Polk Audio shows off its 'Heritage' products in New York (pictures)
CNET goes hands-on with Polk's line show of headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and gaming accessories at an event in New York.
Polk Audio highlights its fall lineup in New York
Polk Audio held a press event in New York this afternoon to highlight its refreshed "Heritage" line of home and portable products. While many of the products were already announced, a few of them are new or finally coming to market.
The Camden Square ($299, available next week) is the newest addition to Polk's line. It's a neat spin on the familiar Bluetooth speaker category, featuring four top-firing drivers and two passive radiators. Most impressive may be the internal battery, which Polk claims can last up to 24 hours.
Polk's DJ Stream App (available for iOS) lets up to four smartphones connect via Bluetooth to the Camden Square and build a common playlist; up 128 phones can vote on songs in the queue, determining which gets played next.
While they've been on the market for a while, Polk also showed off its in-ear headphone line. The Nue Era headphones ($99) have a larger-than-usual external casing, available in both black and "tortoise" finishes.
The Nue Voe headphones ($199) feature an interesting "loop" design, with balanced armature drivers and three-button inline control, plus a built-in mic. These were the better-sounding of the two earbuds (as you'd expect from the price), delivering good bass response once properly sealed in your ear.
The Hinge is the little brother to the Buckle, with smaller earcups and an inline remote control. Otherwise they share a similar design; they both have a folding hinge and leather-bound aesthetics. Sound-wise, the Hinges was quite a bit bassier than the Buckle.
The first dedicated gaming sound bar for your television, the N1 sound bar comes with dedicated audio presets for specific games. As this is an Xbox One licensed product, the modes are labeled "Forza" and "Halo Warrior," with two modes for Cinema and Music. The N1 is available this fall in black on black and vanilla with contrasting wood for $299.95.
The 4 Shot for Xbox One ($159.95) and Melee for Xbox 360 ($199.95) both incorporate a spring steel headband and pivoting ear cups. Onboard is a retractable near-field microphone, which can be used for online chat or taking calls.
The 4 Shot includes a headset adapter that connects to your wireless Xbox One controller, with dedicated audio controls. Meanwhile the Melee comes with an onboard audio processor with the same configurable modes as the sound bar plus audio controls, and hence the higher price.
Debuting at CES, and getting a nod for our favorite tech of the show, the Woodbourne is finally hitting stores. It's a wireless speaker with Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay. It promises to fill a room with sound. Based on a demo, it sure can do that with a wider-than-the-box stereo imaging. It's available soon for $699.95.
The Woodbourne supports AirPlay, Bluetooth with AptX, USB, and 3.5mm and optical inputs. Designers at Polk said that though there is only Apple-explicit support at present, the hardware is potentially capable of Android and DLNA support in the future.
The rear of the bus is a fully decked out recording studio. The company is encouraging local bands to record a song onboard as part of a competition to play with Canadian band, and Polk partner, Walk Off The Earth.