After spending two days at the Las Vegas Convention Center, my third day was spent at the Sands and Venetian suites. There, another five items caught my eye.
Como Audio Musica All-in-One System
If you want a bedside radio, you'll want one that sounds good, looks good, and is compact. The Como Audio Musica all of three of these attributes. It also has a CD player and Internet radio capabilities, which you select and program using the front buttons, the supplied remote control, or through your smart device using the free app. Price is estimated to be around $750.
NAD HP70 Noise-Cancelling Headphones
After the success of the HP50, NAD released the improved version of the headphones, the HP70. The sonic quality of the HP70 is supposed to be the same as the HP50, but with an important addition - Active Noise Cancelling done in the digital domain. Paul Barton, the brain behind the original HP50 (and now HP70) took the time to demonstrate how effective the noise cancelling the unit is. From a subjective point of view, the efficiency of noise reduction of my surroundings was in the neighbourhood of 80% (100% cancellation is physically impossible to achieve). The HP70 will sell for $500.
Technics SL-1000R Reference Class Turntable
Technics, the reference audio division of Panasonic, is re-introducing the classic SL-1000 turntable that was discontinued more than two decades ago, with a much smoother direct drive motor, but still with the three tone arms that made the original version so famous. This way you can have one arm set with a stereo cartridge, another with 78 RPM, and another with mono cartridge or even a stereo cartridge with a different sound signature.
Monoprice Monolith Tube Headphone Amplifier
I wouldn't have made it to the Monoprice booth if I hadn't been encouraged to do so by THX earlier in the day. Thankfully I listened to the recommendation. In the Monoprice room, they showcased a slew of Monolith series products. The one that caught my eyes was the Monolith Tube Headphone Amplifier. I've always wanted a tube amp, but can't justify the usual $1,000+ price for a decent one. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the Monolith only costs US$400. It also includes an ESS Sabre DAC, and uses a massive vacuum tube instead of the tiny ones used by competitors at double the price.
Divoom Tivoo Fun Thing
It's not your typical piece of AV equipment. It's a Bluetooth speaker that looks like a retro TV from the ‘60s. I don't even know how to categorize this item. It shows pixel art, which you can download or even create your own, along with smartphone notifications in a fun way when you receive an e-mail, SMS, or WhatsApp messages on your phone. Add light therapy and alarm functionality to this unit, along with, of course, music playback capabilities, and I think the US$45 is a pretty fair price. I plan to write a short of it in the near future. Stay tuned.