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Panasonic's home audio extravaganza at CES 2010


Panasonic blew right through a ton of new products during its CES keynote, and it's keeping up an equally frantic pace with the rest of the official business, with it pushing out no less than a half dozen press release that just cover its home audio-related offerings. Those include the SC-HC20, SC-HC30 and SC-HC40 iPod / iPhone speaker systems, the SC-SP100 compact iPod speaker system (pictured above), a trio Blu-ray home theater system that include various speaker options, the slimline SC-HTB1 soundbar with a built-in subwoofer, and the SC-ZT2 wireless audio system that Panasonic proudly boasts is the "first fully wireless home theater audio system made for Full HD 3D" -- oh, and a new pair of noise-canceling headphones too. Head on past the break for a rundown of the key vitals, and hit up the gallery below for a look at the whole lot.

Gallery: Panasonic's Home Audio extravaganza at CES 2010 | 15 Photos

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Sonic Performance and Comfort for Home or Travel

LAS VEGAS, NV (January 6, 2010) –Panasonic today announced the debut of its new RP-HC700 Noise Canceling Headphones, which reduce outside noise by 92% (22dB at 200HZ), making them ideal for creating a quieter environment. They are designed to filter out background noise by generating a signal of the opposite phase to effectively cancel it. Additionally, the headphones reduce low frequencies such as the drone of a plane's engine or a loud air conditioning unit. The noise-canceling feature can also be switched off to allow the user to converse or to reduce background noise by virtue of the headphone's comfortable insulated housing. When the noise canceling effect is off, the headphones can still be used as normal headphones.

"Whether used to block out sound while on an aircraft or to create a tranquil environment so you can enjoy your music, these new headphones are up to the challenge," said Tom Hantson, Panasonic's national product manager.

These comfortable headphones feature large, 40mm drivers with Neodymium rare-earth magnets for pure, natural sound reproduction and a well-rounded response that keeps the bass pumping without overwhelming the music. The ultra thin diaphragm is made from natural fiber bio-cellulose which has the sound velocity advantages of both aluminum and titanium, along with the warm, delicate sound that a paper diaphragm provides. Trebles are sparking clear, and bass notes are deep and rich.

Boasting ergo-design earpads made of soft, high-grade synthetic leather, the RP-HC700 headphones provide long listening comfort. Thanks to their swivel mechanism they conveniently fold for compact storage and come with a protective carrying case, making them ideal for travel. They operate on one AAA Alkaline battery and have a frequency response of 8Hz – 22kHz.

The RP-HC700 noise canceling headphones will be available in April 2010, with a suggested retail price of $199.99.



LAS VEGAS, NV (January 6, 2010) – Panasonic today announced the launch of its first fully wireless home theater audio system made for Full HD 3D. The new SC-ZT2 can transmit Full HD 3D signals from the Full HD 3D Blu-ray DiscTM Player to the Full HD 3D TV, without the need for speaker cables. With the SC-ZT2, home theater enthusiasts, including those with 3D theater systems, can do away with speaker cables and arrange speakers throughout the room without worrying about tripping hazards or unsightly cables crossing the floor.

The SC-ZT2 is compatible with Audio Return Channel (ARC), which allows receiving audio signal from the TV through a single HDMI cable. This new feature simplifies the set-up by eliminating the need for a separate optical audio connection. It also supports 3D images and Full HD video.

Panasonic's advanced proprietary virtual technology lets users enjoy Dolby® TrueHD and DTS™-HD 7.1-channel surround sound with only two speakers. Each speaker houses four one-inch tweeters. These tweeters are vertically aligned and emit sounds parallel to the floor enabling one to listen from anywhere in the room, regardless of lying down or sitting on a sofa. Also with the ultra-slim pole design for minimal unwanted sound reflections, the SC-ZT2 delivers crisp, clear sounds directly to the listeners.

The speakers also boast an integrated long-stroke woofer, with a diameter of approximately five inches, which generates sounds from the low-frequency range to deep bass that is typically produced by subwoofers. It uses a Down-Fire structure which uses the floor as an acoustical reflector to produce dynamic bass sounds that are extremely robust for the size of the speakers. With woofers in both speaker stands, listeners experience rich bass sounds from the front, back, left and right sides of the system.

Elegant and space-saving, the Panasonic SC-ZT2 wireless audio system includes two ultra slim pole speakers and a wireless receiver. It is an ideal complement to a flat-panel TV and Blu-ray player. The SC-ZT2 will be available in June 2010.



LAS VEGAS, NV (January 6, 2010) – Panasonic today introduced the new SC-SP100, an ultra compact, high-quality 2.1-channel audio system that plays music from an iPod* while also charging the iPod battery. Its unique design is compatible with the iPod and iPhone. Boasting a sleek, compact design, the SC-SP100 fits easily into a small area, such as a desktop, and is ideal for use in rooms with limited space. It employs advanced proprietary audio technologies to deliver maximum iPod listening enjoyment.

With its integrated subwoofer and Dual Passive Radiator, the SC-SP100 delivers robust bass and generates low-frequency sounds. A special Down-Firing structure disperses the sound facing downward, resulting in dynamic bass sounds belying its compact chassis.

Music data can be transferred from a computer to a docked iPod or iPhone by simply connecting the SC-SP100 with a USB cable. There is no need to remove the iPod or iPhone from the dock. With these and other convenience features, the SC-SP100 makes it easy to enjoy high-fidelity music from an iPod, making it ideal for home, dorm or office settings.

Features of the SC-SP100 include:
• Total output power: 20W (RMS)
• Integrated Universal Dock for iPod (Works with iPhone)
• PC Synchronization with iPhone / iPod (USB Mini Type B)
• Analog Audio Input: Music Port
• Bass/Surround
• Down Firing Structure
• Speaker: 1.5-inch Cone Full Range x2
• Integrated Subwoofer: 2.5-inch Cone Woofer, Dual Passive Radiators

The Panasonic SC-SP100 will be available in January 2010.

* "Made for iPod" means that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards.
"Works with iPhone" means that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPhone and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards.
Apple is not responsible for the operation of this device or its compliance with safety and regulatory standards.
iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.



LAS VEGAS, NV (January 6, 2010) – Panasonic today introduced its first audio theater system, the new SC-HTB1, designed as a slim single bar-type speaker system with integrated subwoofer for rich, low-noise bass. The SC-HTB1 fits neatly in front of the TV and offers enhanced sound quality as an easy-to-install, stylish alternative to a speaker sound system or the sound system built into a television.

With the SC-HTB1, dialogue becomes crisp, clear and easy to understand. This is made possible by Clear-Mode Dialogue, which makes the sound seem like it is coming from the center of the TV display. With more precise linking of the picture and the sound, the result is clean sound for dialogue voices on video and vocals on music.

The SC-HTB1 gives a rich sound experience that belies its sleek and compact silhouette. With the Advanced Bamboo Cone Speakers, the sound becomes much more responsive with vocals, and the dialogue becomes crisp and easy to understand. The integrated subwoofer delivers rich bass sound with minimal noise by canceling unwanted vibration with two speaker units reversely facing each other.

Connection and installation of the SC-HTB1could not be easier, thanks to its compatibility with ARC (Audio Return Channel). Simply place it in front of the TV and connect it to the TV with just one HDMI cable.



LAS VEGAS, NV (January 6, 2010) – Panasonic today announced the introduction of the SC-HC20, SC-HC30 and SC-HC40, sleek compact stereo systems that play music from both CDs and iPods. Designed to meet the needs of iPod* users who want to enjoy their favorite songs with high quality sound at home, the HC series employs advanced proprietary audio technology to deliver an exceptionally pure, clear sound that rivals the quality of larger hi-fi systems and brings out the best in any musical genre.

A dedicated iPod dock allows quick, easy connection of an iPod without the need for a cable. The remote control can be used to select music stored in the iPod. Music on the iPod can also be used for the wake-up timer. More than just an iPod and CD player, the SC-HC40, HC30, and HC20 are also equipped with an AM/FM tuner for listening to radio broadcasts.

The SC-HC40 also boasts advanced compatibility with iPod/iPhone Bluetooth functions. With the Hands Free function, a conversation on the iPhone can be conducted while docked to the SC-HC40. The listening possibility is further expanded by the HC40's ability to receive audio transmission and play wirelessly from iPod/iPhone or compatible mobile phones in one's hand.

The SC-HC40 and HC30 feature Panasonic's proprietary advanced Bamboo Cone Speakers and a Dual Passive Radiator. The advanced Bamboo Cone Speakers feature a rigid, lightweight bamboo cone material, resulting in exceptionally responsive sound. Vocals are pure and clear, and the dialogue crisp and easy to understand. A Dual Passive Radiator design cancels unwanted vibration, helping deliver a pure bass sound with minimal noise. The diaphragm of the passive radiator is weighted to achieve linear vibration, making it possible for these slim speaker units to produce a robust, full-bodied bass. Across the entire sonic range from pure, clear trebles to rich, dynamic bass, the SC-HC40 and HC30 deliver an audio performance that is almost unimaginable from systems of their size.

The SC-HC40, HC30, and HC20 are attractive in appearance and easy to use. The top two models are designed with a center sliding door, in a sleek glossy finish. The motorized door slides opens, allowing the user to insert a music CD or an iPod. The SC-HC20 also has a motorized door which slides open to insert a music CD, but it has an iPod dock which slides out from the bottom of the unit.

Thanks to its sleek, slim design, the SC-HC40, HC30 and HC20 can be set up in places where conventional stereo systems will not fit. The SC-HC40 and HC30 can also be placed on the wall with its wall-mountable design, which offers users greater flexibility in terms of room design.

The HC series will be available in April 2010.



True to Cinema Sound Quality and Picture Quality

LAS VEGAS, NV (January 6, 2010) –Panasonic today introduced Blu-ray home theater systems which employ advanced proprietary cinema surround to envelop viewers in a remarkably authentic home theater experience. Panasonic's True to Cinema sound and True to Cinema picture quality enable viewers to experience dynamic, clear sound and outstanding picture quality in the comfort of their home.

The top-of-the-line SC-BT730 delivers exceptional sound quality with Pure Direct Sound speakers for front speakers and advanced bamboo cone speakers for the center and front speakers. The slim-type speaker box reduces unwanted reflection from the baffle and brings out high quality pure direct sound. This system also boasts wireless rear speakers.

The SC-BT330 and SC-BT230 are equipped with advanced bamboo cone speakers for the center speaker, resulting in more responsive sounds and pure and clear vocals.

The SC-BT730 and SC-BT330 include a Kelton-type subwoofer which, due to its distinctive design, drives a powerful reverberating bass in spite of its small, compact size.

The new True To Cinema sound reproduces a realistic movie theater surround experience. By using a combination of real speakers and virtual speakers, the listener will be enveloped in smooth, natural surround sound. Especially effective in action scenes such as a car chase, this gives the feeling of sitting in the center of a movie theater.

To achieve the True to Cinema picture quality, each of these three models incorporates the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, developed at the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory. This high precision processing technology reproduces clear, vibrant colors that are extremely faithful to the original film.

Each of the models is equipped with a Universal Dock for iPod/iPhone*, making it easy for users to play their favorite music and video downloads.

Networking and connectivity capabilities abound with the new models through VIERA CASTTM , including new content from Netflix,TM as well as Amazon Video on Demand TM, YouTubeTM, PicasaTM, Bloomberg TVTM and Weather information. VIERA CAST compatibility lets users access online and easily view exciting content for increased entertainment experience. BD-Live** lets users enjoy bonus content available with Blu-ray DiscsTM and play games on the Internet. All of the theater systems are Wireless LAN ready, with a Wireless LAN*** adaptor plugged into the USB terminal, online content can be enjoyed wirelessly by accessing to a Wireless LAN** router. (Requires Broadband Internet Service)

For easy set-up and clutter-free layout, the SC-BT730 offers wireless rear speakers right out of the box. Simply connect the rear speakers to the included Wireless Receiver Unit, which receives radio wave transmission from the main unit. The SC-BT330 and SC-BT230 both offer rear wireless speaker capability with purchase of the optional SH-FX71 Wireless Kit for Rear Speakers.

- more -
Panasonic's new Blu-ray Disc™ Home Theater systems – SC-BT730, BT330 and BT230 bring thrilling, incredibly True to Cinema audio performance that rivals a movie theater and True to Cinema picture quality, plus enhanced networking functions to the comfort of one's home.

SC-HC20, SC-HC30 and SC-HC40
- Made for iPod sound systems that pack some nifty touches like motorized sliding door for the iPod dock, bamboo cone speakers, and some Bluetooth connectivity on the HC40.

SC-SP100 - Designed to fit in the tightest corners of your desk but still packing a "high-quality" 2.1 audio system, this one also doubles as an iPod dock, and can itself be connected to your computer to transfer music without undocking your iPod.

SC-BT730, SC-BT330 and SC-BT230 - A trio of Blu-ray home theater systems that promise "true to cinema sound quality" which, in at least some cases, comes courtesy of some bamboo cone speakers and/or a Kelton-type subwoofer -- and, yes, these each pack an iPod dock too.

SC-HTB1 - Slimline soundbar that promises to sound slightly better than most thanks to a built-in subwoofer and those same bamboo cone speakers. No iPod dock here.

SC-ZT2 - Panasonic's audio tie-in to the Blu-ray 3D bandwagon, this is apparently the first fully wireless home theater system that's "made for Full HD 3D," although it achieves that feat by ditching the rear speakers in favor of some virtual surround sound.

- Noise-canceling headphones that promise to reduce noise by 92%, at a cost of $199.99

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