CES (Consumer Electronic Show) is an event where the best audio/visual entertainment is displayed for insider consumer information. If you are a videophile or audiophile, this is the Mecca of home theater equipment as the show boasts the latest technology. Much of the technology has not yet launched but it provides excellent insight as to what is coming down the pipeline. Owning the best equipment in the neighborhood typically carries a heavy price tag. Most cannot afford the technology until demand for an item rises and the price decreases. Each of the following five technologies are the slickest in home entertainment and were shown at the CES 2016 show in January.
LG Signature OLED TVs
In addition to producing stunning images with the darkest blacks you have ever witnessed on a television set, the LG Signature OLED TV practically disappears when turning it sideways. Incredibly, LG has found a way to pack all of this power into a frame that only has a 3mm depth. This is hugely innovative and the thinness set commercially available. The color range and brightness of this model is significantly higher than previous OLED (organic light emitting diode) televisions from LG.
This year’s model also adds HDR (high dynamic range) which is a technology, typically found in cameras, that improves the colors and contrast of images to create a vivid picture. The HDR feature mixed with these other technologies allows LG to squeeze every ounce of clarity from the 4K images. Although the company has not yet released the price, it is certain to be expensive.
JBL Everest Speakers
Available for a whopping $90,000 per pair, the JBL Everest Speakers should go on every audiophile’s shopping list. These ultimate high-end speakers are available in a custom color finish to match the décor around your home entertainment center. Aptly named “Everest Speakers,” the components are gigantic, weighing hundreds of pounds and are physically enormous. Each speak weighs around 300 pounds and they are 43 x 38 x 18.25-inches. Cnet considers the JBL Everest Speakers to be the most ultra-high-end speakers on the market to-date.
Each speaker boasts a “Bi-Radial” horn driver with 1-inch beryllium diaphragm and neodymium magnet that produces an ultra-high frequency response above 50 KHz. Also within the speaker is a second compression horn drive that outputs the midrange frequencies. This horn utilizes a 4-inch beryllium diaphragm including a 4-inch aluminum edge-wound voice call. Additionally, every speaker boasts two 15-inch pulp cone Aquaplas coated sub-woofers for an unmatched booming bass.
Mark Levinson No. 519 Audio Player
The Mark Levinson No. 519 Audio Player is an ultra-high-end component that has the ability to play just about any type of music. From LP to CD and even high-resolution audio files, this is a one-of-a-kind technology that allows you to play the newest files and your old LP’s so they do need to go in the garbage. This audio player can also be integrated into your home theater so you have an all-in-one music player and entertainment center. The new No. 519 can handle digital playback, CD’s Bluetooth, network playback, DAC, streaming, digital volume control and will have a separate headphone amp.
On the back of the unit is AES/EBU, optical, USB and SPDIF inputs in addition to Ethernet jacks. The AES/EBU boasts balanced and unbalanced analog output options. The faceplate boasts a large color display with a TEAC custom modified CD player behind it. The CD player does not run at more than double speed to eliminate the whirring sound during startup. The component will be launch around July 2016 and carries a hefty price tag of $17,000. For the average consumer, this may not be the best option for your home entertainment center. For the audiophile, you will want to pick up the No. 519 Audio Player as soon as it is launched in the stores.
Samsung KS9500 SUHD TVs
Samsung and LG continue to battle out the claim that they take the crown for television picture superiority. In actuality, they approach this challenge two different ways with both succeeding. The latest new technology of “Super Ultra High Definition” television sets utilized Quantum Dot technology. This innovation enhances brightness while consuming less energy. The set also supports HDR technology for the most vivid picture imaginable. The Samsung KS9500 is an edge-lit television with a curved screen for improved viewing. For a little extra bling, Samsung decided to add chrome borders which are further echoed in the stand. On the back of the television, you will not find any screws or other hardware as they are hidden under the high-impact plastic casing that has been stamped with texture.
The result of this technology is a vibrant, stunning and intuitive picture on a sexy set that is considerably better than the 2015 models. At the moment, Samsung is not revealing the price of this powerhouse but high-end televisions never come with a cheap price tag. Therefore, for videophiles, their selection for top-end televisions will be based on brand loyalty between Samsung and LG.
Samsung 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player
Samsung’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player could take home entertainment equipment to the next level. Although there is limited production of 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray content, Samsung is working tirelessly with Hollywood to make it happen. This high-end Blu-Ray player was launched in March 2016 for a price of $399.99. In 2016, Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox have committed to delivering 100 4K UHD discs to get the technology moving along. Don’t worry, if you cannot afford the 4K UHD Blu-Ray player and compatible television, the companies will also be releasing those same high quality discs with DVDs and traditional Blu-Ray versions, especially for new blockbusters.
While most of these five technologies are unaffordable by the average consumer, if you do happen to hit the Powerball, this is exactly what you will have in your living room. These technologies are innovative, sexy and powerful but come with an accompanying price tag. However, if you integrated each of these components together into a massive home entertainment system, you would certainly put your neighbors to shame with the best and most innovative equipment available on the market today.