nht chris byrne
US speaker company decides to take a break to rethink its future

California-based loudspeaker company NHT is supending business from the end of next month while the owners reassess how to proceed with business in the future.

Co-founder Chris Byrne (right) says that the company isn't bankrupt, but that "this difficult economy provided the right opportunity for the change in strategy we felt has been necessary for some time."

In an email sent to members of the US consumer electronics industry, Byrne says that "It's time to turn down the lights: NHT is going quiet.

"Over the next 60 days, we're going to sell the remaining professional and consumer inventory through our existing dealers and distributors, pay our bills, and then spend time rethinking the future of NHT."

It's thought that the end of March will see what Byrne calls "the last day of 'regular' business, at least for now." But he added that "We intend to offer customer service and repair services for both in and out of warranty, available ongoing."

More after the break

NHT has had a slightly rocky history. It was founded in the mid-80s by Byrne and designer Ken Kantor, and in 1990 was bought by International Jensen, which itself was subsequently bought by Recoton.

By 2002 Recoton was facing liquidation, and sold off NHT to Rockford, which  in turn sold it to Vinci Labs in 2005.

NHT founder Byrne was part of a group that bought the company back early last year. He says the current move is "all about the realities of the world and how consumer attitudes are changing, and how we as a brand and an industry can best respond to the need for real invention.

"We're anxious to get moving. When we do, it will be in the right direction."