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Tag Archives: speakers

Nixon Introduces Portable Speakers

Nixon The Block Speakers (Images courtesy Nixon)

Nixon, best known for their watches and recently known for their headphones has now introduced a couple of rechargeable speakers to their lineup including The Block. Powered by a lithium-ion battery providing up to 6 hours of playtime The Block is a stereo set of speakers that connect together with magnets to form… a block… that’s easier to transport and store. A USB and 3.5mm line-in connector are integrated into a single cable to keep things neat, and as far as controls go you only get a single analog volume dial keeping the design clean and simple. Available in black or white for $80.

[ Nixon The Block Speakers ] VIA [ Acquire ]

OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier

OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier (Image courtesy OZAKI)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s most definitely not the first passive speaker system for the iPhone that relies on physics to boost the performance of its built-in speaker. But I’m pretty sure it’s the first specifically designed to mount on the handlebars of your bike. The iCarry Bike L from Germany-based OZAKI includes a mounting arm that keeps your iPhone in easy reach when riding, yet fully protected, and a seashell-like bottom that both amplifies the sounds coming from your phone and those going to it. So in theory it should improve its speakerphone performance as well. But for the $50 they’re asking for it (according to The Gadgeteer) you’re probably just better off getting a Bluetooth headset and keeping your iPhone in your pocket.

[ OZAKI iCarry Bike iPhone Amplifier ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

OhGizmo! Review – Sony Ericsson MS430 Media Speaker Stand

Sony Ericsson MS340 Speaker Stand (Images property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Wireless Bluetooth speakers are particularly popular these days, and we’ve had the chance to try out a few different options including offerings from Jawbone and SuperTooth. But one thing that’s common among them, at least when used with mobile devices, is that streaming your tunes over a Bluetooth A2DP connection takes a real toll on your device’s battery life. And since devices like smartphones aren’t exactly known for their amazing battery life to begin with, it’s an unfortunate trade-off you have to make.

That’s not the case with Sony’s MS430 Media Speaker Stand though. It doesn’t connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth or any kind of wireless connection, it’s just a simple and literal plug-and-play affair. So while your device remains tethered, it’s still an effective way of boosting its wimpy built-in speaker without killing its battery. And even though it foregoes a heavy built-in rechargeable battery for a compact and light triumvirate of AAAs, meaning it doesn’t pack quite the same level of oomph and sound quality as the alternatives mentioned above, it’s probably still going to impress people with a slick design, decent functionality and affordable price tag. Check out my full review after the jump.

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Subsonic Chair – For Those Who’re Not Interested In Relaxing

Subsonic Chair (Image courtesy designboom)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Subsonic Chair was originally designed by Greg Ball, an instructor of mechanical design technology at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, Alberta, as an entry into designboom’s ‘teenage furniture’ competition way back in 2005. The design placed in the top ten, but he’s only recently gotten around to making the chair a reality- a very, very loud reality. Designed for teenagers who enjoy both lounging and cranking their music, the Subsonic Chair sports a set of 16-inch subwoofers which you end up sitting on, letting you hear and feel pretty much every single note and/or sound when hooked up to an MP3 player or a gaming console.

[ designboom - greg ball: subsonic - teenager subwoofer chair ]

Logitech Z305 Reviewed. Verdict: Nifty Portable Speaker Offering Great Mids and Highs

Notebooks win over desktop PCs on every almost activity save very specific areas. The biggest of which are gaming and sound, both for pretty much the same reason. Sacrifices must be made for the sake of portability and while 3D gaming on the go is a nice-to-have travel tunes is a must-have. Thankfully, Logitech continues to try new things to get volume and quality out of a portable speaker without adding too much weight. The Logitech Z305 is a very travel-friendly USB speaker that mates very well with netbooks and workstations that are missing something in the sound department.

The compact well-built sound bar attaches quite nicely to your laptop screen. At almost 13″ wide, it fits perfectly behind any 14″ or larger laptops and adds an appreciable oomph to your PC or Mac. Techno and other styles of music with wide dynamic ranges are all greatly enhanced by the Logitech Z305. Unfortunately, it still has some limitations in sound reproduction and design. Bass is the weakness of this tiny sound-bar which may fail to give you the kick you are missing. Also, the laptop can no longer be closed properly while the Z305 is installed. Overall, the balance of sound price and size all seem to come out in favor of Logitech’s mighty mini. Full details available at Everything USB.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Nerf’s iPhone/iPod Touch Speaker Wheel

Nerf N908S Speaker Wheel (Image courtesy Amazon)
By Andrew Liszewski

While it appears to (disappointingly) lack the ability to fire foam darts or balls, Nerf’s new speaker wheel accessory for the iPhone and/or iPod Touch will still appeal to kids who enjoy playing racing games, and parents who worry about their phone being dropped or damaged.

Oddly enough the whole steering wheel feature actually seems to just be a by-product of the speaker being round, since first and foremost the Nerf N908S is a multimedia dock boosting the performance of the idevices’ own built-in speakers. There’s even a kickstand on the back for propping it up on a desk, and it runs on a set of 4xAA batteries so at least the speakers have a little bit of power behind them. It’s currently available on Amazon for $29.99.

[ Nerf N908S Speaker Wheel ] VIA [ The Rocking Pony ]

OhGizmo! Review – SuperTooth DISCO Bluetooth Stereo Speaker

SuperTooth DISCO (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Believe it or not, there was a time when the iPhone wasn’t A2DP compatible. While wireless speaker solutions still existed, they either relied on wifi or some proprietary dongle technology that attached to the iPhone’s dock connector. So not surprisingly, dock-based speaker systems ruled the market. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with them, it’s just a lot more convenient to be able to keep your iPhone on your person when listening to music through a speaker, allowing you to quickly switch tracks or customize a playlist on the fly.

But as of iOS 3.0 those dark days of tethered speaker use are long gone as Apple granted A2DP support to us grovelling gadget-loving masses. And now that using a wireless speaker is as easy as setting up a Bluetooth connection, we’ve slowly been seeing the portable BT speaker market grow. And as far as we’re concerned, they’re a must-have accessory these days. Last month we reviewed Jawbone’s JAMBOX which is one of the more flashier options now available, and today we’re taking a look at the SuperTooth DISCO. It sports a more traditional black-grille speaker design which will disappear in your home or office if you’re looking for something a bit subtler, and while it’s a bit larger than the JAMBOX, what you lose in portability you gain in sound quality. Read our full review after the jump.

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Nautilus Dock Naturally Amplifies Your iPhone 4, Still Comes With A USB Cable

Nautilus iPhone 4 Dock (Image courtesy Firebox)
By Andrew Liszewski

One of the many, many downsides of being a gadget aficionado is that you’re in constant need of a free place to plug something in, and there’s always something that needs to be recharged. So when a device promises to do something without the mess of dealing with an inconvenient wall wart, we’re all for it.

These acoustic amplifiers that keep popping up are a perfect example. They naturally boost the sound coming from the iPhone’s speaker using physics and seashell-like technology, without the need for being plugged in. While they don’t provide the same kind of audio boost as a powered speaker would, for a few extra decibels they’ll only cost you the initial investment. In other words they won’t add to your growing electrical bill. The Nautilus dock is made from polished zinc alloy giving it a cool retro-riffic look, and even though it doesn’t require power, it still comes with a USB cable if you wanted to charge your iPhone while it’s docked. ~$129 from Firebox.com.

[ Nautilus iPhone 4 Dock ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

The Woofer – A Wearable Speaker For Your Dog

The Woofer (Images courtesy Awesome LLC)
By Andrew Liszewski

My parent’s dog has never been the ‘working’ type of pet. Some dogs will herd sheep or drag a sled or even sniff out contraband materials, but their dog is really only good at stretching out and sleeping on the floor where he’s most in the way. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but with The Woofer it can most definitely be turned into a good one.

It’s your standard dog coat that turns your pet into a walking, or more likely a lounging, boombox that automatically brings your music to you assuming it’s trained to come when it’s called. Unfortunately the Woofer’s website is a little vague when it comes to the technical aspects of the coat, like if you have to keep your iPod on your pet tethered with a cable, or if it can be connected wirelessly over Bluetooth. And how powerful the speaker is since I’d hate to have a heavy bass beat thumping against my dog for as long as a typical song plays. Is it waterproof as well, given a dog’s affinity for finding mud and puddles? The Woofer’s run from $140 to $160 in small, medium and large sizes, and I wouldn’t mind a bit more info about them before dropping that much coin.

[ The Woofer ] VIA [ Gearlog ]