Now that CES 2020 has officially wrapped up, here are a few more products that "wowed" us from the show floor.
Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV
Dubbed as the company's "Master HDR Professional Edition" OLED TV, Panasonic surprisingly improved upon its near perfect GZ2000. This time, the TV can adjust its tone mapping through frame-by-frame analysis and adjusts its overall gamma based on the ambient light. Better still, this process can also be done to Dolby Vision content using the Dolby Vision IQ technology. The TV comes in 55" and 65" versions and will be available in October 2020.
Cleer Crescent Speaker
This is not a soundbar, although you can use it as such. Through the array of eight 40mm full range drivers and two woofers, the less than two-foot speaker has a dispersion of about 20 feet across (measured in Stereo Widening mode). It can also emulate and upsample recordings to simulated 5.1 surround in its 3D mode. The Room Fill mode creates an ultra wide sweet spot that engages listeners equally in a large area of the room. One word describes the Stereo Widening mode: WOW.
Creative Super X-Fi
360-degree audio comes in many flavours, from companies like Waves, Sony, and JVC, among others. And they all work well to varying degrees. Creative, the company behind the legendary Sound Blaster (they sold about 400,000,000 soundcards worldwide with market share nearing 100% at one time), created Super X-Fi. The result? Currently, it is the best 360-degree audio experience to date, in my opinion. At far below $500, the Super X-Fi is as good as more professional equipment that costs $3,000 and above.
French startup Bassme released a chest mounted subwoofer simply called Bassme that delivers a tactile sensation of bass thumping literally on one's chest psychoacoustically. It gives the illusion of chest-thumping bass even though you're only listening to a pair of headphones. The psychoacoustics impact is very similar to using Butt Kicker in a home theatre, except this one is portable and only priced at US$149.
iBeam Materials, Inc., a leader in technology for large-area monolithic microLED displays, announced at the show that it has successfully demonstrated the ability to make high-performance GaN (Galium Nitrite) Field-Effect Transistors (FETs) directly on thin, flexible metal foil substrate. These transistors can be produced without the need for a transfer step and can be integrated side-by-side with microLED emitters previously demonstrated by iBeam for use in a display. The monolithic process for integrated large area microLED displays brings the industry closer to practical mass production and breakthrough applications. iBeam expects to see the technology available for large-scale manufacturing by 2022. How does this translate? You may be seeing true microLED displays from Samsung (the investor of iBeam Materials) at sane-level pricing by 2022!