Macworld/iWorld 2014

Rick Kernenblog

For the first time, Vanatoo participated in the Macworld/iWorld show in March 2014.  While we have presented the Transparent One powered speakers at a number of audiophile shows in the past like Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and THE Show, this was the first time we attended a show that didn’t have audio as its main focus.  You might wonder how we justified spending our time and money going to a show that is more about the latest Apple iPhone app or a high capacity solid state drive for the MacBook Pro than is about reproducing quality audio.  Well the answer is pretty simple.  Virtually everyone today with an iPhone or MacBook has music on it that they love.  And the Transparent Ones will connect to any of the Apple products seamlessly with one simple cable.  So it stands to reason that the people attending the Macworld show would be interested in hearing their music on an easy to connect, quality set of speakers.

In fact during the course of the show we found this to be very true.  To demonstrate the Transparent Ones we connected an iPod Touch directly to the T1’s analog input.  While the vast Macworld show venue was not typical of the listening room in which we normally demonstrate the speakers, a few opening bars of Dave Matthews “The Best of What’s Around” was all it took to acquire most people’s attention.  We also demonstrated how the T1s work seamlessly with the Apple Airport Express to make a great wireless speaker using Airplay technology.  What surprised us was how many people at the show were more interested in the Transparent One Bluetooth solution than the Airplay solution.  It seems more and more people are shedding the notion that Bluetooth is an inferior means of streaming music and accepting that its “good enough” audio quality is a fair tradeoff for its simplicity.  But that’s a subject matter for another blog.

We were also fortunate to be able to meet Chris Breen of MacWorld magazine face to face for the first time.  Chris holds the honor of being the first professional reviewer to review the T1s back in August 2012 in the online version of MacWorld.  We enjoyed our brief time with Chris at the show.

Gary Gesellchen, Chris Breen, Rick Kernen

During the show, Chris steered Chuck Joiner of MacVoices our way to do an interview about the Vanatoo Transparent Ones.  Literally seconds before we started the interview a band on the stage just a few yards away began their first set of the day.  It was hard enough to hear Chuck over the band let alone to put together meaningful answers to his questions.  But we got through it.  Check it out to get a quick overview of the Transparent Ones.

All in all the show was a positive experience for us.  We got to demonstrate the Transparent One speakers to a whole new group of people.  All those that stopped to listen were pretty impressed with the amount of music and the great bass the T1s could produce for the size.  Will we go back next year?  It’s too early to tell, but we’re certainly happy with this year’s results.