OPINION: The IFA consumer electronics show is back and this marks that time of the year when the summer frolics are winding down as brands make the announcements that will see them through until the end of the year.
What do we expect to see at the show? There’s stuff we can speculate on and others that we can’t, but IFA 2022 looks like it could be an interesting show, especially if you’re interested in picking up audio and home cinema-related products in the run-up to Christmas.
Technically some of the brands mentioned aren’t actually at IFA and perhaps it’s just me, but I’m a little surprised there aren’t many new products that haven’t already been teased or leaked. Perhaps there’s a surprise or two in the offing, but nevertheless, I’m excited IFA is back on the menu.
Here’s what we’re expecting at IFA 2022
After a soft launch earlier in the year for its 2022 range, Philips tends to launch its hero OLED – most likely the OLED907 and OLED937 – in September. The TVs were actually leaked earlier in the year with the OLED907 expected to be available in 48-, 55- and 65-inch sizes. From leaked images, the OLED907 looks to have an integrated soundbar at the bottom, while the OLED937 continues with the Bowers & Wilkins sound system with Atmos support. I suspect they’ll both feature the new OLED EX panels from LG, wouldn’t expect prices to be announced at the event.
It’s been years since Sennheiser launched its massive, but undoubtedly impressive Ambeo Soundbar. However, market conditions have been changing as smaller, Atmos-enabled bars have been hitting the market. Sennheiser has had a few high profile launches in 2022 with the Momentum True Wireless 3 and Momentum 4 Wireless headphones, and the expectation is that they’ll be revealing a compact, less expensive version of the Ambeo soundbar. I’m very interested in seeing what audio wizardry it has conjured up this time because the Ambeo is the best Atmos soundbar on the market right now.
Japanese audio brand Audio Technica is listed as one of the exhibitors, and according to the blurb on its website, new turntables and headphones are on the way, though I can’t say much more about that.
Bang & Olufsen will be opening up their doors in Berlin (from 1st to 3rd September) for people to see The Sound Bar, the Danish company’s latest home cinema offering. We liked the Beosound Stage, so we’re interested to see what innovation the brand will be bringing with The Sound Bar.
Qualcomm bigged up its Snapdragon Sound ecosystem back in early 2021, so it’s taken some time for the ecosystem to build up but it’s almost at a point where products are about to launch with support for the technology. Snapdragon Sound and aptX Lossless are expected to be further detailed at the show, and I’d be interested to hear how well aptX Lossless fares after listening to the NuraTrue Pro earlier this year.
Toshiba will be there, likely presenting its new TVs, and XGIMI will be showing off its current range of projectors (you can read about their latest one in the Horizon Pro).
Urbanista will be at IFA but we’re not expecting any previously unannounced products at the event after the reveal of the Phoenix true wireless in August. Elsewhere, while LG and Samsung are at the event, we believe their focus will be on other areas such as sustainability and home living, and we aren’t expecting anything from Panasonic which is just about to bring its new OLEDs to the market.
We don’t expect any news from the likes of Bose and Sony at the event, both brands have skipped the event in recent years to focus on their own announcements.
If there’s anything to take from IFA ahead of the event, it’s that it feels as if it’s business as usual. That’s a good thing, especially after the last few years, but I’d also like a sprinkle of something truly new and different. There’s an excitement about these types of tech shows that feels diminished because of the pandemic, and if they are to continue, they’re going to need to be back with a bang to capture people’s attention. Let’s see what IFA has to offer.