IFA 2016 - Show Report
IFA 2016 - Show Report
IFA 2016 - Show Report
Show Report: Intro

The numbers rarely lie and in this case are in agreement with the overall feel: The organizers have every reason to be satisfied with this year's IFA, which appeared to be greater in volume terms and more complete in market coverage than ever, although its significance for the audiovisual systems sector, in particular, could raise some serious debate.
For those who follow closely the Audio/Video field, it is rather clear that the European show is in decline compared with the CES, an event that seems to give the pace each year. While a few years ago the interest was equally divided (especially when the IFA was a two-year event), the reality looks different today, with important announcements to be made at the beginning of the year, and "Berlin" mainly an event to present already announced (and probably well known) products to European consumers. There are some exceptions to this trend, obviously, but these are just this: exceptions.
On the other hand, the wide range of trends, technologies and products the IFA covers and the swiftness with which each year's show responds to the current technological reality is indeed admirable. Telecommunications, the Cloud, the IoT, smart home appliances of all kinds, online services, and a large number of new and exciting trends from developments in drones and wearables to some bold virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality demos were well presented.

In terms of the hardcore Audio&Video market sector, as you may have understood from our intro, IFA will not remain in our memories as something special. Nevertheless, a fair assessment must recognize the arrival of a relative maturity in 4K/UHD technologies and the commitment of all major manufacturers in TV-sets with very high image quality (most of them on the high-end in terms of price, but we know from experience, that the relevant technologies will migrate -sooner or later- towards a lower price range). We are probably at a stage, after the initial hype, where some serious discussion on the various specifications and certification requirements takes place, to balance and rationalize the whole market.
For those interested in the audio market, there is some good news as it appears that the industry is, actually, mobilized in various ways. Some chose to engage in lifestyle choices (aka wireless speakers with some serious and quite inspired design), others aggressively approached the new developments in the home cinema/multichannel audio (Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, some serious stuff in soundbars) while others played, quite successfully we must say, the sound quality card, remembering the Hi-Fi ideals. Some of them, clearly adapted to what we might call the "current reality", giving an emphasis on headphones (both wired and wireless, often with active noise cancellation, etc.), media players and portable amplifiers, while others (including some very familiar names) inclined towards the standard "separates" market announcing some interesting products.
The photo gallery starts here.

Dimitris Stamatakos

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