CES 2011: Cambridge SoundWorks Speakers

Other than a solar-powered offering from Regen, we haven’t seen a lot of focus put on developing speaker systems that use energy in innovative ways – less of it, in particular. But this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, with its usual eco tinge, came through: Cambridge SoundWorks showed up with a what it called a “breakthrough green hybrid speaker system technology.”

The company didn’t reveal much in the way of how the technology works, instead focusing on the result: “It allows speakers to run on USB power with a computer while delivering performance which was previously possible only with AC power, resulting in as much as a 10x increase in efficiency.”

green hybrid speaker system, Cambridge Soundworks

image via Cambridge SoundWorks

Cambridge said the technology is featured in its SoundWorks Hybrid 2.0 system, which comes loaded with all the acronym-laden, trademarked features audio companies seem to love, including THX TruStudio Pro and BasXPort. The latter delivers enhanced bass and low frequency response without the need for a subwoofer, the company said.

“We are ushering in the era of the green speaker with this groundbreaking announcement,” said Craig McHugh, president and chief operating officer of Creative Labs, Cambridge SoundWorks’ parent. There was no word from the company on how soon the new system would be available.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.