The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) may be done and dusted for another year, but it's not too late to catch up on all the news and highlights from the show floor. All our news, hands-on reviews and features are on this very page.
CES 2020 marked the 50th year of the Consumer Electronics Show, and predictably TVs stole a lot of the spotlight, with 8K TVs from Samsung, Sony and TCL, an impressive-looking 4K OLED flagship from Panasonic, and new rollable and 48in LG OLEDs all giving us a glimpse of the sets that could be in our living rooms in a few months. The 8K push this year isn't surprising considering the Tokyo Olympics is set to be broadcast in 8K in the summer.
Car technology and audio also basked in the limelight, as did true wireless headphones from the likes of Technics. We even got confirmation of the Playstation5 logo ahead of the PS5 release date later this year.
Despite obvious trends emerging, thousands of brands showed a vast range of consumer electronics – from smart robots to high-end hi-fi – within the walls of the Las Vegas Convention Centre and several other venues across the city.
Below is everything audiovisual there is to catch up on from the show...
CES 2020 highlights
CES Day 4 news and features
CES Day 3 news and features
CES Day 2 news and features
CES Day 1 news and features
Pre-CES 2020 news
CES 2020: what to expect
Big (potential) news: we could soon have the successors to our favourite premium wireless noise-cancelling headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM3s. Sony has recently submitted a FCC filing for the 'Wireless Noise Canceling Stereo Headset WH1000XM4', which suggests newcomers are nigh. Sony often launches big products on big stages, so we wouldn't be surprised if they got a curtain reveal at CES.
OnePlus is set to launch a mystery handset in the form of the 'OnePlus Concept One', too. We aren't sure what the conceptual device will be, but we're expecting something special considering a) it ties in with the brand's sixth birthday, b) OnePlus is on a roll with good phones, and c) OnePlus' CES invite says 'alternate design, alternate future'.
Next week, the UHD Alliance will provide an update on its Filmmaker Mode, the TV picture mode that promises to deliver the director's vision – which could well mean we'll soon know the first TVs adopting it.
From an AV perspective, the focus for CES remains on televisions; the launch pad for that year’s forthcoming TVs and TV technologies. With the 8K TV revolution seeming determined to evolve past infancy, and the OLED vs QLED rivalry as intense as it’s ever been, we can expect plenty of cut-throat competitiveness on the showfloor.
CES 2020 will also be a progress playground for the TV industry’s next-gen, boundary-pushing concepts, such as modular MicroLED (as pushed by Samsung and Sony), Mini-LED (as brought to bear by TCL) and crazy conceptual OLED designs (as LG has been particularly keen to pursue).
Samsung has been less than forthcoming with its TV line-up at CES in recent years, instead using the show to announce and educate attendees on the technologies that are part and parcel of it instead. It’s likely that could be the case this year, but based on Samsung’s recent pursuits we’ll eat our copy of this magazine if the message isn’t firmly on its OLED-rivalling QLED TVs.
The Korean brand has been leading the 8K TV charge in the past 12 months, despite being a little pricey. The question on everyone’s lips: could 2020 be the year 8K TV becomes ‘affordable’? With the likes of LG, Sony, TCL, Hisense and Sharp also dipping their toes into the 8K pond and upping the competitive stakes, it’s certainly possible.
LG has already teased the debut of its 2020 8K TVs at CES 2020, dubbing them its 'Real 8K TVs'. As recently confirmed by the company, they will be the first to be industry-certified in accordance with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)'s 8K definition, and will sport the 8K UHD logo.
Panasonic has been notably absent from the 8K landscape, choosing instead to focus on its 4K OLED fare (and we can’t really blame it) – but will that still be the case next year? The company’s CES 2019 spotlight shone brightest over the turntable launches by its Technics brand, so we envisage a return to a focus on Panasonic TVs this time – if not on an 8K model, then on forthcoming 2020 4K flagships.
And after last year’s headline-grabbing (and highly Instagrammable) LG rollable OLED TV, should we prepare ourselves for more lifestyle artistry from the South Korean stalwart? Perhaps not, but, not least as the company produced our favourite TV of 2019, we’ll be preoccupied by the inevitable presence of its 2020 4K OLED TV line-up anyway.
Sony may, notoriously, be all about quantity at such shows, but if its previous CES launches, such as 2019’s PS-LX310BT turntable and XG95 4K TV, are anything to go by, it won’t be lacking in quality. If we were to bet our hard-earned cash on what would comprise Sony’s CES stand, our money would go on some next-gen TV technology and audio hardware compatible with the 360 Reality Audio object-based sound format it announced at CES 2019.
3D (audio) isn’t dead
3D TVs may have died a slow and painful death, but 3D audio is reluctant to be put to bed, having somewhat been jump-started this year – not only by Sony’s format (which can be optimally experienced through select Sony headphones and Amazon’s Echo Studio speaker) but also Dolby Atmos Music (supported by the growing number of Atmos-compatible products). The promise of both next-gen audio formats: a more immersive, surround sound listening experience with music.
CES 2020 could be the stage on which more studios and electronics brands publicly pledge their support for the formats. Perhaps we’ll even have a third format to contend with?
A new platter of turntables?
While CES isn’t quite the Holy Grail for hi-fi as it is for home cinema, there will no doubt be plenty of year-defining announcements. Last year’s biggest was undoubtedly the re-launch of the famous Technics SL-1200 DJ deck, which spearheaded what was a fantastic show for turntables, with Cambridge Audio, Sony and Audio Technica all vying for attention with new record spinners. More of the same for 2020? We wouldn’t bet against it.
True wireless headphones will no doubt be in our perpetual eyeline, too, as everyone muscles in on the truly wireless world. And we can predict that ‘Alexa’ and other voice assistants will be at the heart of the ever-present smart home innovations.
What we can guarantee, however, is our commitment to bringing you the latest news and first impressions straight from the CES showfloor. All will be revealed on whathifi.com from Monday 6th January, so let that be one of the first dates you ring in the 2020 calendar.