CE Pros Reveal Favorite Brands

The 2012 CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis shows the custom installation industry returning to its audio roots and relying on the power of Apple’s popularity to drive system sales.


Anyone who has been a part of the custom installation industry over the past decade probably wouldn’t argue that video was king.

But a funny thing has happened over the past couple of years - custom professionals have returned to what made consumer electronics so popular in past decades: audio.

The biggest beneficiary of audio’s comeback may be the Equity Group of brands, which includes Bowers & Wilkins, Rotel and Classé. Overall, CE Pro 100 dealer feedback, which we use to base our CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis, reveals that installers are turning to high-performance audio brands to fill the revenue void that was once driven by dedicated home theater and whole-house A/V.

Those categories are closely tied to the once prosperous new-construction housing market, and with that market’s continuing struggles it’s no surprise that dealers have sought other opportunities.

Joining Equity’s brands in the capitalization category is Apple, which isn’t surprising either based on the versatility of the iPad and the overall dominance the Cupertino, Calif.-based company enjoys in the computer audio market. Another is, SnapAV, which seems like it not only broadens its market footprint every year, but also gains in acceptance every year with more installers.

CE Pro has expanded the amount of categories it covers from 38 in 2010, to 41 in 2011 and now 46 in 2012. Some of the new categories include A/V Sources, Headphones, LED Lighting, Alternative Energy, Remote Managed Services and Cooling Systems.

Click here for the CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis 2012.

In 2011 the list of “Other” brands or solutions featured a little more variety. This year CE Pro 100 dealers are reporting the use of Trufig wall plates, Generac and Kohler emergency power generators, Tandberg video conferencing solutions, Bay Audio invisible speakers and Total Protection Systems surge products.

  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

Speakers · Amplifiers · Security · News · Speakers · All Topics
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