CES + Macworld Expo Sneak Peeks [updated x11]
With CES over and Macworld Expo now underway, iLounge’s editors have been checking in with the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes economies’ major vendors to see what’s new and exciting for 2008. Here are some of the biggest new introductions we’ve seen—more are being added all the time. Additional photos for the new products, and from Macworld Expo in general, can be seen on our Flickr photo account now.
Altec Lansing has shown the T612 ($200), an iPhone-compatible update to its all-in-one speaker system M602, which it plans for sale in February.
Atlantic has introduced its iceBar(2) Waterproof Speaker System for iPod nano ($69; April). Featuring compatibility with all nano models, the iceBar(2) also packs features like a built-in stand, a Click Wheel membrane for controlling the nano inside the case, and more than 16 hours of playback from four AAA batteries.
Battery Technology Inc.
Showed previously released iPod batteries, as well as its line of battery and power parts for computers.
Amongst other products, Belkin has shown a brand new, iPhone- and iPod-compatible version of its TuneCast Auto FM transmitter and car charging cable ($80), an audio sharing hub called RockStar ($20), and an updated, iPhone- and iPod-ready version of its TuneBase FM car mount, charger, and FM transmitter ($90-100).
Full details are available from the links. The company also unveiled Podcast Studio ($100), a battery-powered but otherwise considerably stripped-down version of last year’s announced but never released TuneStudio, which enables direct-to-iPod recording with audio input mixing capabilities using a built in mic or external ones that are self-supplied. It is planned for a June release.
Additionally, Belkin showed new Micro Grip cases for iPods and iPhone—an unusual rubber design—as well as a plastic case called Remix Flip, a neoprene case called Slim Fit, an oversized Travel Case, a dual USB charger, and surprisingly, the TuneStudio podcasting and recording device that was pared down into the Podcast Studio accessory.
Respected optics maker Carl Zeiss has debuted its new Cinemizer iPod wearable video display accessory at Macworld. The goggle-like device contains twin 640x480 screens and permits diopter-adjusted video viewing of what looks like a big screen TV at 6 feet away.
Additional details are at the link.
Showed off a bunch of iPod cases, including some targeted at young women.
Showed off a bejeweled iPhone case, in addition to a number of case designs we’ve seen before.
Casio isn’t exactly known for its iPod accessories, but no less than four of its new Exilim cameras pack in iTunes-friendly H.264 video recording, making it easy to add the videos to an iPod or iPhone.
Chestnut Hill Sound
Showed wood and fabric aesthetic replacement parts for its George speaker, which was price-dropped last year and bundled with its remote control charger.
The earphone and foam earphone cover maker has entered into partnerships with major headphone vendors to provide Comply foam earpieces for their existing canal phones.
In a major initiative to get into the electronic accessory business, case maker Contour Design showed a collection of new Bluetooth and other accessories. rE Charge Universal Charger for iPod and iPhone has the ability to serve as a car or wall charger, and includes dual USB ports that let you power two devices at once.
More information can be found at the prior link. It also showed a handsfree Bluetooth car accessory called Handsfree Compact (March, $100) with NXT speaker technology - it sits on your car’s visor and has a wand that hangs down with a microphone. This adds the ability to hear and make phone calls when connected to a Bluetooth phone. Stylish new Bluetooth headsets were shown as well, one called Sense, which turns on with capacitive controls when you touch it, and UFO, which lacks the capacitive control. Both will come out in February. Finally, Connect Auto is a ratcheting car mount that can connect to existing Contour cases.
Once direct competitors with the iPod, Creative has expanded its accessory line with the Xdock HD video-upconverting iPod dock ($400; spring). In addition to upconverting iPod video to either 720p or 1080i, the Xdock HD can also output DTS audio, and can share music wirelessly throughout the home via X-Fi Wireless Receivers. Xdock HD now includes the ability to browse your iPod’s content on a television set—including HD sets in higher resolution—and packs-in one of the X-Fi Receivers that previously had to be purchased separately.
The multimedia speaker maker showed a collection of new iPod docking speakers, including the wall-mountable CA491 ($90).
Taiwan-based Digifocus Group will show the medium-sized, $90 version of its Mini Sound System, now dubbed Pocket Hi-Fi in Bass Mini Sound System.
Additional photos and details can be seen at the link above.
DLO took the wraps off its new iBoom JukeBox ($200), a fairly average-looking iPod speaker system with a unique RF remote that features a screen for easier iPod control and navigation. It also introduced its HomeDock HD ($200), which offers HDMI output, video upconversion, and an enhanced on-screen user interface for easier navigation of the iPod via TV. HomeDock’s on-screen interface is especially impressive.
Was exhibiting iLidz ($30), a baseball cap with an iPhone mounting clip and a Fresnel lens to magnify the iPhone’s screen. A unanimous iLounge editor’s choice for “most ridiculous thing we’ve yet seen for the iPhone.”
Showed EyeTV3, a major upgrade to its prior EyeTV recording software for the Mac.
Etymotic has rolled out two new headsets: the hf2 iPhone headset ($180), which combines the company’s ER-4P earphones with an in-line microphone and iPhone call/music control button, and the etyBLU Dual Mode Bluetooth Headset ($130), which offers a noise-isolating earphone paired with a noise-canceling boom microphone.
The battery experts at FastMac will introduce and actually begin to sell iV ($100), a major new iPhone accessory that triples the device’s battery life, adds a flash to its camera, and features what the company bills as a speaker amplifier and dual-purpose belt clip-slash-video viewing stand.
Additional information is available here.
Showed art-covered label skins for iPods and iPhone.
In addition to cases for the iPods and iPhone that we’ve already reviewed, Gilty Couture showed an updated, full-body-covering version of its golden iPhone case.
Other than cases we’ve already reviewed, such as Titan Clear for iPhone, GizMac showed the Aluminate Case for iPod nano ($30) and DuraSport for iPod nano ($30), which each include two cases with an armband, carabiner, lanyard, and Click Wheel protector.
In addition to several other products, listed below, Griffin will unveil the PowerDock Charging Base ($70), a clean charging station for users or families with multiple Apple pocket devices.
Also known as “PowerDock 4,” this version features four Universal Dock recharging bays and can charge any four iPods at a time; it also works with the iPhone.
Griffin also took the wraps off several new iPod and iPhone accessories, along with a handful of new USB chargers. The iTrip AutoPilot with SmartScan ($100; Q2) is a FM transmitter for iPod and iPhone that features SmartScan to automatically find clear stations, RDS data technology, the ability to charge the attached iPod or iPhone, and control buttons on the charging stem. The company’s Evolve Wireless Speaker System got some add-ons in the form of extra speakers and charging bases, which will be available in March in sets of 2 pairs for $200, or individually for $100 and $30, respectively.
The company’s TuneBuds have been updated for iPhone compatibility with TuneBuds Mobile ($40; Jan.), adding an in-line microphone and control button to the popular earbuds. Griffin’s SmartTalk ($20; available now) also features an in-line mic and button, but allows users to connect their own earphones, while the PowerJolt SE ($20; March) is a simple one-piece car charger for the iPod and iPhone.
At CES, Griffin released its PowerBlock Dual Universal AC charger ($25; Feb.) with dual USB ports, the PowerJolt Universal car-based USB charger ($15; March), and the PowerDuo Universal ($35; March) which offers both products in a single package. At Macworld Expo, Griffin showed nicely redesigned versions of its past car accessories iSqueez, RoadTrip, and TuneFlex AUX, a new Windshield Mount for iPhone ($20), new Wave hard plastic and Cork (real cork and plastic) cases, then showed both PowerDock 4 and PowerDock 2 ($50) multi-iPod and -iPhone chargers.
Has shown a series of clear acrylic car and home mounts for the Apple TV and AirPort Extreme, as well as the Mac mini.
Showed off its waterproof case for the iPod nano, as well as its previously released headphones and cases.
Billing its new Thumpz Audio Wrapz ($25) as “the original speaker case,” ifrogz is debuting a combination of a silicone rubber iPod nano case with built-in speakers that use the nano’s headphone port, and require no additional battery power from either the iPod or another cell.
Multiple versions and colors of the case are available. More information and pictures are at the link above. At Macworld Expo, the company showed new Motion-branded armband cases, too.
iHome has released several new iPhone-compatible clock radios and sound systems, including the iP14 Alarm Clock ($100; April) a L-shaped clock designed to sit either vertically or horizontally for video viewing, the iP9 Clock Radio & Audio System ($120; Feb.-March), which is based on the company’s iH9 clock radio but adds some new features, the iP47 Bluetooth Clock Radio & Speakerphone ($150; June), which allows users to dial and receive calls through its speakerphone, and the iP51 2.1 Micro System with Sub ($200; June), a space-saving system that features a built-in clock radio and video output.
At Macworld Expo, numerous non-functional models were on display at the iHome booth, including a four-driver iHome2Go portable speaker, and a combination “swing speaker”/clear hard plastic case.
Showed a number of new and previously shown iPod speakers, including a karaoke machine, three different soundbars, and an HD Radio-ready speaker system. New iPod portable add-on video displays were also shown for a March release date, but were not turned on.
The case company is now selling IncipioCare three-packs of screen protectors and cleaning cloths for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as new cases such as Kickstand, a leather case with an integrated stand.
Showed previously released film protectors for iPod and iPhone.
iLuv has debuted its i1255, a desktop DVD/iPod player combo, the i399, a 2.1-channel iPod boombox with Bluetooth, and the i720 and i730 Bluetooth/FM transmitter hybrids.
Showed a traditional lineup of two-tone cases for the iPod touch, a stylish USB power adapter, its eVo4 Duo cases for the iPod classic, and iSkin Duo for the iPod nano 3G.
JBL has introduced several new iPod sound systems, including two with iPhone compatibility and new colors for an existing model. The On Stage 200ID ($150) and 400ID ($250) systems offer iPhone compatibility and a built-in subwoofer, respectively, while the On Stage IIIP ($170) is Works with iPhone certified, and offers four speakers, as well as the ability to sync and charge the iPhone while docked.
The On Stage Micro was updated with five new colors to match Apple’s new line of iPod nanos, and the JBL On Time 200ID ($200) is a new clock radio with a menu-driven UI, three speakers, and a battery-backup feature. Finally, the On Time 400ID ($300) packs in an HD Radio with iTunes Tagging, dual alarms, and DSP equalization.
The company also re-debuted its line of AKG-branded headphones, which have been popular in Europe, as a complete series of mass-market offerings for the U.S. market. Its lineup includes the K314P earbud and K324P in-ear models, the K414P, K416P, and K440NC (active noise reduction) foldable mini headphones, the K518 DJ headphones, and high-end K530 and K701 headphones.
Like Griffin, JVC has shown a multi-iPod dock, this one capable of more than just charging. The NXPN7 ($150) lets you plug in an iPhone and iPod at the same time, or two iPods, for charging, audio, and video-out purposes. It also includes speakers, a front-mounted LCD that serves as a clock, and a remote control. JVC also introduced its new P-Series line of LCD TVs with built-in iPod Docks and on-screen iPod navigation, and the RA-P31 iPod clock radio ($100).
Kensington unveiled its new LiquidAUX line of car audio accessories for the iPod and iPhone, designed for vehicles with auxiliary inputs. The LiquidAUX ($80) features an auxiliary port connector, a wireless remote designed to clip onto a steering wheel, and charging capabilities. The LiquidAUX Deluxe ($100) adds an adjustable cradle with a flexible arm to the standard LiquidAUX’s feature set, while the LiquidAUX Bluetooth Car Kit ($100) is made for use with Bluetooth-enabled phones.
Showed off a series of headphones and lanyard headphones for iPods and the iPod nano, which knock off v-moda’s Vibe headphones. There’s a new version of the prior Hookup Lanyard headphone and Bluetooth telephone adapter, as well, which claims to display the current caller ID information on your iPod nano’s screen. It also showed three different Bluetooth wireless speaker systems with the option to dock or use your iPod in portable mode with an included dongle.
In addition to previously announced iPod accessories, Logitech mostly focused on new computer and TV accessories, such as the Harmony One remote control.
Showed the mClip, a combination of belt clip and stand for the iPod touch or iPhone, as well as a low-end iPod and iPhone speaker called FlexTune with the ability to let you mount the iPod touch or iPhone on its side or straight up,
In addition to cases we’ve previously seen, the company showed C.E.O. Slim Fold, a new iPod nano flip case.
Showed its lineup of aluminum Matias Armor cases for the current generation of iPods and iPhone.
The French case maker showed off new designs for the iPod touch and other 2007 iPod models.
Myvu expanded its line of personal media viewers with its new myvu shades ($200; Jan.) and myvu crystal ($300; spring) video eyewear. Both the new viewers feature Kopin’s CyberDisplay technology, offering the highest pixel density and the sharpest resolution for its size, a rechargeable battery with up to 10 hours of viewing time for shades and up to four hours of viewing time for crystal, and earbuds from Ultimate Ears.
In addition to the iPhone Speaker Dock and Mic ($35) and iPhone Mic Extender Cable ($15) shown in the 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide, NewerTech will show the iPhone Hands-Free Mic and Earbuds ($20), an alternative to Apple’s iPod pack-ins, as well as the iPod-ready NewerTech Bass Response Earbuds ($20), the iPhone and iPod Auto Charger ($13), and the iPhone Headphone Jack Adapter ($8), all value-priced accessories.
Exhibited previously released, award-winning film protectors for the iPods and iPhone.
Pacific Rim Technologies
Showed a plastic and metal Alu-Magnesium ratcheting case ($30) that enables its front to serve as a stand, as well as faux carbon fiber cases for the iPhone in play-through and flip varieties. Also had a Bluetooth + FM Car Kit with an FM transmitter that takes Bluetooth audio from a phone, plays it through your speakers, and broadcasts your voice using an included microphone. You can detach the mic, which has an earpiece built in, and use it as a portable Bluetooth headset.
Panasonic introduced a new line of home theater systems, all including iPod docks. The $300 SC-PT660, $400 SC-PT760, and the $500 SC-PT960, all come with integrated iPod docks and are expected in April, while the top-of-the-line SC-BT100 adds wireless surround speakers and a Blu-ray player; it will be available in May for an undetermined price.
Showed a number of multi-iPod charging and storage solutions, including the Language Lab Case ($1,100), which includes a secure mobile case, a 15-unit iPod dock and an area to store the MacBook and associated power supplies to both devices, as well as 15-unit and 30-unit iPod charging and syncing solutions ($800, $1500 respectively)—designed for educational/museum applications.
Philips introduced the DCP951 Portable Docking Entertainment System ($200), which features a 9-inch LCD screen, and an integrated iPod dock that slides into the side of the system when not in use.
The car navigation system provider debuted AVIC-F500BT, an updated, portable version of its prior in-dash navigation devices, now enabling you to voice-control a connected iPod and/or Bluetooth-ready mobile phone. Designed to be used even without a professional in-dash installation, the new AVIC has its own 5.8-inch touchscreen display, speakers, battery, and Tele Atlas-based (but limited display mode) maps, and can connect to a car using nothing more than a line-in plug.
Japan’s Power Support showed an iPod nano Crystal Jacket with a video viewing stand, and a number of wooden USB accessories.
The Mac accessory maker seems to have decided to exit the iPod accessory business, and is offering a clearance sale on its iWoofer.
RhinoSkin will show its new iPod classic Aluminum HardCase at Macworld Expo. The HardCase features an aluminum back and polycarbonate front cover, a removable lanyard and belt clip, compatibility with fifth-generation iPods, and is available now for $35.
Showed AirFoil 3, which enables AirPort Express simulcasting of iTunes audio, and streaming of the audio portion of videos from iTunes.
Showed iNo, an interactive music trivia game for the iPod we’ve previously covered on iLounge.
This ODM/OEM company showed a collection of different Chinese iPod speakers which it was looking to find distributors for in the United States.
Came to MW Expo solely to offer reference designs for iPod speaker systems, enabling other companies to easily create speakers with their own components.
Showed the BoomBox for iPod, a portable speaker system with integrated radio, as well as a desktop system with an integrated clock and radio, a number of new cases from the SoundKase line.
Showed the InnoCase, a two-piece case for the iPhone, as well as a collection of relatively generic adapters, cables and other cases.
Showed cases in its prior series for the iPhone and iPod family, including the Elega Pouch, MagnetFlipper, Dockable Case, UltraSlim Pouch, and LeatherSkin.
Showed the Full Metal Jacket iPhone-ready in-canal earphones ($80) include a control button and microphone, as well as the Pipe, a pipe-shaped iPod speaker. Offered in different colors, and includes a matching remote control.
Displayed a speaker called i-F5—also shown as “i-F0”—which has a new, sleeker interior and exterior design than the prior version of the four driver and rechargeable battery speaker dock-slash-hard case formerly called i-Fusion. Also showed off a bizarre but powerful black and yellow speaker with a 100 watt bi-amp.
Another former iPod competitor-turned-accessory-maker, Sony has introduced two new micro shelf systems with integrated iPod docks, and a new HD Radio unit with support for iTunes Tagging. The CMT-BX20i ($130) and CMT-BX50BTi ($180) systems offer features like iPod navigation from the remote, a bass reflex speaker system with 50 watts of total power, and Dynamic Sound Generator X-tra sound processing, and will be available in February.
The Sony XDR-S10HDiP is the company’s first HD Radio to support iTunes Tagging, and also includes a wireless remote with full access to the iPod player menu, charges the iPod while it is docked and provides clock radio functionality. It will be available this summer for around $180.
Showed new TechStyle Runner armbands, and additional versions of the ArmorSkin case we’ve previously seen were the major new items from Speck.
Showed a collection of speaker and car accessories that they hoped would find a U.S. distributor.
Had special edition military green versions of its Capsule and VisionClip for iPhone, as well as its previously reviewed lineup of cases for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPod nano.
Famed U.K.-based speaker house Tannoy will debut the $400 i30—a wider, more powerful Bose SoundDock rival with no buttons on its body—for the first time outside of Europe.
More information is available at the link above.
Showed an iPod docking backpack called SonicPak ($99, Spring) with NXT speakers built in. You can’t tell from the design that there are speakers inside—it looks like a regular school-ready backpack.
Showed the iVolta Wireless Charging System, an accessory that can be connected to an iPod, enabling it to recharge on a flat magnetic surface rather than connecting with a cable. The accessory also has a tinny speaker inside. The predicted price for one adapter and the base plate is $25.
Tekkeon has introduced the NavDock ($130), a new iPod dock/media center featuring on-screen iPod navigation, support for the iPod nano (with video) and iPod classic, and a 16-button infrared remote.
Tunewear has introduced its Prie Ambassador SideHook ($50), a new leather case for iPod touch that features a hook that can be attached to a belt loop or bag, and doubles as a stand for watching video.
Showed off a U-Feel series case, an acrylic hard case with a reflective front surface. It comes in clear or charcoal, and has a clip that can be turned into a horizontal or vertical video stand.
Re-showed iMuffs, the Bluetooth headphones we’ve previously covered.
Vestalife has introduced two new compact iPod speaker systems aimed at younger consumers, the Butterfly and Ladybug ($110; Q1). The Ladybug is a 2.1-channel system with fold-out speakers and an integrated iPod dock, and will also be available with limited edition Element Snowboards designs for $125. Pricing and release information has yet to be announced for the Butterfly system; expect more details on both systems next week.
VibeVault has introduced its new VibeVault aluminum case for the iPod touch. The case offers full access to all controls and ports, includes a full-face screen protector, and is available now for $45.
Had a strong lineup of new speaker products, as well as new charging accessories—all for iPod. Luna 2 ($120) strips down the superb prior AM/FM dual alarm clock, replacing its screen with a simpler version, its four top dials with two, and its white and black industrial design with an almost entirely black one. Tango X2 ($150) updates the prior Tango audio system with an AM/FM radio and new design; the subwoofer now fires backwards rather than downwards for lower-distortion audio. The company’s catalog also reveals Luna Voyager ($90), a sleek travel alarm clock that has not been shown on the show floor.
The company also showed Incharge-branded wall ($30) chargers, a car and wall charger bundle ($50), as well as a new Incharge FM transmitter ($70) with a combination of car charging cable and FM transmitter. All use the company’s black and chrome color scheme.
ZAP, in addition to showing a “Made for iPod” electric car, will also introduce its iZAP line of iPod mobile rechargers at Macworld. According to the company, they’ll feature “advanced lithium battery storage and charge control technology to power or boost the battery life of the iPod.”
Zoom Technologies has introduced its Model 4355 Bluetooth transmitter for Dock Connecting iPods and the iPhone. The transmitter includes Bluetooth 1.2 and A2DP and AVRCP support, and is available by itself ($40) or as part of a Bluetooth headphone/transmitter bundle ($90).
Again showed a collection of OEM/ODM speakers that are being offered to other companies to brand as their own.
We will be updating this article during Macworld to include the latest announcements. Keep refreshing for additional information. Originally posted January 3, 2008.
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