Sound check

15 Jun, 17

Philippa Turrell takes a look at the latest dedicated AV tech for the bathroom and kitchen

With consumers now able to experience music, video, TV and films how they want and where they want using streaming services, there are no barriers to experiencing sound and vision. And this can be seen quite clearly in the home, with the growth in sales of dedicated music systems and TVs for both the kitchen and the bathroom. Debbie Pullen from the soundbathe music system, which is sold through Eden Bathroom Distribution, points out: “Dedicated AV in kitchens and bathrooms has seen an inexorable rise over the past two years.” And managing director of Aquavision Alastair Benn agrees, stating sales “have grown exponentially as consumers are starting to realise that you need more than a ‘plastic box’ television sat on the worktop.” He points to why AV could be beneficial for consumers in the kitchen “For instance, someone cooking in the kitchen can watch either a live, pre-recorded catch up or streamed video/programme of a chef cooking a recipe. They can live pause it, as they carry out the cooking method.”

Bathrooms bigger

But of the two rooms, it is the bathroom that seemingly captures more AV sales. It could be argued the bathroom is a ‘me space’, a phrase coined by chief design officer of Grohe and Lixil Paul Flowers, rather than the ‘we’ space of the kitchen. It sees the bathroom as a place of self-indulgence, while the kitchen is a space for socialising. However, it simply could be that the bathroom is a wet area and therefore needs more specialised Av equipment. Managing director of Proofvision William Uttley points out: “One of the main criteria for bathrooms is that the products have to be waterproof and there’s lots of areas in the kitchen this doesn’t apply to, so consumers are able to use existing products.” However, industry experts agree that the kitchen is at last catching up with the bathroom, as Alastair Benn comments: “Bathrooms are currently the biggest market for us, as we pioneered waterproof televisions nearly 20 years ago, which were initially just for bathrooms and wet environments. However, as most of our televisions are ‘in wall’ and flush to the surface of the wall as well as waterproof, they are increasingly being installed in kitchens and we expect this room to overtake the bathroom very soon.” And Debbie Pullen from Soundbathe agrees: “Bathrooms are the biggest and the fastest-growing market. However, in line with open plan living, we are starting to see a real upsurge in interest from the kitchen.”

Popular products

In terms of TVs, industry experts suggest bigger is better for screen sizes, with 19” and 22” models as the most popular choices. Alastair Benn points out: “Our best-selling product is still the 22” frameless Genesis, which is a standalone model.” While William Uttley of Proofvision states: “Our best seller has been the 19” mirror finish TV.” He continues: “Consumers are interested in larger screen as other products in the bathroom become more slimline and compact, this has increased room for products such as ours.” In its latest bespoke TV offer, Techvision offers a choice of four sizes of LED screen from 17” up to 32”. While the likes of Aquavision offers a widescreen 42” TV and can go up to 85” in its bespoke collection.

While undoubtedly the audio market for the bathroom and kitchen has been driven by the increased adoption of Bluetooth wireless technology. Soundbathe2  is a concealed technology that can turn a surface, such as a bath, showerwall or furniture, into a speaker. While Lithe Audio has recently introduced unobtrusive Bluetooth ceiling speakers, which can stream music from a phone, tablet, TV or PC. William Uttley explains: “In the bathroom market we have seen the increase in a variety of Bluetooth technology. Our elite music system offers a fully waterproof control panel and ceiling speakers. With DAB radio and Bluetooth compatibility, it’s been a really interesting development for Proofvision.” And Debbie Pullen concurs about the popularity of Bluetooth driving bathroom and kitchen audio: “Hidden sound like Soundbathe2, streamed from your smartphone, tablet or computer over Bluetooth is at the cutting edge of technology. Designers and retailers should look to integrate usable technology into their design schemes to set them apart.”

Wider choice

And of course, as with much technology, AV has become more accessible to cater for a wider variety of bathroom and kitchen budgets. “The affordability of tech has changed and things have become more affordable”, explains William Uttley. He continues: “What used to be high-end products are now a more mid-range product, which is a good thing as products like ours are becoming standard additions to bathrooms across the country and further.” And Alastair Benn points out “the gap is narrowing” between AV destined for the mid and top-end of the market.

In terms of TVs, the latest tech remains the ultra-high definition screen resolution that is 4K. However, Benn also issues a word of warning about it: “4K is currently still the newbie but this can be very misleading as there are two distinct variants H264 and H265. All the ‘budget’ products are only H264 but manufacturers are hiding this from the consumer. You need H265 to be able to use a 4K Blu ray player.”

And there are an ever-expanding variety of audio products to cater for consumers’ needs. Debbie Pullen points out: “We are now seeing the kitchen and entertaining spaces expand outdoors, so we have Soundbathe 3 nearly ready for launch. This is fully IP67 rated so can be used outside, turning your deck or outdoor furniture into speakers.” She continues: “The increasing emergence of wellness into the bathroom is also a big trend, which will drive the AV bathroom market over the next few years. So, Soundbathe Spa is now ready for launch to cater for this market.” However, Pullen points out the biggest technological developments have been in content rather than AV design, as she states: “Technically the advances have been more about the content, with music (and video) consumed from the cloud and on demand. Smart devices are now common across the whole of society, from young to old. The challenge has been to facilitate that into the bathroom and kitchen in such a way that it is seamless and in keeping with the design aesthetic.”

Increased integration

And along with the growth of smart devices, industry experts believe the AV market for the bathroom and kitchen can only continue to grow. As technology becomes increasingly accessible in price and in variety, then an integrated TV or music system will become part of a standard mid-priced refurbishment. That’s the view of Alistair Benn who states: “This market should expand dramatically as prices come down, expectations go up, and consumers’ spending increases.” And William Uttley agrees, as he concludes: “We feel that the integration of high spec products will continue to rise. The Bluetooth mirror, for example, and touchscreen technology will continue to develop as consumers become more and more interested in fast-paced, user-friendly tech in their homes.”

Philippa Turrell takes a look at the latest dedicated AV tech for the bathroom and kitchen

With consumers now able to experience music, video, TV and films how they want and where they want using streaming services, there are no barriers to experiencing sound and vision. And this can be seen quite clearly in the home, with the growth in sales of dedicated music systems and TVs for both the kitchen and the bathroom. Debbie Pullen from the soundbathe music system, which is sold through Eden Bathroom Distribution, points out: “Dedicated AV in kitchens and bathrooms has seen an inexorable rise over the past two years.” And managing director of Aquavision Alastair Benn agrees, stating sales “have grown exponentially as consumers are starting to realise that you need more than a ‘plastic box’ television sat on the worktop.” He points to why AV could be beneficial for consumers in the kitchen “For instance, someone cooking in the kitchen can watch either a live, pre-recorded catch up or streamed video/programme of a chef cooking a recipe. They can live pause it, as they carry out the cooking method.”

Bathrooms bigger

But of the two rooms, it is the bathroom that seemingly captures more AV sales. It could be argued the bathroom is a ‘me space’, a phrase coined by chief design officer of Grohe and Lixil Paul Flowers, rather than the ‘we’ space of the kitchen. It sees the bathroom as a place of self-indulgence, while the kitchen is a space for socialising. However, it simply could be that the bathroom is a wet area and therefore needs more specialised Av equipment. Managing director of Proofvision William Uttley points out: “One of the main criteria for bathrooms is that the products have to be waterproof and there’s lots of areas in the kitchen this doesn’t apply to, so consumers are able to use existing products.” However, industry experts agree that the kitchen is at last catching up with the bathroom, as Alastair Benn comments: “Bathrooms are currently the biggest market for us, as we pioneered waterproof televisions nearly 20 years ago, which were initially just for bathrooms and wet environments. However, as most of our televisions are ‘in wall’ and flush to the surface of the wall as well as waterproof, they are increasingly being installed in kitchens and we expect this room to overtake the bathroom very soon.” And Debbie Pullen from Soundbathe agrees: “Bathrooms are the biggest and the fastest-growing market. However, in line with open plan living, we are starting to see a real upsurge in interest from the kitchen.”

Popular products

In terms of TVs, industry experts suggest bigger is better for screen sizes, with 19” and 22” models as the most popular choices. Alastair Benn points out: “Our best-selling product is still the 22” frameless Genesis, which is a standalone model.” While William Uttley of Proofvision states: “Our best seller has been the 19” mirror finish TV.” He continues: “Consumers are interested in larger screen as other products in the bathroom become more slimline and compact, this has increased room for products such as ours.” In its latest bespoke TV offer, Techvision offers a choice of four sizes of LED screen from 17” up to 32”. While the likes of Aquavision offers a widescreen 42” TV and can go up to 85” in its bespoke collection.

While undoubtedly the audio market for the bathroom and kitchen has been driven by the increased adoption of Bluetooth wireless technology. Soundbathe2  is a concealed technology that can turn a surface, such as a bath, showerwall or furniture, into a speaker. While Lithe Audio has recently introduced unobtrusive Bluetooth ceiling speakers, which can stream music from a phone, tablet, TV or PC. William Uttley explains: “In the bathroom market we have seen the increase in a variety of Bluetooth technology. Our elite music system offers a fully waterproof control panel and ceiling speakers. With DAB radio and Bluetooth compatibility, it’s been a really interesting development for Proofvision.” And Debbie Pullen concurs about the popularity of Bluetooth driving bathroom and kitchen audio: “Hidden sound like Soundbathe2, streamed from your smartphone, tablet or computer over Bluetooth is at the cutting edge of technology. Designers and retailers should look to integrate usable technology into their design schemes to set them apart.”

Wider choice

And of course, as with much technology, AV has become more accessible to cater for a wider variety of bathroom and kitchen budgets. “The affordability of tech has changed and things have become more affordable”, explains William Uttley. He continues: “What used to be high-end products are now a more mid-range product, which is a good thing as products like ours are becoming standard additions to bathrooms across the country and further.” And Alastair Benn points out “the gap is narrowing” between AV destined for the mid and top-end of the market.

In terms of TVs, the latest tech remains the ultra-high definition screen resolution that is 4K. However, Benn also issues a word of warning about it: “4K is currently still the newbie but this can be very misleading as there are two distinct variants H264 and H265. All the ‘budget’ products are only H264 but manufacturers are hiding this from the consumer. You need H265 to be able to use a 4K Blu ray player.”

And there are an ever-expanding variety of audio products to cater for consumers’ needs. Debbie Pullen points out: “We are now seeing the kitchen and entertaining spaces expand outdoors, so we have Soundbathe 3 nearly ready for launch. This is fully IP67 rated so can be used outside, turning your deck or outdoor furniture into speakers.” She continues: “The increasing emergence of wellness into the bathroom is also a big trend, which will drive the AV bathroom market over the next few years. So, Soundbathe Spa is now ready for launch to cater for this market.” However, Pullen points out the biggest technological developments have been in content rather than AV design, as she states: “Technically the advances have been more about the content, with music (and video) consumed from the cloud and on demand. Smart devices are now common across the whole of society, from young to old. The challenge has been to facilitate that into the bathroom and kitchen in such a way that it is seamless and in keeping with the design aesthetic.”

Increased integration

And along with the growth of smart devices, industry experts believe the AV market for the bathroom and kitchen can only continue to grow. As technology becomes increasingly accessible in price and in variety, then an integrated TV or music system will become part of a standard mid-priced refurbishment. That’s the view of Alistair Benn who states: “This market should expand dramatically as prices come down, expectations go up, and consumers’ spending increases.” And William Uttley agrees, as he concludes: “We feel that the integration of high spec products will continue to rise. The Bluetooth mirror, for example, and touchscreen technology will continue to develop as consumers become more and more interested in fast-paced, user-friendly tech in their homes.”

Philippa Turrell takes a look at the latest dedicated AV tech for the bathroom and kitchen

With consumers now able to experience music, video, TV and films how they want and where they want using streaming services, there are no barriers to experiencing sound and vision. And this can be seen quite clearly in the home, with the growth in sales of dedicated music systems and TVs for both the kitchen and the bathroom. Debbie Pullen from the soundbathe music system, which is sold through Eden Bathroom Distribution, points out: “Dedicated AV in kitchens and bathrooms has seen an inexorable rise over the past two years.” And managing director of Aquavision Alastair Benn agrees, stating sales “have grown exponentially as consumers are starting to realise that you need more than a ‘plastic box’ television sat on the worktop.” He points to why AV could be beneficial for consumers in the kitchen “For instance, someone cooking in the kitchen can watch either a live, pre-recorded catch up or streamed video/programme of a chef cooking a recipe. They can live pause it, as they carry out the cooking method.”

Bathrooms bigger

But of the two rooms, it is the bathroom that seemingly captures more AV sales. It could be argued the bathroom is a ‘me space’, a phrase coined by chief design officer of Grohe and Lixil Paul Flowers, rather than the ‘we’ space of the kitchen. It sees the bathroom as a place of self-indulgence, while the kitchen is a space for socialising. However, it simply could be that the bathroom is a wet area and therefore needs more specialised Av equipment. Managing director of Proofvision William Uttley points out: “One of the main criteria for bathrooms is that the products have to be waterproof and there’s lots of areas in the kitchen this doesn’t apply to, so consumers are able to use existing products.” However, industry experts agree that the kitchen is at last catching up with the bathroom, as Alastair Benn comments: “Bathrooms are currently the biggest market for us, as we pioneered waterproof televisions nearly 20 years ago, which were initially just for bathrooms and wet environments. However, as most of our televisions are ‘in wall’ and flush to the surface of the wall as well as waterproof, they are increasingly being installed in kitchens and we expect this room to overtake the bathroom very soon.” And Debbie Pullen from Soundbathe agrees: “Bathrooms are the biggest and the fastest-growing market. However, in line with open plan living, we are starting to see a real upsurge in interest from the kitchen.”

Popular products

In terms of TVs, industry experts suggest bigger is better for screen sizes, with 19” and 22” models as the most popular choices. Alastair Benn points out: “Our best-selling product is still the 22” frameless Genesis, which is a standalone model.” While William Uttley of Proofvision states: “Our best seller has been the 19” mirror finish TV.” He continues: “Consumers are interested in larger screen as other products in the bathroom become more slimline and compact, this has increased room for products such as ours.” In its latest bespoke TV offer, Techvision offers a choice of four sizes of LED screen from 17” up to 32”. While the likes of Aquavision offers a widescreen 42” TV and can go up to 85” in its bespoke collection.

While undoubtedly the audio market for the bathroom and kitchen has been driven by the increased adoption of Bluetooth wireless technology. Soundbathe2  is a concealed technology that can turn a surface, such as a bath, showerwall or furniture, into a speaker. While Lithe Audio has recently introduced unobtrusive Bluetooth ceiling speakers, which can stream music from a phone, tablet, TV or PC. William Uttley explains: “In the bathroom market we have seen the increase in a variety of Bluetooth technology. Our elite music system offers a fully waterproof control panel and ceiling speakers. With DAB radio and Bluetooth compatibility, it’s been a really interesting development for Proofvision.” And Debbie Pullen concurs about the popularity of Bluetooth driving bathroom and kitchen audio: “Hidden sound like Soundbathe2, streamed from your smartphone, tablet or computer over Bluetooth is at the cutting edge of technology. Designers and retailers should look to integrate usable technology into their design schemes to set them apart.”

Wider choice

And of course, as with much technology, AV has become more accessible to cater for a wider variety of bathroom and kitchen budgets. “The affordability of tech has changed and things have become more affordable”, explains William Uttley. He continues: “What used to be high-end products are now a more mid-range product, which is a good thing as products like ours are becoming standard additions to bathrooms across the country and further.” And Alastair Benn points out “the gap is narrowing” between AV destined for the mid and top-end of the market.

In terms of TVs, the latest tech remains the ultra-high definition screen resolution that is 4K. However, Benn also issues a word of warning about it: “4K is currently still the newbie but this can be very misleading as there are two distinct variants H264 and H265. All the ‘budget’ products are only H264 but manufacturers are hiding this from the consumer. You need H265 to be able to use a 4K Blu ray player.”

And there are an ever-expanding variety of audio products to cater for consumers’ needs. Debbie Pullen points out: “We are now seeing the kitchen and entertaining spaces expand outdoors, so we have Soundbathe 3 nearly ready for launch. This is fully IP67 rated so can be used outside, turning your deck or outdoor furniture into speakers.” She continues: “The increasing emergence of wellness into the bathroom is also a big trend, which will drive the AV bathroom market over the next few years. So, Soundbathe Spa is now ready for launch to cater for this market.” However, Pullen points out the biggest technological developments have been in content rather than AV design, as she states: “Technically the advances have been more about the content, with music (and video) consumed from the cloud and on demand. Smart devices are now common across the whole of society, from young to old. The challenge has been to facilitate that into the bathroom and kitchen in such a way that it is seamless and in keeping with the design aesthetic.”

Increased integration

And along with the growth of smart devices, industry experts believe the AV market for the bathroom and kitchen can only continue to grow. As technology becomes increasingly accessible in price and in variety, then an integrated TV or music system will become part of a standard mid-priced refurbishment. That’s the view of Alistair Benn who states: “This market should expand dramatically as prices come down, expectations go up, and consumers’ spending increases.” And William Uttley agrees, as he concludes: “We feel that the integration of high spec products will continue to rise. The Bluetooth mirror, for example, and touchscreen technology will continue to develop as consumers become more and more interested in fast-paced, user-friendly tech in their homes.”