In yet another twist in the long and winding saga of Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), it was announced late Friday that the company has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Sound United, the parent company of several audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics.
Sound United LLC, the parent company to brands such as Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Classé, and Boston Acoustics, announced on Tuesday that they have joined forces with Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), a leading trade consortium of custom integration dealers. This new partnership will expand availability of some of the top specialty audio brands throughout North America, thanks to HTSA’s extensive network of top dealers.
See more on this Sound United and HTSA partnership…[Read more…] about Sound United and HTSA Partner to Expand Market Availability of Top Audio Brands
As we hurtle headlong into the a new decade – the 2020s – it’s a good time to pause and take stock of some of the major events of our industry’s recent history by ranking the Top 10 Strata-gee stories of 2019 based on total page views. This ranking shows just what stories drew the most attention of Strata-gee’s eminently intelligent and inquisitive readers.
See which 2019 Strata-gee stories were tops with readers…[Read more…] about Reader’s Choice: The Top 10 Strata-gee Stories of 2019
The assimilation of the custom integration industry by the once-reviled, now embraced soundbar is almost complete. And on the advent of another CEDIA Expo, yet another round of announcements of new soundbar products came rolling out. While this fact is now an accepted reality, what is remarkable is that some of these new soundbars are from companies that no reasonable person would have predicted would enter the category just a few short years ago.
See some new soundbars being launched at CEDIA Expo 2019…[Read more…] about CEDIA 2019: Soundbars Here…Soundbars There…Soundbars Everywhere
We seem to be in a week of big deals. First, we learned that SnapAV had acquired Control4, then we learned that the original founder of Paradigm has acquired back the Paradigm, Anthem, and Martin Logan brands from the private equity company that had bought the company from him some time back. Now we learn that Sound United, owner of Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics has entered into an agreement with Onkyo Corp. to purchase Onkyo’s premier lineup of brands, including: Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite.
But does Sound United’s purchase of Onkyo make sense?…[Read more…] about Sound United to Acquire Onkyo’s Audio Division
On Friday last week, we learned that Sonos and D&M Holdings have settled their litigation, first begun in October 2014. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, all actions taken by each party are now moot.
It is likely that the parties now enjoy some form of licensing arrangement that put all adversarial issues behind them.
See more on what we know about the end of the Sonos and D&M patent war… [Read more…] about Sonos v. HEOS – War is Over, Peace Has Come
Sound United announced yesterday it had completed the acquisition of shuttered high-end brand Classé Audio from former owner Bowers & Wilkins. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The announcement confirms the deal of which Strata-gee reported last month when Sound United quietly entered negotiations to buy the brand.
See more on this news which breathes new life into Classé… [Read more…] about Classé Rises Again as Part of Sound United
Case May Have Major Impact on Wireless Speaker Business
As we recently reported, a federal jury gave Sonos a sweeping victory in the first “bellwether trial” in Sonos Inc. v. D&M Holdings Inc. et al, siding with Sonos on all counts and awarding them nearly $2 million in damages. Furthermore, the jury affirmed the validity of the three Sonos patents at issue, and disagreed with D&M’s assertion that the patents were not valid.
Strata-gee spoke with both sides of this case and, this decision notwithstanding, neither appears ready to back down, even as this is just the first of what will ultimately be three trials in the case – two where Sonos is the plaintiff, and a countersuit by D&M Holdings where they will be the plaintiff. Sonos won round one, but this is a multi-round fight.
Both Sonos and D&M Holdings talk to Strata-gee in wake of trial verdict… [Read more…] about Sonos to Seek Injunction to Stop HEOS Sales of ‘Infringing Technology’
Jury Finds for Sonos on All Counts; Denon Claims of Invalidity Vanquished
Last Friday, after a full week of testimony, evidence, deposition playbacks, and attorney posturing, members of the jury listened closely as Judge William C. Bryson delivered instructions designed to clarify their deliberative process and their duty as “finders of fact” in the matter of Sonos, Inc. v. D&M Holdings Inc. d/b/a/The D+M Group, D&M Holdings U.S. Inc., and Denon Electronics (USA), LLC. The judges verbal instructions took a while to relay, as the reality is that patent disputes can be quite complex and the issues of intellectual property quite nuanced yet important.
In written form, which the Judge provided the jury for their easy referral, his instructions ran a full 27-pages long. After considering it all, the jury came back with a finding in favor of Sonos on all counts – and delivered an award to Sonos of just under $2 million for damages.
See more on this conclusion to a three year litigation… [Read more…] about Verdict: ‘Denon Directly Infringed’ on Sonos Patents
Will High-End Classé Represent Sound United’s Crown Jewel?
Just when you thought it was all over, Strata-gee has learned that a new suitor – Vista, CA-based Sound United – has emerged to make a bid to acquire Classé Audio from current owner B&W Group. Classé was shut down by B&W on October 6th, as we reported at the time. However, because the company was still sitting on a relatively significant level of inventory – and was considering producing an additional small run of certain models to balance out their inventory to facilitate liquidation – B&W executives often maintained it was still in business.
When deals with three previously interested parties failed to come to fruition, B&W made the decision to close Classé’s Montreal headquarters, dismiss all Classé staff, and turned over service and support functions to B&W facilities.