FORT LAUDERDALE — Fusion, the New Zealand-based manufacturer of stereo equipment, introduced two head units during a media event today at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Fusion unveiled the RA770 and SRX400 head units to 20 members of the marine media representing about 27 media outlets. New speakers and amplifiers will follow in the next year.
“The range is called the Apollo series, and we wanted to come up with something that is the pinnacle of what we do,” Fusion managing director Chris Baird said. “We have doubled the size of our engineering team in the past two years. You have to have a group of dedicated engineers.”
In addition to holding seminars, Fusion is hosting the journalists on five boats: a Grady-White Freedom 325, a Sea Ray sportboat, a Regal, a Jupiter center console and a 51-foot Leopard catamaran.
Fusion also announced it has partnered exclusively with Sea Ray to provide stereos for its full model line. (Fusion is owned by Garmin, which bought the stereo company four years ago.)
Fusion also introduced the Panel-Stereo, a fully enclosed stereo with integrated speakers that installs in a bulkhead.
Retail pricing is $649 for the RA770, $349 for the SRX400 and $399 for the Panel-Stereo.
Although there is a trend toward flush-mounted touchscreens and multifunction displays, the new head units have traditional knobs. Baird said nine out 10 boat owners surveyed wanted knob controls. Asked why MFDs aren’t used to control the stereo, Baird said, “It seems the customer still likes to have a dedicated stereo control.”
One highlight of the new units is a PartyBus network, which allows all stereos on board to be synced wirelessly. Alternatively, a user can play the music of his choice in one section of the boat, while a person in another part listens to something different.
Additionally, Fusion is talking with Apple about Apple Air Play, which would allow the stereo to be updated wirelessly without equipment changes.
Look for full coverage of the event and more details on the new units in an upcoming issue of Soundings Trade Only.