Best of CES 2022: The smart home and home entertainment products that captivated us

CES was officially an in-person event this year, but with the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID spreading like wildfire, we opted to cover the show from afar. Fortunately, vendors were once again prepared to showcase their offerings via teleconference, as they did for last year’s virtual show. These are the smart home and home entertainment products that captured our attention

Our list is presented in alphabetical order. If you’d like to see all the products we covered at this year’s show, just click here.

Abode Wireless Video Doorbell

abode wireless video doorbell Abode

Abode makes a couple of our favorite DIY home security systems, and it looks like they’re about to get even better with the addition of the company’s first smart doorbell. And the price tag is even better news: The Abode Wireless Video Doorbell will be priced at just $ 89 when it ships in April. The device is battery powered and entirely wireless, and it will capture a view of your front porch in 2K resolution — with person detection. Its IP65 weatherization should ensure years of trouble-free operation, even if you spray it with your garden hose. You don’t need to have a broader Abode system to benefit from this smart home device, but you’ll want one of Abode’s subscription plans to record motion-detected events; otherwise, you’ll only see a live view.

Belkin Soundform Immerse

soundform immerse noise canceling earbuds with case Belkin

Belkin’s latest noise-canceling in-ear headphone packs features that both Apple and Android fans will appreciate. Arriving with 12mm dual-layer drivers and supporting Qualcomm’s aptX HD codec for 24-bit audio via Bluetooth, the Soundform Immerse boasts Belkin’s Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation tech, which uses a combination of feedforward and feedback processing to cut down on background noise, while the Belkin app lets you customize your EQ curve. Even better, these IPX5-rated headphones work with Apple’s Find My network, perfect for tracking down a lost charging case, while Android users will love the Google Fast Pairing support.

Cambridge Audio Alva ST

cambridge alva st Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio knocked our socks off with its maiden effort at building a high-end turntable, the Alva TT. The company announced a second-generation of that model at CES, but we were even more excited to hear about its less-expensive sibling, the belt-driven Alva ST. It’s still an expensive product at $ 999, but that’s half the price of the fancier offering, and its specs left us drooling: It’s a Bluetooth turntable that supports the aptX HD codec, so you can stream 24-bit / 48kHz audio to Bluetooth speakers or headphones. It comes with a diecast aluminum platter and an Audio Technica AT-VM95e moving magnet cartridge. It’s outfitted with a phono stage for wired connections to an amplifier, receiver, or self-powered speakers. The phono stage is switchable, so you can bypass it if you’d prefer to use an outboard preamp. You should be able to buy one this spring. We can’t wait to check it out.

Eve Outdoor Cam

eve outdoor cam Eve Systems

The Eve Outdoor Cam is more than just an outdoor security camera, it’s also one of the most attractively designed floodlights we’ve seen. Eve’s product line emphasizes privacy, and to that end, this camera supports Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, including HomeKit Secure Video. When the Eve Outdoor Cam detects motion, it will record 1080p video at 24 frames per second and encode it as an h.264 file. If you have an Apple TV or HomePod on your network, one of those devices will process the video to determine if the motion was caused by a person, animal, or vehicle, and it will also inform you if a package has been delivered. The video will be encrypted and uploaded to your iCloud account, where you alone will be able to access it. The $ 250 security camera / floodlight combo is expected to ship in April.

Homey Bridge

homey bridge homey web app homey mobile app Athoms

When it comes to DIY smart home hubs, there are surprisingly few choices, so we’re excited to see Athom’s Homey Bridge coming to the US (it’s already available in Europe). The inexpensive Homey Bridge ($ 69) supports all the smart home infrastructure your could ask for — Zigbee, Z-Wave Plus, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, infrared, and a 433MHz radio — and Athom says its system is compatible with 50,000 smart devices from more than 1,000 third-party manufacturers. Athom’s promise of total privacy is equally exciting. The company says its users’ personal data will never be sold or used for profiling, advertising, or marketing. Look for our in-depth, hands-on review in the coming weeks.

Labrador retriever

labrador tray retrieval side view Labrador Systems

Labrador Systems designed the Retriever household robot to make it easier for people with mobility issues or chronic pain to remain in their homes. Like an extra pair of hands, this ingenious mobile appliance can do everything from tote a load of laundry — it can carry up 25 pounds — to retrieving a snack tray from a specially designed mini-fridge. An internal scissor jack can raise its top shelf to counter height, and it comes with a removable tablet stand and a USB port for charging mobile devices. A sophisticated navigation system will use augmented reality algorithms to build a 3D map of the owner’s home, and in the online demo we saw, the sophisticated machine was able to make very tight returns around entrances, corners, and furniture. While it can’t climb stairs, it can manage any ADA-compliant transition, according to its inventors. The best part is that the Retriever’s price tag won’t make you cringe: $ 1,500 plus a month fee ranging from $ 99 to $ 149 per month for 36 months.

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