Austere Accessories Clean Up Offering High Performance By Design
Upscale accessories company Austere is pushing forward into the home theater retail space for 2022 with a design-focus around high quality electronics solutions for the DIY home theater customer.
For several years now, the privately held, Southern California-based company has been making its mark with thin-form-factor flexible HDMI cables targeted at home theater enthusiasts interested in long-lasting high-performing connectivity solutions.
For HDMI cables, Austere offers three performance/price step series including two (III and V Series) high-speed FHD series cables (including 5-meter active/powered cables).
The top of the line VII Series 8K HDMI cables are Ultra High-Speed 48 Gbps certified cables available in three lengths — 4.9 foot/1.5m ($99.99), 8.2 foot/2.5m ($149.99) and new 3.5m ($199.99) lengths.
Austere VII 8K Ultra-High-Speed HDMI 2.1 have been certified for HDMI 2.1 connectivity with bandwidth sufficient for 48Gbps by the HDMI Forum. These support resolutions and refresh rates of [email protected], [email protected] and all the way up to 10K resolution. They are designed and packaged to appeal to performance-minded consumers who care as much about how their systems look from the back as the front.
“Most of our customers install the cable themselves. They don’t need to run it through the wall,” Deena Ghazarian, Austere founder and CEO, told HD Guru. “They are taking it and wrapping the excess, if there is any, around the back of a mount or snaking it through a stand or a mount and through the furniture. That ability, while still having a strong signal with no impedance whatsoever, provides great flexibility for an easy, clean install and it’s what makes our cables unique.”
Ghazarian built her company using the extensive fashion skills she garnered from her prior history a a fashion accessories designer. When she made the shift to electronics accessories, Ghazarian applied her strong fashion sense to a category previously devoid of such amenities.
She said that Austere products are also designed around technological advancements enabling the latest sound and video performance metrics.
Despite the assertions of electronics experts, who preach the virtues of cheap HDMI cables (certified or otherwise) in the digital age, Ghazarian said Austere’s designs, materials and expert manufacturing partners deliver products of superior conductivity and end-to-end durability. Customers also won’t be required to read extensive instructions to install them properly, she assures.
Ghazarian said the picture and sound quality benefits are often demonstrably superior to cheap knock-off and generic branded HDMI products that litter the marketplace.
Other supported features include: enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) and Variable Refresh Rate gaming.
The Austere 8K HDMI cables are made from Kevlar-reinforced windings and WovenArmor sheathing for flexibility and strength. Also used are gold shielded contacts.
In other cable products, Austere offers aesthetically designed V Series banana-connectors, 12-, 14 and 16-gauge speaker cable and V Series Pre-Terminated speaker cables. It also offers high-performance, SPDIF optical cables, and subwoofer cables that make it both satisfying and easy on a new system setup, said Ghazarian.
What you won’t find, at least so far, are complex or potentially hazardous HDMI cable solutions, like fiber connections or in-wall cable solutions intended for custom integrators. The multiple Austere HDMI series provide short, medium and long (active/powered) lengths that can be sold over the counter, preferably at the time of a home theater component(s) purchase, to assure the easiest installation and top-quality picture and sound performance. Ghazarian assures most of her HDMI offerings will last a long time — enough to include a life-time warranty against failure long after everything is setup and in place.
In the rare event that something fails, Ghazarian said both her company and her retail partners will replace the product without any push-back or complication.
Beyond aesthetics and performance reliability, the company’s other mantra is system — and user — protection. Austere offers a line of power solutions designed to protect valuable electronic investments from destructive power surges and even lightning strikes.
Austere also offers a a popular electronics screen cleaning spray, called Clean & Protect, that has exploded in popularity after the emergence of COVID-19 thanks to a fortuitous formulation update just befor the outbreak that added anti-bacterial qualities to make sure that whatever the spray was used to clean would be 99.99% clear of the four major strains bacteria and virus causing illnesses.
Ghazarian said the arrival of the global pandemic caused usage demand for the product to explode from an effective TV screen cleaner to a cleaner of virtually any sort of electronic hardware — from PC monitors, to smartphones, tablets and even remotes and computer mice.
Not surprisingly, the cleaner has been a big hit with public libraries that need to continuously clean PC terminals and other frequently touched surfaces from COVID- contamination, she said.
And keeping with the design theme, Ghazarian used her skills as a long-time designer of fashion accessories to develop a functionally effective and attractively styled sprayer bottle that was so novel it generated knock-off attempts, she said.
What makes the product successful, she said, is how well thoroughly it was developed for an effective result. The Clean & Protect sprayer ships with an unusual cleaning and polish cloth. One side of the cloth with micro fiber fabric on one side to clean the screen or device and a polishing material on the other side.
“We realized that when you clean with a micro fiber there will be a wet residue left. When you polish with the other side it cleans that right up and leaves a streak-free look and feel for a picture will shine right through without any streaking whatsoever,” said Ghazarian.
Another area of focus has been on Power Protection products. Austere currently offers two series of Power Protector solutions for full home theater systems. These include the VII Series, for seven-guaranteed years off 4000 joules power protection and conditioning for consistent high quality power filtration and protection against power surges and brown outs.
The company also offers its V Series Power Strip Products offering basic filtration, up to five years of guaranteed protection for up to 3000 joules.
Around mid-year, the company will be expanding it power offerings with what it calls “wall powered” V, VII and new “entry series products” designed to go into other rooms in the house with less complex requirements, like the bedroom TV and soundbar placement.
“We have isolated filtration on this and PD charging [in the VII series], with the ability to have the soundbar on one side without the digital noise from EMI and RF going back into the system, with the video isolated filtration on the other side,” Ghazarian said.
The V Series “wall powered” product will have “a little less filtration, fewer joules, no PD charging.” She said the company is also looking at offering an entry series product with fewer joules and an entry level of power filtration.
Austere products are carried by a wide range of retail partners including: Amazon, PC Richard & Son, Crutchfield.com, Conn’s Home Plus, Howard’s Electronics, Nebraska Furniture Mart, as well as locations in Canada, the United Kingdom, Middle East, Australia and more.
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By Greg Tarr
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