HiVi Swans 2.8A
LAS VEGAS--You can see all kinds of wacky products walking around the show floor at CES 2013, but audio products tend to get the weirdest. I spotted these HiVi Swans 2.8A speakers almost as soon as I hit the show floor.
These funky-looking speakers stood out to me in the Microlab booth. The company has actually been selling a similar model on Amazon, but it's getting built-in Bluetooth for 2013. The plastic enclosures don't exactly scream high-end, but I like the style -- they look like they should be in the lounge in "2001: A Space Odyssey."
HiVi F10 HT
These HiVi F10 HT look they've been transported from the past. The details on the cabinet are beautiful, but you'll need a huge room to fit these monster-size speakers.
Panasonic's jumbo minisystem
Panasonic showed off this giant, illuminated minisystem in the company's booth. A placard says its for Latin America only, so don't expect this to show up in U.S. stores
Samsung's otherwordly, tubeified HTIB
Home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems generally aren't the most exciting products, but Samsung's has a distinctive look, plus its receiver features visible, glowing vacuum tubes.
Nyne's SMC-1000 'Smart Media Center'
Nyne's SMC-1000 feels like a throwback to old stereo consoles with speakers built right into the cabinetry. The bottom two panels house the speakers, while the top two open up to store your home video devices. It's packed with features (four HDMI inputs, AirPlay, Bluetooth, Lightning dock), but it will set you back between $2,000 and $3,000 when it comes out later this year.
HiVi Swans T1000HT
I couldn't stop snapping photos of HiVi's gorgeous speakers. These Swans T1000HT have a unique V-shaped look from the front and the finish looks great.
Philips HTL9100: Detachable, battery-powered rear speakers
Sound bars generally mean you need to give up true surround sound, but Philips's HTL9100 wants you to have it both ways. The ends of the sound bar detach, letting you place them in the back of your room as rear speakers.
HMDX Jam Classic
Yes, it looks like a jar of jam, but it's actually a Bluetooth speaker. While the Jam Classic actually came out in 2012, HMDX is releasing a larger model, dubbed the Jam Classic Plus in the spring for $60.
Samsung's sound bar with tubes
Samsung's obsession with tubes started with last year's CES darling, the DA-E750, and now the company is adding vacuum tube amplifiers to sound bars. The Samsung HW-F750 is dubbed the "world's first sound bar with a vacuum tube amp." The tubes are mostly for visual effect (I don't think it really improves sound quality), and I don't think it looks quite as good in the plasticky HW-F750 as it did in the DA-E750.
Sony's geometric sound bar
Sony isn't officially announcing its home audio products until the spring, but I spotted this hexagonally shaped sound bar in the company's booth.
Sony's Bluetooth Boombox
Most of the Bluetooth speakers at CES 2013 are compact, but Sony's Bluetooth Boombox is throwback to the larger minisystems that used to be more popular. In addition to Bluetooth, it packs NFC pairing and a digital AM/FM tuner.
The ion Clipster
The ion Clipster has a unique carabiner design, clipping onto your belt loop (or whatever) and pumping out sounds in every direction.
Sony's ball-shaped SRS-BTV5 portable Bluetooth speakers comes in multiple colors and cost $69.
Teenage Engineering's OD-11 Cloud Speaker
Teenage Engineering's newly announced OD-11 actually borrows its design from Swedish audio engineer Stig Carlsson, whose original OD-11 in 1974 featured the same angled tweeter and woofer that directs sound out the the top of the speaker, rather than a more traditional front-facing design. The idea is to throw the sound into a room, without a defined sweet spot that standard positioning creates.