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With Funai, Philips Headphones (And Other Audio Products) Will Continue

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Last year, at CES 2012, Philips launched several outstanding headphones, and recently upped their game further with the Fidelio X1 (pictured), which is a headphone I really dig. At CES 2013, just a few weeks ago, they announced several other new, intriguing headphone models, in addition to many other cool audio products, including an innovative wireless surround sound bar, several very cool wireless speaker systems, and other portable audio gear. The Philips exhibit was easily one of my favorite stops at CES 2013.

 

The Philips Fidelio in one of my rigs at home. In this system, but not shown in the photo, the Philips Fidelio was being sourced and driven by the Fostex HP-A3 USB DAC / headphone amp (not shown).

The other day, it was announced that Funai is acquiring Philips' audio-visual consumer electronics business (also known as Philips' "Lifestyle Entertainment" business), with the stated aim of both companies to maintain the PHILIPS brand. There has been coverage in major media outlets about the acquisition (see the links at the bottom of this post for some examples); however, in my opinion, none of the stories have been entirely clear on what the acquisition means to the consumers, and what it means to existing product lines, for products recently announced, and for development of these types of products going forward.

 

After inquiring about the status of the current headphone (and audio) lines, as well as the new stuff I'd seen at CES, we were able to get a Q&A with Todd Richardson (Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for P&F) that helps clear things up:

 

Q: Once the agreement is in place, what will Philips role be with Funai?

A: Similar to our other licensing agreements with Philips, Funai will continue to work closely with a brand management team at Philips to ensure the Philips brand promise, values and design always are present in our products. As always, consumer satisfaction and their experience is a priority for us.
 
Q: Who will design the new products?
A: As part of the acquisition, we hope to retain the design staff located in Hong Kong. Together with Philips we will continue to bring new innovative designs to the market
 
Q: How will this agreement affect global marketing activities?
A: Our desire is to invest in the brand and expand our presence in retailers worldwide.  Hong Kong as a great team in place and we hope to retain as much talent as possible to help us achieve our goals.
 
Q: How does this announcement affect the products we saw at CES? 
A: As I mentioned, we hope this transition will be seamless and we can continue to work with the talented team Philips already has in place.  We do not foresee any disruption in our plans to bring new products to market, like the ones we showed at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.

 

Long story short, as I understand it, the consumers shouldn't notice anything's changed. There's a desire to keep the Philips team in place post-transition, and to keep making products under the Philips brand.

 

I think this is great news! Like I said in the Gift Guide, though we didn't talk much about Philips' headphones here in Head-Fi's first ten years, Philips really amped up their headphone game in the past year, and have more very cool headphone (and other audio) products coming down the pike.

 

post #2 of 20

That's a relief. I really want to see myself with a pair of X1s in the next couple years, but for now I don't need another mid-fi can. I'm glad I won't have to buy it off a starved used market.

post #3 of 20
So they get the team and everything and will still use Phillips name. But it will not be owned by Phillips.
post #4 of 20
But Funai is not a big company even in Japan...
Look forward to their action!!!!
post #5 of 20

I just hope quality don't suffer because of this. When something like this happen, the new owner always change things to what they think will be profitable, cutting corners, etc.

Maybe I should pick up a X1 before Funai take full control.

post #6 of 20

Well i have my X1 already :D

Loving them to death

post #7 of 20

Tbh, this is the first time I've heard of Funai :P

post #8 of 20

still remember my first on ears from philips. They were great! 

post #9 of 20

I so want the Philips line of HP's and IEM's to continue. Thanks for the great news Jude!!! beerchug.gif

post #10 of 20

As a proud owner of the Fidelio L1, this is good news indeed. 

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenchi211 View Post

As a proud owner of the Fidelio L1, this is good news indeed. 

Shameless recruiting incomming.

 

Hello, I see that you have an interest in anime. Well so do I.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/586040/official-asian-anime-manga-and-music-lounge

 

We have a thread. If you would ever like to converse about Love Hina. Feel free to drop by. wink_face.gif

post #12 of 20

I've been very intrigued by the L1 and X1 but haven't been able to demo them yet.  Maybe Funai will continue the trend and we'll see more great looking good sounding headphones. 

post #13 of 20

I am aware that - at least for the LCD / LED television market - Funai is the OEM for lower market brands like Slyvania, TCL, Emerson.  That doesn't mean that they can't make higher end stuff, but it just appears that their target is the lower mass market segment.  So, we'll have to see what happens. 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Shameless recruiting incoming.

 

rolleyes.gif biggrin.gif

post #15 of 20

Fidelio X1 looks like a $20 headphone...

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