Rockford Moves into Portable Audio

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In case you missed Rockford Fosgate’s 2010 product unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show, the company is venturing from its car audio roots and shipping two of its first audio products–a pair of audiophile ear buds called Punch Plugs and new mini DJ pro audio speakers.

Technically, Rockford offered a portable audio product in the past—it built a Milwaukee Power Tools JobSite radio.

But Rockford is getting more aggressive in expanding beyond the car. “We’re serious about the personal audio category, these aren’t some rebadged units like what some manufactures are dumping into the marketplace,” said Rockford president Bill Jackson of the Punch Plugs.

Two years in the making, the Punch Plugs include 15mm drivers with “big bass” sound.  At $99 they will be in stores in the next few weeks and are now at Amazon.com. The units also come with multiple plugs to suit different ear sizes.

When asked if more portable audio products are planned, senior marketing manager David Slepak said, “We do have a strategic plan in place for this category of products.”

The new DJ speakers are the model RFDJ1, a pair of 12-inch two-way passive speakers at $149 that are ruggedized for taking on the road.

Rockford Corporation, like much of the car audio industry, has seen fairly steady annual declines in sales.  It recently stopped selling through Best Buy. Rockford Corp.’s net loss for the three months ended September 30, 2009 was $0.5 million compared to a net loss of $0.9 million for the comparable period in 2008.

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