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Tag Archives: speakers

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 ]

Sapapa’s Tornado Bed’s Got Speakers In The Headboard For Lazy Home Theater Enthusiasts

Sapapa Tornado Music Headboard (Image courtesy Sapapa)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sometimes there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting back and watching a good movie, but that’s not entirely true. Why expend all that energy to remain in an upright sitting position when Sapapa’s Tornado bed lets you lay back while still enjoying a surround sound experience? Thanks to a headboard embedded with an amp, a couple of speakers and a subwoofer, the Tornado can provide a pseudo home theater experience using a PhaseCue System which manipulates the audio signals to create a kind of surround sound effect. It’s no where near as convincing as a true 5.1 setup, but I doubt too many people need one of those in their bedroom.

The Tornado bed gets even better though. Using a hydraulic mechanism it can automatically adjust itself to four different positions so you don’t even have to sit up by yourself to better see the TV. Seriously, all it needs is some automated system for dealing with bed sores, maybe a feeding/water tube, and I don’t see any reason to ever get out of bed again. $3,600 to $3,800 depending on what size you want.

[ Sapapa Tornado Music Headboard ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

soundmatters foxL v2 – Enter The JAMBOX Competitors

Soundmatters foxL v2 (Image courtesy Soundmatters)
By Andrew Liszewski

When we reviewed Jawbone’s JAMBOX a couple of weeks ago we were more than impressed by what the compact wireless speaker was capable of. In fact, we feel it’s created a welcomed new niche market, namely small portable speakers that don’t sound terrible. And since there’s nothing wrong with a little competition, we’d also like to extend a warm welcome to the foxL v2, even though the original version probably existed well before the JAMBOX was unveiled.

But those details aside, the foxL v2’s biggest selling feature seems to be that it was developed by a bona-fide rocket scientist, Dr. Godehard Guenther, a former NASA engineer with a passion for audio. Like the JAMBOX the foxL connects to your audio source over Bluetooth (though a non-wireless version is also available) and has been engineered to provide a good balance between loudness, audio fidelity and bass, given its compact dimensions. It’s also got a rechargeable battery good for about 5 hours, though it can be plugged in as well. And if the bass just isn’t doing it for you, the speaker even has an output for connecting it to a powered subwoofer. $199 for the Bluetooth version, $169 for the wired.

[ Soundmatters foxL v2 ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

TDK Revives The Boombox – Time To Stock Up On ‘D’ Sized Batteries!

TDK 3 Speaker Boombox (Image courtesy Uncrate)
By Andrew Liszewski

There have been a few attempts to revive the iconic 80’s ‘boombox’ over the years, and while TDK’s new 3 Speaker Boombox doesn’t look like something you’d find in a classic Run DMC video, it tastefully spans the gap between old and new aesthetics. Sound is delivered via a pair of 6-inch coaxial drivers and a high excursion 6-inch subwoofer, while a combination of touch screen and simple dial controls give the boombox a clean, uncluttered finish.

In lieu of a cassette slot, the boombox features USB, 3.5mm and auxiliary ports that let you connect your iPod, iPhone, media players or even a flash drive full of music. And it’s also able to charge your iDevices while playing music from them with an included Apple dock connector cable. But what I like best about TDK’s boombox refresh is that instead of being powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, it actually has a compartment on the back for holding 12 ‘D’ sized batteries which is totally old school. (It will of course will run off AC too.) Pricing and availability are TBA.

[ TDK 3 Speaker Boombox ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

ZUMREED X2 Hybrid Headphones/Speakers

ZUMREED X2 Hybrid Headphones/Speakers (Image courtesy Chip Chick)
By Andrew Liszewski

CES treasures continue to trickle in, and I wish I had stumbled across these X2 Hybrid Headphones from ZUMREED while I was at the show because I would have really liked to hear how they sounded. What makes them unique is that they actually double as either a pair of headphones, or a pair of desktop speakers. As you can see in the photo the outside of the earcups feature an exposed speaker cone, so it’s not like the 40mm drivers on the inside have to do double duty which is good. They only output about 0.5 watts which obviously isn’t booming, but for use at your desk when listening to music they’re probably more than adequate.

In speaker mode the headphones run off a built-in rechargeable battery that’s good for about 4 hours of use on a 1 hour charge, which means the X2’s are probably a little heavier than your standard over-the-ear headphones. But apparently the sound isn’t too shabby so it might be worth the tradeoff for the added functionality. The X2 Hybrid Headphones are expected to be available closer to May for around $165.

[ Chip Chick – Zumreed X2 Hybrid Headphones Double as Speakers ]

Acoustable

Acoustable (Image courtesy Acoustable)
By Andrew Liszewski

The coffee table in your living room probably already serves as everything from a work desk to a foot stool to the occasional dining area. In fact you’d probably miss it more than your TV if it ever disappeared. Even more so if it happens to be one of these Acoustables which feature a built-in sound system, adding ‘home stereo’ to the list of your coffee table’s duties.

Acoustable (Images courtesy Acoustable)

Made of a unique polymer and mineral blend which supposedly combines the advantages of both stone and plastic, the Acoustable is also water and fire resistant, which I guess is a good thing. All of the wiring and hardware are stashed out of sight keeping it aesthetically pleasing, and even the black membrane that sits just below the table’s surface letting the sound out looks more like a design element than a technical requirement. As for cost? It’s another one of those ‘contact us for more info‘ which roughly translates to ‘we want to prepare you for the sticker shock.’

[ Acoustable ] VIA [ designboom ]

Motz Tiny Wooden Speakers Gain MP3 Playback Capabilities

Motz Tiny Wooden Power Speaker (Images courtesy Pyramid Distribution)
By Andrew Liszewski

The last time we saw the Motz tiny wooden speakers their technological prowess left something to be desired. It’s hard to knock their lovely apricot wood finish and aesthetics, but $50 for a minuscule speaker isn’t exactly the deal of the century. Its latest incarnation however ups the ante with a built-in MP3 player that can load tracks from a USB flash drive or an SD card. For just $10 more!

It probably gains a little bloat from the added electronicy bits inside, but the Motz is still adorably smaller than even the included wireless remote, so there’s not much to complain about. Its rechargeable lithium-polymer battery is still good for about 10 hours of playback with headphones, or 5 hours when using the speaker, and it’s available now from Pyramid Distribution for just $59.99.

[ Motz Tiny Wooden Power Speaker ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Griffin AirCurve Play Acoustic Amplifier For The iPhone 4

Griffin AirCurve Play (Image courtesy Griffin Technology)
By Andrew Liszewski

The iPhone’s built-in speaker has never been one of its strong points, nor has its battery life. So taking both of those issues into consideration Griffin has created yet another non-powered ‘speaker’ for the iPhone 4 with their AirCurve Play. But instead of using electromagnetism and paper cones, the AirCurve features an “internal engineered waveguide” made of polycarbonate plastic that promises to boost the volume of the iPhone 4’s own speaker by +10dB. The iPhone is held securely in place via a rubber gasket with the side buttons and dock port still accessible, and thanks to a built-in kickstand the acoustic amplifying ‘dock’ is able to sit in either a portrait or landscape hands-free orientation. $19.99 available directly from Griffin.

[ Griffin AirCurve Play ] VIA [ Gearlog ]