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Emotiva Reverses Online Sales Trend by Going Brick-and-Mortar

In addition to the introduction of a new dealer network program, Emotiva has also announced to new compact DACs: the Big Ego and Little Ego.


In addition to its newly announced dealer program, Emotiva announced two new small footprint DACs. The $229 Big Ego (shown above) includes a USB input and the option of a Toslink output. The $169 Little Ego DAC incorporates a headphone/line output to provide users with an affordable way to listen to music stored on their computers.
Robert Archer · June 10, 2015

Back during the height of the recession, many electronics manufacturers walked away from their traditional methods of distribution by offering online, direct-to-consumer sales. Today, 2015 offers businesses a much different environment than that era.

Validating how dramatically different the business climate is, the Franklin, Tenn.-based direct-to-consumer electronics company Emotiva is rolling out a dealer initiative to offer its products through specialty retail and custom installation channels.

Dan Laufman, president of Emotiva Audio Corp., says its migration into brick-and-mortar stores follows the recent moves of companies such as SVS and Audio Engine, and mimics the distribution of popular brands including Bose and Oppo Digital. 

According to Laufman, the move into traditional distribution channels has been a long time in the making. In order to meet its growth plans, aligning with dealers provides the company a nice opportunity to meet its goals.

“We went into the business initially not being against dealers, we had OEM clients and they didn’t want us to go into dealers … Since we first established Emotiva 11 years ago, dealers have continually expressed interest in carrying the brand, but until now it would have been challenging to do so without raising our prices at retail,” says Laufman. “To expand we need to have a multi-tiered distribution policy.  We’ve already signed a few dealers, and are in discussions for overseas distribution.”

The Emotiva line is supported with traditional dealer programs that include margins, technical and sales support and other programs. Enabling the move into traditional sales channels, Laufman notes the timing between its operational efficiencies and its move to increase its U.S. manufacturing have made the company leaner and more efficient to enable it to work with dealers and provide the necessary margins without passing on any increased costs to consumers.

Now given the current state of the market, Laufman says Emotiva’s line of products can complement dealers’ other lines to provide them with more sales options.

“I think we occupy a unique place in a dealer’s line portfolio,” he says. “We offer a compelling combination of performance, build quality and retail price point. We are a truly affordable, high quality product line. We have a decade of experience showing our model is solid and growing and we’ve reset the price performance expectation in a lot of markets.

“Even if you are a retailer that sells expensive brands, you need to get your customers into the store with an entry price point that gives them a superior experience, and let them work their way up through their [the dealer’s] products.”

He adds that with the combination of performance, attractive price points and, the fact that the products are made in its Tennessee facilities, the Emotiva package should provide dealers and their clients a compelling choice of A/V solutions.

“At the time we established Emotiva, the only way to achieve a lower price point for top-shelve gear was to go direct. I am happy to say that we’ve come full circle due in no small part to our ability to manufacture some of our newer products right here at hour headquarters in Tennessee. By the end of the year over half of our revenue will be derived from American-made product, and we’ll do it without raising our prices,” emphasizes Laufman.  “We are really excited about this, we are offering something really unique to dealers. We have a compelling performance and value story to tell customers. We do everything in house in Nashville—we are a good partner for dealers.”

To learn more about the dealer network opportunities .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Emotiva Product News

In addition to its big dealer channel announcement, Emotiva also introduced its Big Ego and Little Ego USB digital-to-analog converters (DACs).

Designed to provide users with a choice of price friendly and small-footprint digital audio solutions, the DACs can be used with Macs and PCs to support the playback of high-resolution audio and streaming audio.

“An entire generation of music lovers have very little understanding of how full and rich music should really sound,” comments Laufman. “Earbuds and digital compression are useful tools, but they have drastically lowered the bar for audio. Big Ego and Little Ego are design to restore sonics to their full potential, returning detail, texture, harmonics and other highly desirable ‘analog’ characteristics to digital audio sources. It’s a very big step.”

The $229 Big Ego supports files up to 384kHz. It incorporates features such as a USB input and a choice of filtering options that include a Symmetrical filter, an Asymmetrical Low Damping Filter and an Asymmetrical High Damping Filter.

Emotiva adds the Big Ego also includes a low-impedance, direct-coupled headphone output that will drive most standard headphones. Moreover, the DAC incorporates a Toslink output that carries a S/PDIF digital signal to allow dealers to connect the DAC’s output to an A/V receiver, preamplifier/processor or another DAC.

The $169 Little Ego offers a headphone/line output and the same basic processing as the Big Ego.



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  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). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at robert.archer@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Home Theater · Speakers · Amplifiers · News · Emotiva · All Topics
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