my favourite class D3 amplifier and channeled to my two towers for two-channel listening bliss. With a sub $750 asking price, this slim receiver deserves to be on the list of must-own item for serious music lovers and moviephiles, alike.
Audioquest Night Owl Carbon
After the success of the Nighthawk headphones, Audioquest released the Night Owl Carbon. Geared towards audiophiles, it doesn't have an audiophile-type asking price. From my quick listen at CES 2017 using my Hifiman Supermini and playing songs I personally recorded and/or produced and/or mastered, I can say that having the audiophile as the target market is pretty much bang on. The Night Owl Carbon is slated to sell for $899.
Hisense 100H10D Laser Cast Home Theatre
Although TVs are getting bigger every year, 100" is still considered enormous, and typically cost prohibitive, usually around US$55,000. There's projection, but again, the cost of 4K ultra short throw projector is still in the US$25,000 range, not including the screen and sound system. With Hisense's Laser Cast home theatre package, you will get a 4K laser-based projection system including the screen and 5.1 surround system. It also complies with the HDR10 standard at 300 Nits and a wide colour gamut which covers 95% of the DCI-P3 colour space. Price: US$13,000. No, it's not the best thing out there, but it is surely the best value 100" theatre package yet.
Meters Monitor OV-1
This falls into fun territory. When was the last time you saw a VU meter on an audio system, let alone on a pair of headphones? U.K.-based Ashdown Engineering, famous for its professional audio products, released the Monitor OV-1 active noise cancelling headphones that claim to be able to drown out background noise by 82%. Equipped with 40mm dome driver and the sensitivity of 94dB, these headphones are surely fun to both look at and wear. Seriously, how cool are those VU meters!
After my mini review of the Soundcast VG1 not too long ago, I was invited to have a listen to the newly announced VG7. This one also falls into the fun category. This outdoor Bluetooth speakers is fully equipped with four 3" full-range drivers and a 7" downfiring subwoofer. Making things more fun, there are two EQ modes; one for indoor and another for outdoor with boosted bass and some equalization curves sprinkled here and there. Although the speaker is designed to be used as a solo unit with sound in an omnidirectional fashion, two units can be linked together to produce an extremely wide stereo soundstage - I listened to them indoor at The Venetian. Each VG7 will be sold for US$799.