Words: Anne Schauffer | Images: Shutterstock
According to Warren Husband, Homemation, “South Africa is very close behind the trends set by international (tech) companies. Typically, products and solutions are available within weeks of international launch.”
Karl Wagner, Audio Excellence in Umhlanga, concurs, “Our industry is very current. The world has become truly global with no country dominating.”
Wireless distributed music
Having your music available throughout the home is still one of the most sought-after home entertainment solutions.
“It allows for any music signal source, be it a CD player, phone, music streaming service or FM radio, to transmit wirelessly from one room to several, all controllable by a smart device. Our preferred all-encompassing product for this is Yamaha Music Cast,” explains Karl.
“Companies like HEOS by Denon can add this feature to the home without cutting into ceilings or running cables across walls to add speakers throughout. It still offers all the features and abilities of a centralised system which is typically installed at the time of a new-build or renovation,” says Warren.
“Not a physical product, but one which gives access to huge music libraries. For a nominal monthly subscription, most music can stream into your home or be stored on a portable device for offline playback,” says Karl.
Adds Warren, “Whether it’s movies, series or music, our improved internet infrastructure and high-bandwidth internet has opened up a whole new way to enjoy our favourites. Gone are the days of looking through old CD or DVD boxes only to find out the disc is missing… Deezer, Tidal and Spotify for the audio enthusiasts and Netflix, Showmax and even DStv are offering their content over the internet, so you never miss a beat when it comes to seeing or hearing your favourites.”
“Not a new technology, but one which proves that ultimately we are human and, like a book, some things are better if they’re tangible,” says Karl. “For a physical connection to the music which matters to us, nothing beats an LP for its artwork, linear notes and authentic sound. Turntables range from modest to state of the art, utilising modern materials and engineering techniques. For music nirvana, we love ClearAudio from Germany.”
Today’s home-movie experience can vary from a very ordinary soundbar to a truly immersive cinema. As Karl explains, “It’s expanded from sound playing only in one plane – front to back – to coming at us from a 360º field with overhead speakers. Dolby Atmos and DTSX can position a sound accurately within a room. Quality home theatres do require the services of a specialty AV integrator like Audio Excellence.”
Warren says portable entertainment technology is a fast-growing segment of the market which introduces high-quality audio and video experiences to a younger generation, or those who might not be purchasing larger home-installed solutions. “For those on the move, who want to take their favourite entertainment experiences with them, there are multiple solutions – headphones in all shapes and sizes for your gym session or travelling (with active noise cancelling for planes, trains and buses), or even for high-quality audio when at home, but without disturbing other family members. Portable speakers are also being reinvented making them water-resistant, so you can bring your favourite music to the pool or beach without worrying the device might not survive the trip.”