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Summit County Based Audio-Technica Envisions a Wireless Future at CES


  The Consumer Electronics Show is happening now in Las Vegas, and as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, one Northeast Ohio company is there promoting their vision of a wireless future.

Audio-Technica, based in Stow, has been known for making record needles, headphones and microphones for decades. This year, the company unveiled a turntable that can transmit its signal via Bluetooth. Spokeswoman Crystal Griffith is at CES in Las Vegas, and says the company introduced turntables several years ago, just before the recent vinyl boom.

“Maybe eight or nine years ago, we got into the turntable business. And this was more when USB was a big thing, and it really was just for digitizing your albums to mp3. And that was kind of when it was the rage to be doing that. That’s kind of started to fall out-of-favor lately.”

Griffith says USB-connectivity was a major factor for turntable sales for several years, but now customers want Bluetooth as well. She says sales have soared in recent years, a trend she says is driven by younger customers who are getting into vinyl for the first time.

In addition to the wireless turntable, Griffith says the company is also showing a line of Bluetooth headphones at CES.

“There are a couple companies out there with untethered headphones, which means it’s just one piece that fits in one ear and one piece that fits in the other ear and there’s no cords. So I really do think a truly cordless movement is on the horizon. And I really do think that that may be where things are headed.”

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.