By Wares February 23, 2016 Home entertainment

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

First impressions are lasting impressions

Trendy Sydney gallery Muse was the venue chosen for a select few to experience Sennheiser’s new AU$75,000-ish headphones. Without false modesty, Sennheiser (www.sennheiser.co.nz) is calling its HE 1060/HEV 1060 “the world’s finest headphones” so the choice of venue was important, as was the way the product was introduced to the chosen movers & shakers. One by one, guests were taken into a private room for a personal listening session.


Assuring the UHD experience

In January, the UHD Alliance (www.uhdalliance.org), the inter-industry group charged with fostering and promoting the benefits of Ultra HD entertainment technology, unveiled a consumer-facing logo to identify devices, content and services capable of delivering the correct experience to an exploding Ultra HD market that is expected to grow eightfold by 2019. The ULTRA HD PREMIUM logo is reserved for products and services that comply with performance metrics and makes recommendations for immersive audio and other features.


Wireless, multi-room speakers not peaking yet

Industry pundits at ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) say the wireless and multi-room speaker market will continue to grow globally for the next five years, with an 11.5% CAGR from 2015 to 2020 when it will surpass 90 million unit shipped. ABI also puts it that Chromecast Audio and Google Cast for audio, with their low-cost approach to taking streaming to home entertainment devices, are showing the way forward and that the real opportunity is in the mass market, not the premium end of things.

Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphone

As well as revealing its latest ultra-aspirational product recently (see story above), for those whose aspirations don’t stretch to AU$75,000 or so, Sennheiser has also recently unveiled a new version of the HD 800 with improved mid and bass reproduction. The HD 800 S uses the proven transducer technology and ear cup design of the HD 800 but the sound image has been further optimised in the medium and low frequency range. Sennheiser has also added a symmetrical XLR4 cable and a premium matte-black finish for the ear cups of the new model.


 Sony VPL-VW5000ES 4K Home Theatre Projector

Sony’s new VPL‑VW5000ES laser light source projector is pitched as a “reference-quality” unit. The first projector designed specifically for home cinema use to feature 4K resolution powered by a laser light engine that provides 5,000 lumens of brightness, it is compatible with High Dynamic Range (HDR), emulates the new BT.2020 colour gamut (thus ensuring compatibility with upcoming home video formats), and covers the full DCI colour space. VPL-VW5000ES can be tilted as much as 30°, allowing for flexible installations and, with its newly developed liquid cooling system, ensures low noise operation. With its laser light source you get instant on and off, while the light engine delivers a long operational life and a linear decrease in brightness, so the colour shifts associated with traditional lamp wear are “not expected”. The unit ships with a standard powered lens with a zoom ratio from 1.27 to 2.73:1 and lens shift capability of +/- 80% vertical and +/- 31% horizontal.


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