LAS VEGAS--Panasonic takes to CES 2013 to announce an array of updates to its line of micro stereo systems, this year with an emphasis on streaming, though several of the products include a Lightning dock for fifth-generation iOS music players.
As users grow more comfortable with wireless audio standards like Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay, Panasonic banks on a new generation of devices that rely on a wireless connection to transmit music.
The company gives a full refresh to its HC home audio systems with the introduction of the SC-HC58, SC-HC38, and SC-HC28. The SC-HC28 relies on a Lightning dock and an external USB port for hard connectivity, while the SC-HC38 steps up with Bluetooth and the SC-HC58 offers AirPlay as an additional feature.
Dual passive radiators built into all three units carry heavy bass to the low end of the frequency spectrum, and Panasonic even includes wall-mounting brackets with the SC-HC38 and SC-HC58 models for extra design points.
The SC-NE1, SC-NE3, and SC-NE5 systems represent new territory for the NE (Network Era) line of stereo systems. The company claims the "curved aero stream ports" on these systems do an improved job of routing airflow through the units, while simultaneously stopping "noise friction" from escaping.
The "networking" moniker applies to the SC-NE3 and SC-NE5 -- both give you the option to stream wireless music via DLNA, Bluetooth, or AirPlay in conjunction with the Panasonic Music Streaming app that acts as a hub to pair with your various devices.
All three NE series speakers feature a small Bamboo Cone Speaker that builds in a 3-inch stroke sub, paired with 1-inch tweeters for superior noise distribution.
Look for all six speakers on store shelves in March; unfortunately, the company remains tight-lipped on pricing.