Sony is claiming a “unique co-operation between manufacturer and retailer” as it announces a new line of home audio products to be sold exclusively in Best Buy stores throughout the US.
Products in the ALTUS range will include iPod docking stations, wireless PC audio systems, plug and play speakers and Blu-ray disc players.
Apparently, Best Buy customers are a special breed, which is why it took two years of collaboration to come up with the brand.
The ALT-SA31iR is a premium multi-room iPod dock with wireless speakers and analog radio, which has the ability to transmit audio to S-AIR compatible receivers. ($700)
The AIR-SW10Ti is a simpler iPod dock with two built-in speakers and a wireless subwoofer. ($400)
The ALT-SA32PC ($500) is also a multi-room audio package featuring an S-AIR transmitter that connects to a PC via USB and two wireless speakers, while the ALT-A33PC ($200) allows streaming of music from PC to whichever audio device the S-AIR receiver is connected to.
These systems can be expanded with ALT-SA34R plug and play wireless speakers that work with any S-AIR system simply by plugging them into a power outlet. Both around $350.
Finally, the BDV-E500W is a Blu-ray home cinema system with 5.1-channel audio output, wireless speakers, BD-Live functionality and full HD audio decoding. $800.
Why do we need another range and another name from Sony, with a partnership with Best Buy, even though the products will also be available online and at “other selected retailers”? Only Sony has the answer to that.
Available over the next couple of months.