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Utah companies catch mobile wave of sound at CES

Published January 9, 2013 8:37 pm

Tech • Several introducing lines of portable speakers for devices.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Music-on-the-go should be shared. At least that is what mobile manufacturers are thinking.

At the International CES electronics trade show this week, several Utah companies have introduced portable speakers for mobile devices to be part of this year's emerging trend.

Provo audio speaker company Braven is launching a lineup of mobile speakers at the annual show in Las Vegas, which ends Friday.

South Salt Lake-based ZAGG has announced a new portable speaker system called Origin.

ZAGG's effort is a 2-in-1 speaker system made up of two speakers, a larger unit and a smaller portable speaker than can click into the larger one. The company's mainstay products are screen protectors and skins for mobile devices.

The larger speaker in the Origin system is a desktop unit, but users can pull out the smaller portable speaker from the back to take on the go. The desktop speaker also can charge personal electronics and both can be connected to devices via wireless Bluetooth. The system will sell for $249 and be available sometime in the spring.

"Portable speakers are very popular right now, and the Origin combines that portability with the great, room-filling sound of a desktop unit for the first time," Derek Smith, executive vice president of sales for ZAGG Inc., said in a statement.

Braven has announced three new speakers. The 850 ($299) is less than a foot long but is four times larger than the company's flagship speaker, the Six Series. It also has wireless connectivity through Bluetooth and can recharge iPods and iPads. It is available now.

The BRV-1 ($169) is for outdoor enthusiasts. Its lightweight but rugged construction is water- and shock-resistant. The palm-sized speaker will be available in February.

The 570 is the company's new low-cost speaker. It delivers performance similar to the Six Series but costs $119. It also allows users to recharge mobile devices and comes in black and white. It is available now.

Braven is one of more than 35 Utah companies showing off new products and services at this year's trade show, the largest such event for the technology industry.

West Valley City-based CoverPlay is a new company that also is entering the portable-speaker category with a book-sized flat-panel speaker for mobile electronics. The device, which should be available in April for around $100, is a speaker that can be connected to devices via Bluetooth.

vince@sltrib.com

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