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Tag Archives: speakers

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 ]

Be@rbrick iPhone/iPod Speaker System

Be@rbrick iPhone/iPod Speaker System (Image courtesy Medicom)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’ve got a penchant for vinyl ‘toys’ you’ll immediately recognize these Be@rbrick figures which are now doing double duty (besides making your cubicle/shelf/desk more hip) as large-scale iPhone/iPod docks. There’s not much to report on tech-wise, besides a set of volume control buttons, but because it’s a cute mashup of a teddy bear and a Kubrick figure, you might be dismayed to hear you’ll be dropping ~$183 (¥14,800) if you want one. That is of course if you can beat the vinyl toy collectors to it.

[ Hypebeast - MEDICOM TOY BEARBRICK Speaker System ] VIA [ ALBOTAS ]

iPhone 4 Bone Collection Speaker Amp

Bone Collection iPhone Portable Amplifier, Horn Stand (Images courtesy Cyberguys.com)
By Andrew Liszewski

Technically this horn amp is a ‘portable’ speaker solution for your iPhone in that you don’t need a team of roadies or tractor trailers to bring it with you, but on the other hand you can forget about cramming your phone in your pocket while this unique accessory is attached. It’s made of silicone and promises to boost your iPhone’s speaker by 12 decibels without draining the battery whatsoever. It also doubles as a stand working in a landscape or portrait orientation, and is compatible with every iPhone that’s been released. $24.99 available in black, green or light brown.

[ Bone Collection iPhone Portable Amplifier, Horn Stand ] VIA [ bookofjoe ]

Music Strap Backpack Speakers

Music Strap Backpack Speakers (Image courtesy Lucky Bums)
By Andrew Liszewski

Designed to let you enjoy music during a hike or camping so you can still hear what’s going on around you and make sure your fellow adventurers haven’t been abducted by a grizzly, the Music Strap attaches to the shoulder straps of any backpack and pumps out your tunes through a set of 1W speakers powered by a pair of AAA batteries. It includes 20 inches of audio cable for connecting your music player of choice, 27.5 inches of speaker cable and even a pair of velcro straps to keep everything looking neat and tidy. $29.99 available directly from Lucky Bums.

[ Lucky Bums Music Strap Backpack Speakers ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]