Epsilon Electronics, maker of Soundstream head units, amplifiers and speakers, is launching a higher-end and protected version of the line called Soundstream Reserve. Its head units will be the first in a Tier 2 brand to offer iDatalink Maestro connectivity to car functions, it said.
Soundstream Reserve will also include both CarPlay and Android Auto.
Unlike current Soundstream products, the line will focus on direct dealer distribution and a Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy.
The shift is part of a company-wide effort to counter Internet discounting, said Epsilon Vice President of Sales & Marketing Ronnie Brashear. “There is a significant change and different attitude on how we’re going to market,” he said.
The standard Soundstream brand remains in the Epsilon family, although the company expects to make some changes to that line possibly next year.
Epsilon also changed distribution on its Precision Power line this year.
“We have dropped distributors with Precision Power. We will have distribution for both Soundstream Reserve and PPI ,but it will be very select distributors, three or four tops to cover the whole US,” said Brashear.
“With PPI I just stopped selling it altogether; would not ship a box since November 1 and we just started shipping again on Monday [last week]. It cleared the channel out and we took a $3/4 million hit because the Internet had degraded the pricing so badly that our dealers couldn’t make any money,” he stated.
The new Soundstream Reserve products will include a large-screened model with a 10.6-inch swivel display. The line is expected to ship in April offering both CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM capability and iDatalink Maestro capability, which allows the user to retain many features from the factory car audio system when swapping out the radio. Soundstream Reserve, which is sourced from Korea, will run initially from $299 to $249 MAP.
Soundstream Reserve will also encompass amplifiers and speakers including Class D full range amplifiers and woofers with 3-inch voice coils.
Brashear added, “We are in the process of hiring a company to track serial numbers and handle the online catalogue. We’ll use an outside source. That way, when the hard job of cutting off an account occurs, it occurs from an outside source, so sales has no say in what happens. I’m dead serious.”
Epsilon also announced the addition of Eric Wilson as a regional sales representative based in Atlanta. Wilson comes from the gun industry where he was managing partner of a rep firm. Prior to that he was at Audiovox.
Epsilon will exhibit at upcoming KnowledgeFest shows.
The following Soundstream Reserve products will be offered:
Soundstream Reserve Source Units:
VRCPAA-106 – CarPlayTM, Android AutoTM, SiriusXMTM Ready, Maestro Compatible, navigation, DVD
VRCPAA-7D – CarPlayTM, Android AutoTM, SiriusXMTM Ready, Maestro Compatible
VRN-7HB – GPS Navigation, PhoneLink For Android
VR-7HB – PhoneLink For Android
Soundstream Reserve Amplifiers
RSW Subwoofers – 12” and 15” Configurations, 2-Ohm DVC, 3” Voice Coil
REFERENCE Subwoofers – 12” 2-Ohm and 4-Ohm DVC, 2.5” Voice Coil