Guitar players know the name Gibson. In fact, many of us aspire to owning at least one of these magnificent instruments.
But did you know Gibson is actually the parent company of several home theater and personal audio solutions?
Fellow Techgage staffer Tom Roeder and I spent a good amount of time visiting with Gibson, where we were able to experience some of what was on display.
Perhaps most fun were a pair of Philips Fidelio home theater products. The Fidelio Compact Soundbar is a compact soundbar paired with a wireless subwoofer. Its ability to deliver 2.1 sound with excellent separation between the left and right channels was impressive, as was the subwoofer’s performance for such a small unit. The subwoofer is unlike most of its ilk with its compact dimensions, allowing the user to place it anywhere, even under a bed or sofa.
Just as cool was the Fidelio E6 wireless cinema speaker system. At first glance, you see only a pair of speakers and a soundbar. The party trick comes when you detach the top of each of the speaker units, which actually is a speaker that can be placed anywhere – preferably somewhere behind you – for 5.1 surround sound. It eliminates a couple of turn-offs of surround sound solutions: Wires, which are unsightly and require a lot of work to set up, and the fact that surround sound is practical really only for content that uses that audio configuration (movies).
The Fidelio E6, then, is a Swiss Army knife audio solution: Surround sound (wireless!) when you need it, and stereo for all other times.It should be noted that the satellite speakers are battery powered, will last up to 10 hours, and recharge when connected to the soundbar. It’s about as close to truly wireless as you can get.
At this point, the Fidelio E6 is Europe-only. The company does allow that it’s possible for it to reach North America, but when (or if) that actually happens, we weren’t told.
Another cool audio product we sampled was the Philips SHB9850NC/27 Wireless noise canceling headphones. Featuring two pairs of microphones (one pair for low frequency-canceling, another for mid- and high-frequency canceling), it did an excellent job of eliminating most of the noise from a live rock band playing about fifteen feet away. Another wow factor: You can control this thing’s functions by swiping the outside of the left speaker.
Gibson is actually the parent company of multiple audio solutions providers, including the new health-centric Trainer brand, which had a selection of in-ear headphones for the active tech nut, as well as the famous Onkyo name. Speaking of Onkyo, on display was the A800 headphones. Featuring 50mm drivers, it delivers a slice of audio heaven without making your wallet scream in protest. Gibson reps said the A800 should be available in Spring 2016; MSRP is $399.99.