Monster announces AAC-friendly Bluetooth adapter, slips news of Beatbox Portable

Noel Lee was on hand for Monster Cable’s CEDIA Expo announcements this morning and, in typical “Head Monster” fashion, led the unveiling of some of the new products that the company has in store for this year. 

After some initial chatter about some interesting new cloud-based software for Monster’s power control centers, the chat turned toward Monster’s relatively new ClarityHD Model 1 powered multi-media speakers. Though the speakers themselves aren’t new, some of the developments surrounding them are. 

First, Lee announced the addition of a bronze color option for the Model 1, apparently an attempt to appease those who aren’t into the fire-engine red and taxi-cab yellow finishes aimed toward younger listeners. The finish is attractive and should work well with a wider variety of decor. 

The real “meat” of the press announcements, however, was centered around Monster’s new Streamcast Bluetooth adapter. The cartridge (seen to the right) can be plugged into any of Monster’s speaker products to allow wireless streaming of audio from any Bluetooth-capable device at up to 30 feet away.

There’s a bonus for Apple device owners, though, and one that actually makes the adapter worth getting a little excited about: The adapter is outfitted with a decoder that can accept AAC audio from iPhones, iPads and iPods. This development holds the promise of significantly improving Bluetooth audio quality (read: not horrendous) and, having heard it in action, we are pleased to report that our initial impressions were very favorable. Conspicuously missing was that “cordless phone” sound we’ve gotten used to hearing from Bluetooth audio devices and the Model 1 speakers themselves sounded pretty impressive as well. 

As a side note, Lee did slip a bit during his presentation, indicating that one of the products Monster is holding onto for CES 2012 is a new “Beatbox Portable” product. That’s all we know for now, since the premature mentioning was noted and shut down immediately.

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