2015 CES Best of Innovation Honorees in Consumer Audio Announced

November 26 2014, 07:00
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced its 2015 International CES Best of Innovation Honorees. The CES Innovation Awards honor outstanding design and engineering advancements across 28 consumer electronics product categories.

“These innovative products provide greater flexibility and ease of use – key trends to be highlighted at the 2015 CES. This was a record-breaking year for entries; we saw a 14 percent increase in the number of products and innovations entered in the 2015 CES Best of Innovation program. Honorees this year represent the diverse range of consumer technologies and highlight the intersection of artistic, user-friendly design and innovative engineering that capture the hearts and meet the needs of consumers worldwide,” says Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA.

The Best of Innovation designation is awarded to products with the highest judges’ scores, and will be featured in the Innovation Awards Showcase at CES Tech West in The Venetian at the 2015 CES. Owned and produced by CEA, the 2015 CES, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, runs January 6-9, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CES Innovation Awards entries are judged by a preeminent panel of independent designers and engineers. The judges base their votes on overall engineering qualities related to technical specifications and materials, aesthetics and design qualities; the product’s intended use and function; its unique features and how the design and innovation of the product compares to others in the marketplace.

The 20 Best of Innovation Honorees will be displayed at the 2015 CES during show hours in the Innovation Awards Showcase, at the Sands, Level 2, Booth # 75545 and in the Grand Lobby of the LVCC, in Tech East.

The Best of Innovation Honorees in Audio categories for 2015 are:

BRAGI - The Dash
Bragi’s The Dash are described as “the world’s first completely wireless smart headphones offering freedom of movement, maximum comfort and amazing sound – all while audibly coaching, tracking movement and capturing key biometric data.” The market launch is planned for Q1 2015. 
Bragi was founded in 2013. Almost 16.000 supporters worldwide have pledged more than US$ 3.3 million on Kickstarter in support of The Dash concept. This makes The Dash still the most successful European crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter ever. 

High Performance Home Audio/Video
Alfred & Partners - Estelon Extreme

Alfred & Partners’ newly launched Estelon Extreme speakers are described by the company as “the next step in speaker design evolution. It’s monumental sculpture like design, standing up to 2 meters high, is capable of reproducing the highest quality soundscapes while the speaker itself completely disappears as the source of the sound. Therefore, replacing their presence with that of the venue in which the original recording was made.”
Besides the use of a crushed marble based composite, the most noticeable innovation is the speaker’s two modules. On the Estelon Extreme, user can remotely change the height of the upper module and get rid of unwanted reflections from the walls and ceiling that affect the sound quality.
According to Alfred Vassilkov, founder and designer of Estelon speakers, “This award confirms that I have really learned something during my 30 years of experience and I am happy to apply my knowledge to our products that provide the listener with unforgettable and “extreme” experience.”

Home Audio/Video Components and Accessories
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. - Elite SC-89

The Pioneer Elite SC-89 9.2-channel A/V receiver incorporates new Dolby Atmos technology with the ability to decode/playback Dolby Atmos immersive content, Class D3 amplification technology, and MCACC Pro acoustic calibration system.

Home Theater Speakers
Gibson Brands Inc. - Philips Fidelio B5 Wireless surround soundbar speaker
www.woox.com (WOOX Innovations is a Gibson Brands company and a brand licensee of Royal Philips)

In 2014, Philips received a “Best of CES Award” with the Fidelio wireless surround system and the Philips Fidelio B5 wireless surround sound speaker is also nominated this year.
Now already distributed by Gibson (Philips sold WOOX Innovations, its Audio, Video, Multimedia and Accessories business, to Gibson in April 2014), the Fidelio B5 wireless surround soundbar is described as “the perfect solution for those looking for a stylish and authentic cinema experience at home.” A major new innovation in the Philips Fidelio range, the soundbar and its two wireless detachable speakers can also be used as independent Bluetooth speakers. The battery can last up to 5 hours for music and even up to 10 hours in movie mode with just one full charge.
Thanks to its advanced calibration algorithm, the user doesn’t need to worry about the positioning of the detachable speakers. The soundbar uses audiophile-grade 3-inch full range drivers and premium soft dome tweeters, designed for Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II support. Thanks to the inclusion of proprietary wireless audio technology, there isn’t any risk of network interference between the wireless detachable speakers
The main bar also includes Bluetooth aptX and AAC for high-fidelity streaming, as well as NFC for pairing.
Available in Europe for EUR 799.

Portable Media Players and Accessories
Axxess CE -  Air2 Speaker

The speakers are described as “the first ever of it’s kind, the floating Bluetooth speaker levitates over its base and punches out very acoustic yet powerful sound. Patent Pending.”
(no more information is available before the CES 2015)

Best Of Innovations: Eco-Design And Sustainable Technologies
AudioQuest - NightHawk

NightHawk is described as “a semi-open, over-ear headphone which represents a huge leap in high-end headphone design & engineering, featuring several patented inventions, mind-bending eco-friendly materials and performance that bests even the most pricey flagships.”

Other product categories

3D Printing 
Fuel3D Inc.
Fuel3D Scanner

Computer Accessories
ZUtA Labs
ZUtA Pocket Printer

Computer Peripherals
Swiftpoint Inc.
Swiftpoint GT

Digital Imaging
Sony a7S Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

Embedded Technologies
Amaryllo International B.V.
iCam HD Pro

Fitness, Sports and Biotech
adidas Smart Ball

Home Appliances
Zalman USA Inc.
Multi-function Air light (Z-Air)

Portable Power
Qualcomm Incorporated
Qualcomm® WiPower ™


Software and Mobile Apps
InfoMotion Sports Technologies
Powered by InfoMotion software suite.

Tablets, E-Readers and Mobile Computing
Dell Inc.
Venue 8 7000 Series
Wireless Handset Accessories
FŪZ Designs

Wireless Handset Accessories
iHealth Lab, Inc.
iHealth Align

Wireless Handsets
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
A full list of Best of Innovation and additional Honorees, including embargoed products, will be announced on Sunday, January 4, 2015. - Updates will be published here: cesweb.org/Awards/CES-Innovations-Awards.aspx
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