CES 2015 – news highlights, product launches and more

What Hi-Fi? was once again on the ground in Las Vegas. From the main press conferences on Monday to reports from the showfloor in 'Tech East', where most of the big brands reside, and unrivalled coverage of 'Tech West', the specialist hi-fi area at The Venetian, we spent the week in search of the biggest stories for you.

For the first time, too, we hosted the CES International News Stage in conjunction with sister publication Stuff and had the chance to talk with some of the industry's leading figures. And if that was not enough for you, the Stars of CES - our pick of the best specialist AV products revealed at the show - have been revealed.

But for now, catch up with all the highlights so far below...

MORE: CES 2015 highlights: Best TVs

MORE: CES 2015 highlights: Best hi-fi, wireless speakers, portable audio

MORE: CES 2015 highlights: Best headphones

More CES 2015 news highlights

The show may have ended for another year, but that doesn't mean the news stopped making its way across the Atlantic. From the latest McIntosh Laboratory launch to a partnership between Onkyo and Iron Maiden (yep, that Iron Maiden), here are some more highlights:

McIntosh Laboratory took the wraps off the new D150 digital preamp/DAC (above), which will set you back a mere £3495 and comes complete with high-resolution audio support. It's due to go on sale in the UK later this month.

Heavy metal legends Iron Maiden has teamed up with Onkyo to launch a new range of headphones; the latest in a long line of music/manufacturing crossovers. Firm details, however, are still a little thin on the ground.

Audio-Technica was at CES 2015 to show off its new MSR7 headphones, but there was also the first look at the AT-PHA100 – its high-resolution portable headphone amp that can decode high-res files in DSD and PCM.

PonoMusic generated plenty of headlines since its Kickstarter campaign success, and it's now been confirmed the download store element of the ecosystem has gone live in the US. Not just that, but the company is working with Harman on an in-car system.

There were plenty of wireless speakers and tablets on show at CES 2015, but how about something that pairs the two devices together. The Zettaly Avy is a Bluetooth speaker that comes complete with an Android 5.0 interface.

And there was also the chance to have a chat with Tidal's Pal Bratelund, who revealed that the new lossless streaming service is working with Meridian Audio to bring the MQA file format to the service later this year.

CES 2015 Day 5: Stars of CES

The announcement of our Stars of CES 2015 was the stand-out highlight from another busy day at the show in Las Vegas, with the What Hi-Fi? team picking out our top 10 audio and video products to have caught the eye during our visit to the Venetian Hotel. And what a veritable selection it proved to be!

From a $48,000 integrated amplifier to a pair of headphones built from "liquid wood", innovation remains a buzz word of CES and we've seen plenty of it this year. We even named a new music format as one of our Stars of CES, such is the impact we expect it to have on our digital experiences during 2015.

Away from the International News Stage, however, was the unveiling of Philips' eye-catching NC1L battery-free noise-cancelling headphones that draw power from iOS devices through their Lightning connector and putting them into a part of the market that isn't exactly heavily populated at the moment.

House of Marley had a number of new launches to share with us - including some aptX Bluetooth in-ears - and there was also a look at the D'Agostino MLife integrated amplifier, which builds on the company's Momentum amp with the addition of wireless streaming capabilities - tapping very much in the audio zeitgeist.

MORE: CES 2015: Day 5 highlights

CES 2015 Day 4

After the first three action-packed days of CES 2015, there was no slowing down on the fourth day with more news and product launches to capture the attention of visitors to the Las Vegas showfloor. And leading the way are the first couple of exclusive videos from our International News Stage.

We sat down with HDTracks CEO David Chesky to talk about the high-res music service, how it started and its plans for the future, before discussing what the latest tech trends mean for the TV industry - from the resurgence of OLED, the introduction of SUHD and the emphasis on 4K Ultra HD TV.

On the showfloor, highlights included the launch of Arcam's next-gen Solo Movie home cinema in a box and the "world's first" wireless high-res player, which Sharp is planning to ship later this year. And there were the more unusual products, including Kube's Bluetooth speaker and cool box.

But we don't want to spill all the details from Day Four of CES 2015 here. Helpfully, our dedicated daily highlights page is on hand...

MORE: CES 2015: Day 4 highlights

CES 2015 Day 3

There was no resting after the frenzy that was day 2 of CES 2015. Day 3 saw a plethora of new products introduced.

Bang and Olufsen unveiled one of the more striking products we've seen at CES 2015 in the form of the BeoSound Moment music system. It's controlled via a detachable, double-sided wooden/aluminium controller. One side features a touchscreen with a coloured "mood wheel" while the other, wooden side has one-touch access to your music.

B&O also announced the flagship H8 noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones, a 75in version of its BeoVision Avant 4K TV and an upgraded version of the A9 circular wireless speaker.

Chord Electronics was at CES 2015 to launch its new Hugo TT desktop DAC/headphone amp. Coming a year after it unveiled the award-winning Hugo, the Hugo TT features improved connectivity and performance. It also benefits from a remote control, alphanumeric LED display and an asynchronous USB-B digital input.

The third big launch of the day came from Musaic. The British hi-fi start-up unveiled a new multi-room music system that also comes with smart home features. While it's not the first multi-room system to stream high-resolution audio, it is the first to integrate with smart lighting and home automation hubs and apps.

We also managed to get a hands-on with two of LG's new releases: the G Flex 2 smartphone and webOS 2.0 operating system

MORE: CES 2015: Day 3 highlights

CES 2015 Day 2: Press Day

Day 2 of CES traditionally sees the big tech companies unveil their new ranges for the year, and this year it was no different. Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sharp to name but a few all held their press conferences.

MORE: CES 2015 highlights: Day 2

Sony announced new 4K and Full HD TV ranges, including what it says is the world's slimmest 4K TV. At just 4.9mm at its slimmest point, Sony certainly has a strong case for the title. Elsewhere, the Japanese company unveiled the successor to its high-resolution Walkman, the NWZ-ZX2. This time around an SD card slot has been added, as well as DSD support.

Not to be outdone, LG unveiled a seven-strong range of 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs. The ranges comprise a mixture of curved and flat screens, as well as a flexible screen that can go from curved to flat with the push of a button.

Finally, Panasonic revealed a four-strong range of 4K TVs, which this year are powered by the Firefox OS. A new 4K prototype Blu-ray player was also announced, which is said to be HDR (High Dynamic Range)- compatible. Two other 4K Blu-ray players were also announced.

For all the other major hi-fi and home cinema news from Day 2 of CES 2015, head to our Day 2 highlights page.

CES 2015 Day 1

CES Unveiled is the main event of the first day and this year we've seen new TVs, headphones, and amplifier released amongst many other products.

Seiki unveiled a range of Freeview Connect TVs while Marshall and Parrot both announced new pairs of headphones. Creek Audio gave us a glimpse of its new Evolution 100A integrated amplifier while its sister company Epos unveiled the K3 floorstanding speakers.

Finally, US audio manufacturer Parasound introduced its new Halo stereo amp while offering a revised version of its Zdac. A range of Z Series components were also unveiled.

MORE: CES 2015 Day 1 highlights

CES Unveiled

Marshall Major II headphones revealed

The much-loved maker of guitar amps is back with a fresh pair of stylish headphones, promising better build, design and sound quality.

Parrot Zik Sport are "the world's smartest headphones"

Philippe Starck and Parrot have teamed-up again, this time on a tech-packed, app-backed, pair of in-ear sports headphones.

Seiki to launch first Freeview Connect TVs

Seiki showed off its first Freeview Connect TVs, coming to the UK to offer live and on-demand content to internet-connected TVs.

See all the CES Unveiled 2015 news

CES 2015 early news

TVs tend to make the most headlines at CES, and for CES 2015 we've already had confirmation we'll be getting a first look at LG Quantum Dot 4K TVs plus the second-generation webOS smart TVs.

Samsung meanwhile will be showing off smart TVs powered by its own OS, Tizen.

LG is also expected to show off its G Flex 2 smartphone, sporting a curved, bendable build, plus its new Music Flow wireless multi-room speakers.

In the hi-fi world, first out of the blocks came the new ATC SCM40A active speakers, which will be officially launched at CES, as will a new Halo stereo amp and Zdac from Parasound.

Wharfedale also confirmed it will be giving its official US launch to its Diamond 200 speakers at CES, showing them off as part of a complete home cinema system.

The TAD-CE1 speakers will be making their debut in Las Vegas, too, while BenQ will be hoping people are drawn to its corner of the show by the new treVolo electrostatic wireless speaker. Yes, that's an electrostatic wireless speaker from BenQ.

Meanwhile Balanced Audio Technology will be celebrating the company's 20th anniversary with the launch of a pair of new preamps and power amps, the VK-23SE and VK-43SE, and the VK-225 and VK-225SE.

We'll be sure to get a good look at the Astell & Kern AK500N desktop audio player, the first desktop system from the portable high-res music specialists.

And there'll be a new Evolution 100A stereo amp from British hi-fi specialist Creek Audio, along with the new K3 floorstanding speakers from sister company Epos.

CES 2015: LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony


LG has already picked-up 11 CES 2015 innovation awards, and while these gongs tend not to be given much significance, we're happy to see the 77in curved flexible 4K OLED TV on the list. That's what we call a cutting-edge TV.

Fresh 4K Ultra HD and OLED TVs were promised by for launch at CES 2015, and LG certainly delivered. Seven new ranges of OLED TVs were announced, all of which can support 4K Ultra HD. There'll be a mixture of curved and flat-screen designs, as well as a flexible display that can go from curved to flat at the push of a button.

Five of the seven ranges will also benefit from a multi-channel ULTRA surround system, developed alongside Harman Kardon.

All of the new OLED TVs will run LG's webOS 2.0 operating system.

Smartphones look likely, predictably, to have an increasingly prominent role at CES. Big smartphone launches are often given their own individual launch events or saved for Mobile World Congress (MWC) a few months later, but CES 2015 rumours suggested we could see the LG G Flex 2 revealed.

And those rumour rung true. The G Flex 2 was announced and marks a complete overhaul of its predecessor. LG has brought the screen size down from 6in to a more manageable 5.5, bumped the resolution up to 1080p from 720p and included the very latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset. The G Flex 2 is the first smartphone officially announced to come with this processor.

The self-healing rear-panel tech we saw on the original is back, but this time has been improved to 'heal' scratches in just 10 seconds, compared to 3 minutes.

There will no doubt be the usual raft of AV products, with our eyes looking forward to seeing the new LG Music Flow products that the company has already confirmed will be on show in Vegas.

Samsung at CES

Samsung will once again be attempting to make more noise than anyone at CES. A flexible 85in LED TV was the headline-grabber last year, alongside a fresh batch of 2014 TVs. A whole host of new AV products also included the company's first multi-room speaker range and the Galaxy Note PRO tablet.

Boo-Keun Yoon, Samsung Electronics' president and CEO, consumer electronics, will be giving a CES 2015 keynote on Monday 5th January, while the Samsung press conference will be at 2pm (PST) on Monday 5th January (probably without Michael Bay walking off stage).

After curved TVs and bendable TVs, we're struggling to think of the next big twist for TV tech, but we're sure the company will try. A first look at the new LED and Quantum Dot TVs should be a given, though.

MORE: The future of TV: 4K, 8K, OLED and more

Sony at CES

CES 2014 saw Sony release three new 4K TV ranges and five new full HD TV series, and also reveal details of its collaboration with Netflix to bring 4K content to its televisions. There were also new Blu-ray players, soundbars and soundbases, the Xperia Z1 Compact phone and the NWZ-ZX1 Walkman.

CES 2015 saw upgraded and improved versions of the majority of these. New 4K TVs, a new high-resolution Walkman and new Blu-ray players.

Overall there were 12 new ranges of TVs announced comprising 4K UHD and Full HD models. Six models of 4K TVs; 12 TVs in total, were announced. Included in this was the X90C, which Sony is claiming to be the "world's slimmest 4K TV", at just 4.9mm, we'd agree.

Sony's new X1 processor makes an appearance in all 4K sets which claims to deliver Sony's best-ever picture. High-resolution made its TV debut as well, featuring in the X94C and X93C high-end sets.

Six ranges of Full HD TVs comprising a total of 16 TVs were announced, with screen sizes ranging from 32in to 75in.

Android is the operating system of choice for many of the Bravia HD and 4K TVs in 2015, allowing users to gain access to Google's Play store of apps, movies and games. Voice control can be used with the Touchpad remote thanks to a built-in mic and as it runs on Google's software, the TVs are Google Cast ready.

The NWZ-ZX2 high-resolution Walkman was also unveiled. Due to go on sale in Feb 2015 for £950 it now brings support for SD cards alongside DSD audio files. The ZX2 will also support the new LDAC Bluetooth codec. This claims to be "three times" more efficient that previous Bluetooth technology.

Moving on to Blu-ray players, Sony announced three new models. The back-to-basics S5100, mid-level S4500 which adds 3D and DLNA support and high-end S5500 which benefits from Screen Mirroring and Sony's advanced super wi-fi technology.

Surprisingly, there was no mention of an Xperia Z4 smartphone. Perhaps Sony is planning a separate launch event or waiting for MWC in February.

Might we also hear more about the PlayStation 4 at CES? Sony tends to save PS news to dedicated events but it's a possibility. PlayStation TV has had a relatively soft launch in the US and UK, so more on that, and how it can integrate with your home system, might be a decent bet.

Panasonic at CES

Panasonic revealed its 14-model strong 2014 TV range at last year's show and we'd expect them to do the same thing in 2015.

No plasmas, sadly (that would be a headline-grabber), we expect to see plenty of LCD/LED televisions, soundbars and even headphones, if last year was anything to go by.

2015 was a more low-key affair for Panasonic, unveiling four ranges of 4K TVs and three 4K Blu-ray players including a 'prototype' model that will be HDR (High Dynamic Range)-compatible.

Nine TVs make up the four-strong range of TVs and all of them will feature Panasonic's Life+Screen smart TV functionality, which is powered by the Firefox OS.

Alongside the prototype Blu-ray player will be the DMP-BDT270 and DMP-BD93. Pricing and availability of all players has yet to be confirmed.

Panasonic did announce that is has joined the newly-formed UHD Alliance. The Alliance has been formed to set an indutry-wide standard for 4K and higher resolution video.

Other members of the Alliance include Samsung, Sony, LG, Sharp, Dolby, Technicolor, Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros, Netflix and DirectTV.

The company doesn't seem interested in developing its dabbles in the smartphone and tablet market, but you never know.

MORE: Best TVs of CES 2014

CES 2015: hi-fi

There's plenty of specialist two-channel gear at CES, as our annual Stars of CES awards testify, with a good chance for us to get up close and personal with some smaller US hi-fi companies (who are more often than not showing off 'big is better' amps and speakers).

Last year's winners included plenty of new kit from UK companies, from the Naim Statement to the Chord Hugo, the Monitor Audio Airstream A100 to the McIntosh MXA70.

Streaming products will no doubt feature prominently once more, with lossless streaming services and high-resolution download stores now on the market.

All-in-one systems will rub shoulders with dedicated amps and sources, while we expect no small number of hi-fi and wireless speakers.

Headphones might just be the most plentiful product type at the whole show, so we'll be looking out for news from the likes of AKG, Grado and Sennheiser, with no doubt plenty of focus on wireless tech.

The popularity of tablets may have stalled but the likes of Intel, Lenovo and Microsoft will be making plenty of noise regardless, while expect any portable technology gap to be filled by wearables, with smartwatches likely to be a part of the plans of large and small companies alike.

Rumours abound that we'll hear about high-resolution streaming services at CES 2015 - yep, not lossless CD-quality but high-res - while we'd hope for more news about 4K Blu-ray discs, which are promised to become a reality in 2015.

In-car tech should be a big story, too, with the likes of Audi and Ford set to have a considerable presence at the show, Apple Carplay now being a reality and in-car streaming developing apace.

Smart home technology also has its own show space for the first time with smart thermostat companies such as Nest expecting to rub shoulders with wireless multi-room speaker companies (no longer just Sonos) and of course tech overlords Apple, the company's HomeKit being a key part in iOS 8 and aiming to turn your iPhone in to the ultimate smart home remote control.

We'll be updating this page with all the latest news that matters over the next week.

You can also follow live updates, pictures and breaking news on our various social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram, and look out for plenty of video content on our YouTube channel.

MORE: 5 tech trend predictions for CES 2015

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).