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Category Archives: Portable Audio

OhGizmo Review: Playaway Digital Audiobook Player

By Evan Ackerman


Playaway, makers of a single-serving digital audiobook player, kindly sent us a review unit last week. Being a fan of audio and books (and free stuff), I volunteered to write it up. The particular audiobook that I’m listening to for this review is The Worst Case Scenario Handbook, read by Penn Jillette and Burt Reynolds. It retails from the website for $34.99. Click on through for a brutally in-depth review.

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iSkin’s Cerulean F1 Bluetooth Headphones (Obviously) Ditch The Wires, Get Hit With Ugly Stick

cerulean f1

By David Ponce

We suppose that one man’s beauty is another’s monstrosity, but to this editor’s eyes, the Cerulean F1 from iSkin looks marginally more interesting than a can of porridge. Not that there’s anything wrong with the product itself: the company claims the Cerulean F1 to be the world’s smallest and lightest stereo Bluetooth headset on the market. We have no reason to doubt them, even though throwing a superlative around is hardly enough to guarantee explosive sales. Still, if you look at the specs (Bluetooth 1.2 or 2.0+EDR cellular phone support, 15mm drivers with rubber coating for added comfort) and the price ($130), it’s not a bad deal… well, it’s not a great deal either because the pictured Cerulean TX Stereo Bluetooth Transmitter for iPod is actually not included in that price.

The headphones will be “available soon”.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Xataka ]

Dock Adapter For 2G iPod Shuffle

shuffle adapter2.jpg
shuffle adapter.jpg

By David Ponce

You can bet that the iPod Shuffle (2G) is feeling a little left out. Not having the same connector as all the other iPods seriously crimps its ability to use all those nice docks on the market. You know, all the ones with a lowercase “i” that sell ten times faster than the ones without the “i”. Right. But with this Dock Adapter for the iPod Shuffle from Griffin, the little boy can play with the big guys. Its use is pretty self-evident, but we’ll indulge you all the same: you plug the Shuffle on one end, and the other goes into whatever Universal Dock you might have put a regular iPod into.

We don’t know how much it is, nor when exactly it will be released, but it’s nice to know that the iPod HiFi is now compatible with a bunch more player. It’s great, really, because maybe now Apple will be able to sell at least a dozen of them overpriced music boxes.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmologia ]

iPod Dock Extender Lets You Dock With Your Skin On

ipod dock extenderBy David Ponce

If you’ve decided to protect your iPod with a skin that’s any thicker than a thin sheet of paper, you’ve undoubtedly found out that docking your music player can become quite a pain. If it’s wearing leather, or something equally thick, it’s pretty much impossible without peeling the skin off first. So, leave it to the Sendstation guys to come up with an elegant solution. The Dock Extender simply connects to your iPod on one end, and to any dock on the other via an included standard size Dock Insert. There’s even a removable metal support for added stability. And, no need to remove your akin anymore.

It’s a simple gadget, but one that promises to make your life marginally more comfortable; at least, your music-listenin’, iPod-totin’ pampered life, that is. There’s no word on price or availability, though we don’t expect this to be too far away.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Creative And Playskool Launch MP3 Player For Infants

playskool creative

By David Ponce

Either the digital music player market is getting really saturated, or a mob of angry toddlers went berserk in front of Creative’s offices, demanding they be included in their marketing efforts. Whatever the case, Creative partnered with Playskool and is attempting to service a questionable niche: MP3 players for infants. The players are part of a new line called “Made For Me”

Creative and Playskool will sell a 2-in-1 Infant Gym, which resembles a typical mobile above cribs. A separately sold “Digital Music Player” will be docked into Gym and play either preloaded songs or songs downloaded from a computer. Parents can also record their own voice and have it played back.

It seems the dockable music player will sell for $80, while other elements of the line will go between $30 and $40.

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MicroMemo Turns iPod Into, Well, A Mic

micromemoBy David Ponce

We’re big fans of elegant design around here. You might have heard. And while the MicroMemo from Japanese Marubeni Infotech doesn’t do anything revolutionary, we like the way it transforms the iPod into something else entirely. See, the MicroMemo is a simple microphone. It attaches to the bottom of a second generation nano, and can record in stereo. What we like is the way that a simple digital music player suddenly becomes a handheld mic, suitable for conducting interviews or whatnot. Files can be saved as both high (44.1kHz/1,411kbps) and low (22.05kHz/352kbps) quality WAV files. Although this can use up a lot of space, you can record up to 51 hours of audio on the low setting on a 8GB Nano.

Yeah, it’s not even the only such device on the market, but we like the way this one looks, so that’s that. It’s 8,480 yen, or $70, though we’re not sure if they’ll deliver across the pond.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Plasticbamboo ]

MyBlu Device Adds Bluetooth Functionality To Your iPod, Makes iPhone Obsolete


By David Ponce

The MyBlu from Mavizen is a product that actually sounds like a good idea; technically it pretty much defeats the purpose of owning an iPhone altogether. What you do is plug the device between the iPod and the headphones (never mind that it already looks like an iPod Shuffle; that, apparently, has nothing to do with anything) and just like that, your iPod becomes Bluetooth capable. When you get a call, the caller information is displayed on the iPod’s screen, and the device itself acts as a handsfree kit; you can then just leave your mobile in your pocket/purse/murse/whatever.

It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than the iPhone too, at $77, and is just the kind of gadget we like to get our hands on: simple but useful as hell. Oh, and did we mention that it also confers FM radio functionality upon your radio-less iPod?

[ MyBlu ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]

Clone Someone’s Product, Then Sue Them For $100 Million

luxpro's shuffle

By David Ponce

It’s pretty clear to anyone with eyes that Taiwain-based Luxpro’s Super Shuffle (pictured above) is a direct rip of Apple’s 1st generation Shuffle’s design. I mean, hey, even the product name has the word “shuffle” in it. But that hasn’t stopped Luxpro from being able to file a $100 million suit against Apple. Here’s the story.

Some time in 2005, Apple decided to sue Luxpro over the blatant copy of its design. They managed to get an injunction halting the sales of the product, and forcing it off the shelves until the suit was settled. Well, it’s a little over a year later, and the court in Taiwain decided that the Super Shuffle didn’t rip anyone off, as the devices “have FM radio functionality, feature OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels and have a distinct Luxpro logo, unlike the Apple product.” And, well, since the Super Shuffle was forced off the shelves all this time, Luxpro’s going for $100 million in damages.

The lesson? Copy anyone’s product, slap an ugly logo on it and add a couple extra vanilla features for good measure. Sit back, and enjoy soaring sales off the back of someone else’s marketing efforts. What fun.

[ Newlaunches ] VIA [ Digitimes

The SOYO Freestyler HS11 Bluetooth Headphones – Small(ish), Ugly and Multi-Functional

freestyle hs11By David Ponce

Bluetooth headphones aren’t exactly groundbreaking news, so we won’t dwell on this for too long. The SOYO Freestyler HS11 Kit consists of a small transmitter piece that plugs into any audio source via standard 3.5mm jack, and Bluetooth-ly connected headphones. Once paired, you’re able to listen to music wirelessly (obviously). However, you’re also able to take phone calls (music gets muted and un-muted when necessary), talk on Skype and even use the headphones as a remote control for whatever device is streaming your music, so long as it’s AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile) enabled. As a matter of fact, other profiles featured include A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), HSP (Headset Profile) and HFP (Hands-free Profile), making this $170 relatively useful.

The earpieces aren’t too heavy, at 37.5g, or roughly half a bag of chips. Playback battery life, however, seems to top out at 6 hours, and that may be a deal killer for some.

It’ll be available soon.

[Product Page] VIA [MobileWhack]