iLounge - First Looks

2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

First Looks

Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:

NRNot Rated

Company: Divoom

Website: www.divoom.com

Model: Voombox

Price: $100

Compatible: All Bluetooth-Equipped iPads, iPhones, iPods

Divoom Voombox Portable Bluetooth Speaker

If you're familiar with the Braven brand, there's a good chance Divoom's Voombox ($100) will look like something you've seen before. Although it's not a direct clone, the portable Bluetooth speaker resembles units such as 625s and BRV-1. Quite substantial in its heft, and sporting a metal core surrounded by rubber, Voombox is advertised as being weather resistant and shock proof. The 12-hour rechargeable battery charges over micro-USB, and the port is located under a rubber flap, next to an aux port; cables for both are included. It comes in black, blue, red, or green, and each includes a fabric lanyard.

NRNot Rated

Company: Itskins

Website: www.itskins.com

Model: Nitro Forged

Price: $60

Compatible: iPhone 5/5s

Itskins Nitro Forged for iPhone 5/5s

Itskins is back with its latest iPhone 5/5s case, Nitro Forged ($60). This one is a combination of rubbery TPU with aluminum "crowns" at the top and bottom, requiring an included screwdriver to separate and install the case -- certainly something of a hassle. The design and curves are similar to what we're used to seeing from Itskins, and the case includes button coverage. Screen film and the necessary accessories for application are included, and three color schemes are available.

NRNot Rated

Company: PureGear

Website: www.pure-gear.com

Model: PureTek Roll-On Screen Shield Kit

Price: $30-$35

Compatible: iPad Air, iPad mini

PureGear PureTek Roll-On Screen Shield Kit for iPad Air + iPad mini

Following a version for iPhone 5/5s, PureGear has released its PureTek Roll-On Screen Shield Kit for iPad Air and iPad mini ($20-$25). Available in antiglare and anti-fingerprint finishes for both sizes, the film is most notable for its included installation tray. Instead of having to try to line up a sheet of film, you simply insert the tablet into the plastic tray, pull the film over the screen, and used the included roller to work out the bubbles. It doesn't extend quite as far to the edges as most films do, but we found the process easy. A cleaning cloth is included.

NRNot Rated

Company: Soundfreaq

Website: www.Soundfreaq.com

Model: Double Spot

Price: $120-$150

Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, and Bluetooth-ready iPods

Soundfreaq Double Spot SFQ-09 Wireless Speaker

Inspired by the company's 2013 speaker Sound Spot, Soundfreaq's new Double Spot SFQ-09 ($120/$150) didn't initially make a lot of sense to us: it's larger and more expensive than the company's breakthrough Sound Kick, but has only one obvious advantage -- it puts out louder rather than better-quality sound. In the $120 base model, you lose the $100 Sound Kick's integrated battery, as well as the ability to easily carry the system around anywhere; only the $150 version (or the $120 model with a subsequently-added $39 battery) can be used without the included wall adapter. Soundfreaq's explanation: Double Spot is designed primarily to be an affordable, stylish stereo home speaker rather than a portable model, and most users will want to put it in one place and leave it there. It will also be offered in a wide variety of exterior designs, including the wood and colorful variations Soundfreaq is doing with Spot but not Sound Kick. Bluetooth 4 is included for wireless streaming, and a rear USB port offers up to 1-Amp recharging for iPhones and iPods.

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