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Audio from here and there

There are multiple uses that are currently given to portable audio systems. This article will delve into these uses and the main launches that four leading companies in the industry have made in the field.

By: Héctor Gómez Pérez

Mobility and durability are two indispensable features when talking about portable audio systems. To illustrate it in a better way we will use the words of Juan Fernando Montoya, sales manager for South and Central America of Bosch Communications Systems and one of the guests for the realization of this article: "These are equipment that must endure life on the road, or as the Americans say 'live on road', and the trajinar of constant movement, many times in not very friendly conditions."

These characteristics make them ideal for work in industries dedicated to education, sports and recreation, auctions, government and military entities, churches, rental houses, among others.

To talk about the new releases in portable audio, advances and novelties in technological issues we have the collaboration of Merle Davis, director of customer service of AmpliVox Sound Systems; José Hernández, domestic and international sales for Anchor Audio; David Scheirman, vice president Tour Sound of JBL Professional, and the aforementioned Juan Fernando Montoya.

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Anchor Audio and its three premises

It is no secret to anyone that 2009 has been a year in which the economic crisis has been present as a background landscape in many industries, but even so the invited companies have participated in several specialized fairs to publicize their new products.

In the case of Anchor Audio, as commented by Hernández, the company has participated during this year that ends in exhibitions such as NAB 2009, in Las Vegas (USA). USA); InfoComm, in Orlando (USA). UU) and isE, held in the Netherlands and focused on the European market. The flagship products of this company were represented by Liberty – 7500 and the AN – 135 (equipment described in the comparative table).

For the guest, three premises are differentiating anchor audio laptops: Intelligibility, simplicity and functionality. "We have directed our efforts to improve the intelligibility of voice through two factors: the appropriate frequency response and the low distortions that allow for excellent voice sound. As for simplicity I can say that our systems are easy to use and do not require an audio specialist; the functionality is that they cater to the needs of each particular user," Hernandez said.

EV, the most active bosch

The most active brand in the Bosch Communications Systems group when it comes to portable audio is Electro Voice (EV). For 2009 the novelties were the order of the day with the line of Tour-X speakers, Q-ii amplifiers, DC processors and PL microphones, which according to Juan Fernando Montoya "are a complete range in the audio chain, designed especially for the portable audio market".

Regarding launches and participation of his company in industry fairs, the guest highlights some as important as NAMM in Anaheim, United States, for the American market and MusikaMesse, in Frankfurt, Germany, for the European market.

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Already in terms of the latest launches of EV, Montoya highlights as positive the fact that the investments destined for technology and research have resulted in the increase in the quality of the products and the reduction of the final sales prices, also counting as determining factors of this process the optimization of resources and the automation in production.

"An example of this can be the new components in the Tour-X speakers called SMX, which, using predictive analysis tools, managed to reduce distortion levels to points not reached before and still maintain the efficiency in sound pressure, which in turn generate savings to the user in the necessary amplification plants, "- Montoya explained.

As far as Latin America is concerned, the main consumer countries of Electro Voice portable audio products are Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay. According to the guest, these equipment have been designed for live audio and sound reinforcement solutions in which it is desired to have ease of transport, speed in the installation and controlled coverage with a sound pressure that exceeds the noise level.

AmpliVox and environmental care

For its part, AmpliVox Sound Systems made its main launches of portable audio systems in 2009 at InfoComm, United Stationers, WB Manson, DBL and WW Grainger. Its flagship products were represented by the Pinnacle multimedia lectern which is considered a green product, because it has been redesigned with recycled plastic material; it also has new and improved features.

It also launched the Portable AmpliPod system, a plastic cabinet with two Jensen speakers built in at a 180° angle for better coverage. It works with built-in rechargeable battery as well as an included AC cord.

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Previous models include 50-watt multimedia stereo amplifier, microphones and Jensen speakers.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the SW915 Digital Audio Travel Partner system (reviewed in the comparative table) of 250 watt, has CD and built-in UHF receiver. The remote control operates all functions, from changing frequencies to modulating the voice.

Next January AmpliVox has budgeted the launch of the portable wireless audio system for Ipod, operated by remote control and reference S720.

But what differentiates these products from their predecessors? Merle Davis explains it this way: "The Pinnacle series is made of recycled materials and according to green standards. All models support prolonged use and feature better sound; the SW915 has amperage of 250 watts, enough to reach large crowds."

Finally, this guest stressed that the current user of portable audio systems has great needs in terms of sound and requires equipment that provides the best performance regardless of where it requires amplification. Also look for products that are easy to use and have high reliability.

"Our products contain all-in-one and are ready for the user to use because they include amplifier, speakers and wireless microphone. Another thing that the user is looking for is excellent customer service and a company that supports them after the purchase, that's why we offer a six-year warranty on our equipment and a free customer service line attended by specialized personnel, "said Davis.

JBL: more performance and lower weight

This company chose for the 2009 launches the NAMM and Prolight+Sound exhibitions, an exhibition of sound and lighting professionals held in Germany. At this last fair, JBL Professional won for the fifth consecutive time the MIPA (International Music Press Award) for the EON 500 series in the portable sound category.

At the NAMM next January this company will launch the new generation of EON® portable auto speakers; the launch will include five models, including the EON500 and EON300 that feature portable capability, versatility and reliability.

Their new products seek to perform better while decreasing the overall weight of the system. "We seek to improve acoustic performance, including maximum SPL capabilities, better power management or higher bandwidth or combinations of both. Equally important is the idea of reducing the overall weight of individual speaker covers, without sacrificing audio performance or long-term reliability," said David Scheirman.

As commented by the guest, in terms of portable audio the regions that have shown growth in sales have been developing economies such as Latin America, India and China.

In closing, Scheirman said that "users want to have high sound quality and strong output capabilities, which is why they choose JBL products," adding that the reliability of long-term performance and a high resale value over time are factors that help the brand at the time of a sales decision.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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