LAS VEGAS — Not many people would recognize the name Stillwater Designs, but Kicker carries strong brand recognition for the Stillwater-based car audio company.
Kicker has been an exhibitor at the International CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas for more than 30 years. The company has two booths — one representing the mobile audio side of the business, and the other hosting the home and personal products.
This year at CES, Kicker's mobile-audio unit debuted two lines of car speakers, including subwoofers and amplifiers, and a line of Powersports speakers for motorcycles, ATVs and boats. The company's home and personal products division showed four new audio docks, including three with Bluetooth, as well as seven over-the-head headphones and 11 sets of earbuds.
The new Bluetooth docks will work with iPhones and iPads, as well as other Bluetooth-enabled gadgets and devices with standard audio jacks. It also features a USB port for charging and a free app is available for custom tuning the dock's sound.
“As a global company, we have to think about all of the devices that use Bluetooth and market a universal solution,” said Kip Litsey, special operations manager.
Kicker products can be found at more than 4,000 retailers and more than 900 car audio stores in the U.S., and in more than 80 other countries.
Stillwater Designs was founded in 1973 by Steve Irby as a producer of enclosures for high-end speakers used by bands, DJs and churches. In the late 1970s, a friend asked Irby to design a speaker enclosure for his pickup. The name Kicker was born from the man's friends' reactions to that enclosure, later called “The Original Kicker.” The company began doing business as Kicker in 1986.
In addition to the company's two main divisions, Kicker operates its Factory Fit division, providing custom upgrades offered through car dealerships, and SoundGate, factory audio upgrade kits offered by authorized Kicker dealers.