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Show Report: Portable Sound Labs

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By Kevin Purdy

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We described Portable Sound Labs last year as “Most Improved”, having seen a few new speaker systems in some interesting configurations. This year, it showcased two similar modular setups: the Pipeline and Drop, as well as the modular KONX living room audio system. The $249 Pipeline package includes a Pipeline receiver and two Drops—handheld, RF-connected portable speakers that can be added on for $99 each. Each Drop can also be used as its own independent, Bluetooth-connected speaker, giving buyers a grab-and-go speaker option. Like many dock and audio vendors at this year’s show, Portable Sound Labs is relying on Bluetooth for its iOS device connectivity.

  • Portable Sound Labs

    A Pipeline receiver and Drop speaker from Portable Sound Labs, connected to an iPad through Bluetooth. The iPad fits in the Pipeline for convenience, but does not dock or charge there.

  • Portable Sound Labs

    A Pipeline receiver and two Drop speakers from Portable Sound Labs.

  • Portable Sound Labs

    A Portable Sound Labs representative inadvertently testing the lightweight nature of a Drop speaker, connected to a Pipeline receiver (by RF) and an iPad (via Bluetooth).

  • Portable Sound Labs

    A KONX (pronounced connect-x) family wireless speaker system from Portable Sound Labs at CES 2013, featuring a Stix soundbar and a Trax speaker (without covers or shields for display). Most of the company's new speakers are wooden boxes with rubber feet, varying in size, price, and drivers.

  • Portable Sound Labs

    The KONX line of wireless speakers from Portable Sound Labs on display at CES 2013. The KONX takes a similar approach to entertainment systems, with RF-connected units that, in the case of the $99 Blox modular speakers, can also function as their own Bluetooth speakers. The Stix ($179) is an 80-watt soundbar that ships with a built-in split: you can run it under your television, or stack it as two vertical speakers. There's also an Apex sub-woofer, a Trax ($149) and Lynx ($199), and they all arrange in whatever combination you'd prefer.

  • Portable Sound Labs

    A single Lynx speaker from Portable Sound Labs at CES 2013.

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