By Wares May 24, 2019 Home entertainment

A round-up of some of the latest local and international home entertainment category news.


Boasting a multitude of advanced technologies, including a Full Array LED backlight, Android TV operating system, Acoustic Multi Audio speaker system and powerful processor, Sony’s new X95G range of 4K HDR televisions are available in New Zealand in 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch models this month.

Full Array LED TVs feature multiple zones of LEDs for real cinematic contrast and accurate deep blacks and bright highlights.

Sony’s X95G combines this LED technology with precise local dimming technology to independently dim or brighten specific zones of LEDs so that sections of the screen aren’t incredibly bright while other areas remain pitch black.

To top it off, the X95G televisions feature Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos to deliver a more immersive cinematic experience than conventional edge lit LED TVs, says Sony.

X95G TVs run on Google’s Android TV platform which offers thousands of apps (e.g. Netflix, Lightbox, Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV, Spotify, TVNZ OnDemand, YouTube etc) and means you get Chromecast built-in for easy casting of movies, shows, and photos from Android or iOS device to the TV.



Enjoy your music anywhere with a single cable that connects devices that use a 3.5mm audio plug to your lightning devices.

This MFi-certified audio to Lightning cable is designed for an uninterrupted music experience.

Works with all devices that support iOS 10 or later, including iPod, iPad and iPhone.



Samsung has launched its “ultra-premium” Q900 QLED 8K TV range, comprising 65-inch, 75-inch and 82-inch models.

8K resolution features four times more pixels than a 4K UHD TV and 16 times more pixels than a full HD TV, which is great, but what about 8K content?

Samsung’s proprietary 8K Quantum Processor recognises and calibrates lower-resolution sources – whether it’s from a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or even mobile – and AI Upscaling helps to enhance content while Direct Full Array Elite technology improves contrast and controls backlighting.

The Q900 QLED 8K sets integrate HDR10+ and Ultra Bright III to manage contrast and colour and optimise brightness levels while HDR10+ also minimises the impact of glare and reflection in sun-filled rooms

Also included is Samsung’s signature QLED Ambient Mode displaying art, photos, the time or even blending into the surrounding décor, the One Clear Connection all-in-one almost cord-cutting system, One Remote for easy access to devices and services including Netflix, YouTube, Xbox and compatible soundbars.

Each model also comes equipped with smart capabilities for Samsung’s Smart Things and Bixby as well as integration with voice-recognition based platforms Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The new line-up will also support the soon to be launched Apple TV and Apple AirPlay 2 and will also be the first in the country to have the new Spark Sport Smart TV app built-in.



The latest in the JBL Charge series, the JBL Charge 4, (see photo) is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a powerful, full-spectrum sound and a built-in power bank to charge your devices. Offers up to 20 hours of playtime, an IPX7 waterproof rating and a USB port to charge your smartphone on the go.

Also new, the JBL Tuner FM is a compact portable Bluetooth speaker with powerful sound and FM digital radio sound and a battery that supports a massive eight hours of playtime.

One for the kids, the new JBL JRPOP is an ultra-portable, light-up Bluetooth speaker that you can dress up with stickers and take on adventures, even to the pool or the beach thanks to the IPX7 waterproof rating.



The Harman Kardon Allure Portable is a smart looking “smart speaker” that delivers rich audio, powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant for a truly hands-free experience. Alexa can answer questions, play music and control a smart home thanks to far-field voice recognition. Use it to stream music via Wi-Fi, or from your mobile device using Bluetooth.

The Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 5 is a stylish, portable Bluetooth speaker with an elegant and distinctive design, featuring a signature round silhouette, and an integrated aluminium handle. With dual streaming capability, you can connect two devices to the premium Onyx Studio 5 at once, or even two of the speakers at once.



Today’s sleek flat panel televisions demand an audio solution that not only complements their stylish good looks but also faithfully reproduces the detailed high resolution audio from today’s movie soundtracks.

The KEF HTF8003 soundbar is a perfect partner and creates a combination of incredible audio performance and stylish good looks.

Delivering on the promise of KEF’s legendary sound quality and rock solid sonic imaging, the KEF HTF8003 soundbar produces the home theatre’s front soundstage (left, centre, and right) from a single aluminium enclosure with performance that rivals three discrete loudspeakers.



More than a year in the making, House of Marley’s new flagship Exodus over-ear cans are top-of-the-line headphones with a mega 30-hour battery life, the longest for House of Marley headphones to date.

Exodus is fully recharged in as little as two hours using the included USB-C cable. Bluetooth 5.0 and Bluetooth LE are used to achieve a combination of low power consumption and high audio quality.

Designed and engineered with 50mm hi-definition drivers, the Exodus is crafted from sustainable FSC certified wood, stainless steel, recyclable aluminium and natural leather and features premium comfort memory foam ear cushions for maximum comfort during extended playtime.

Also in the mix are a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and voice command activation, along with remote control of volume and playback when your device is out of reach.

A resilient, braided aux cable is also included.



Bowers & Wilkins has introduced a new premium line of powered wireless loudspeakers, called Formation.

Formation systems is compatible with Spotify, Roon, Airplay and Bluetooth and comprises five components.

Formation Audio, the central component of the Suite, includes proprietary technology for perfect in-room speaker synchronisation and an “industry-defining, completely immersive soundstage experience”, uses a patented robust mesh network developed to run independently from the home Wi-Fi network.

Delivering 96/24 Bit resolution streaming with (claiming “twice the fidelity than the leading wireless speaker brand”), Fomation Audio is quickly and easily set up and allows you to turn a passive hi-fi system into part of a whole home wireless music system and stream content to any Formation speaker from an analogue device.

The four other components are:

  • A TV soundbar called Formation Bar.
  • Formation Wedge, a single-chassis stereo speaker for smaller rooms.
  • Formation Bass, a small barrel-shaped woofer that sits on its side.
  • Formation Duo, a pair of stand-mount speakers with Bowers & Wilkins’ signature “bullet” tweeter module.


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