It's time for IFA 2019, the 95th year of the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin convention. From Friday 6th to Wednesday 11th September, the Messe Berlin will open its doors to brands from all over the world for a sublime showcase of all the latest and greatest consumer electronics products.
We're talking 1814 exhibitors occupying 161,200 square meters (about 23 football pitches) of show floor space, from 8K TVs and wireless headphones to smart home and autonomous car tech.
So what can we expect from IFA 2019? Allow us to make some predictions...
IFA 2019: when and where?
IFA takes place at Messegelände Berlin ExpoCenter City, an exhibition space in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf precinct of Berlin, Germany.
Thursday 5th September is exclusively for the media and is when all the press conferences take place and the majority of the biggest news announcements drop.
The show opens to the public on Friday 6th September, running right through until Wednesday 11th. The show is open 10am to 6pm (CET) daily.
IFA 2019: pre-show news, what to expect
After a 28-year hiatus, Braun is back in the hi-fi sphere with a reinvention of its 1959 speaker range known as LE – and they're going to debuted at IFA.
MORE: Braun Audio is back, reworked 1959 LE speakers incoming
There's always plenty of brand spanking newness from Harman brands JBL and Harman Kardon at IFA – and this year won't likely be any different. "We will be further refining and expanding our portfolio of personalised, smart products and solutions," says Harman.
Harman IFA press conference: Thursday 6th September, 2pm CET
Last year LG showed off a 88in 8K OLED and giant 173in MicroLED display, and this year we expect more eyebrow-raising TVs and, it's as teased in the company's 'save the date' invitation, a foldable, triple-screen smartphone! The Korean brand often announces any product launches in the run up to the show, so we'll be keeping an eye on its global newsroom in the days prior.
LG IFA press conference: Friday 6th September, time TBC
What's Panasonic doing at IFA? If we were Panasonic, we'd be resting from last year's seemingly-all-year-round 100th birthday celebrations. As yet, we don't know what, if anything, Panasonic will launch, but there are bound to be the company's latest 4K TVs (including the "great" TX-50GX800B) on show.
IFA 2018 debuted the first collaboration between Philips and B&W, a "multi-year exclusive partnership" that was announced just a month prior. The 55OLED903 OLED TV with an integrated B&W soundbar has recently been joined by a new 8804 Series of LCD models with B&W audio. Will there be further additions to the collaborative line-up? All will be revealed on the Thursday.
Philips IFA press conference: Thursday 5th September, time TBC
Always sure to make one of the biggest splashes at any trade show, we expect IFA 2019 will be no different for Samsung. Last year it was 8K QLED TVs and 8K AI upscaling, and with Samsung backing 8K even more strongly this year, we'd expect more big-screen, high-resolution screens at the company's stand in Berlin.
Samsung IFA press conference TBC
Not surprising since it's been demo-ing 8K longer than any other brand at IFA, Sharp is set to reiterate its ‘change the world with 8K and AIoT (Artificial intelligence of things)’ vision. Expect both TV and audio launches.
Sharp IFA press conference: Thursday 5th September, 4pm CET
Sonos is using IFA to host, in its words, the company's "biggest event of the year". The company is holding press events on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th, which could mean two new products – although even one would be exciting enough! We aren't sure what Sonos will launch, but the accompanying invite graphic of someone sitting inside in a chair looking out of the window suggests it might be a portable something-or-other.
Sony has sent a 'save the date' for its press conference but has traditionally kept tight-lipped on what it will announce. The company launched the Award-winning WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones last year, so will we see an update? There could be a new high-end Walkman – it is the music player's 40th anniversary after all – and a long-awaited successor to its multi-Award-winnning STR-DN1080. One thing's for sure, the show will provide people an opportunity to see the recently-launched WF-1000XM3 true wireless buds.
Sony IFA press conference: Thursday 5th September, 1pm CET
Anything new from Technics always attracts plenty of attention. Last year it was a new SACD player and amplifier, while previous years have of course seen the company's relaunched turntables take centre stage (in 2017 it was the SP-10R). This year? The company might be happy to show off its SL-1200/SL-1210 MK7.
We can expect a plethora of products from the Chinese manufacturer this year following its recent move into the audio world in the UK. Its 2018 European sales volume has surged by 43.1 per cent year-on-year, so we'd expect to see the brand double-down with more new products at IFA 2019...
TCL IFA press conference: Thursday 5th September, time 2:30pm CET
Toshiba will launch a whole new range of home entertainment products, one, or maybe several, of which will be a TV. We don't know any other details at this stage, but we can expect a series of budget 4K sets as well as a more premium OLED.
IFA 2018 highlights
It only feels like last month we were at last year's IFA eyeing up 8K TVs, rolling the B&O Edge speaker and getting excited about the-just-announced and now Award-winning Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, but time flies in the technology industry.
8K TVs very much hogged the IFA 2018 limelight, with the remaining rays left to shine on all-new smart speakers, headphones by the likes of Sony, AKG and Beyerdynamic, a Technics streamer and a Philips and B&W TV collaboration – all of which you can read all about in our 9 of the best new products from IFA 2018 article.