Carbon Audio has announced Zooka ($100), a distinctive new wireless Bluetooth speaker. Zooka promises to perform audio up to five times louder than the iPhone, iPad, or Mac laptop it works with, and interestingly can slide onto a laptop’s top, while a removable metal stand makes it an iPad holder, as well.
The elongated speaker comes equipped with two 30mm speaker drivers and features a 30 ft. Bluetooth range.
Zooka has a built-in microphone and a rechargeable battery that offers up to eight hours of play time. The speaker comes in eight different colors, and is available now.
Soundfreaq has announced Sound Platform 2 ($149), an updated version of Sound Platform that now features dual Bluetooth streaming—a novel technology that allows two systems to pair together to act as one system, with each handling left or right audio. Sound Platform 2 also offers larger speaker drivers, enhanced bass, dual USB charging ports, and an auxiliary input, as well as a device tray that can keep user-supplied charging cables out of sight. An optional rechargeable battery offers up to 7 hours of listening. It will be available at Target on Feb. 17, 2013.
Soundfreaq also announced two Lightning versions of its Sound Step speaker, the Sound Step Lightning and Sound Step Recharge Lightning — the latter comes equipped with a rechargeable battery. A new Lightning version of the Sound Rise alarm clock speaker was announced, as well. No prices were announced; these speakers will be available in spring 2013.
Bose has introduced the SoundDock Series III digital music system ($250), which is compatible with the Lightning connector and built for the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, and seventh-generation iPod nano, but not iPads. It’s the newest edition of Bose’s SoundDock Series — the original SoundDock debuted in 2004, followed by the SoundDock Series II in 2008, as well as the SoundDock Portable in 2007 and the SoundDock 10 in 2009. This is the first SoundDock to sell for less than $299, a price point that we’ve noted repeatedly was too high for the regular SoundDocks given the quality of the audio hardware inside.
An included remote controls the SoundDock Series III and playback controls for the iPhone or iPod, and an auxiliary input for other audio devices is also included. The SoundDock Series III is available now.
Phillips has announced four Lightning connector speaker docks for Apple’s latest devices, including some designs that look familiar from prior products—and notably no prices, as of yet. The large, boxy Lifestyle Music System features a retractable Lightning dock, a CD player, and an FM radio, while the smaller egg-shaped Portable Docking Speaker is a compact speaker that promises eight hours of battery life.
Phillips’ platform-styled Bedroom Docking Speaker features a clock display that automatically syncs with an iOS device, and a USB port is included on the back of the speaker to charge an additional device. Finally, the mid-sized, pill-shaped Room to Room Docking Speaker rounds out the group. According to the company, the speakers will be available this month, though it’s unclear as to how widespread their distribution will be and when prices will be announced.
Zensorium has announced Tinké ($119), a legacy Dock Connector accessory that monitors cardiorespiratory health and stress levels. Tinké uses optical sensing technologies to record blood volume changes from a user’s fingertips, and creates indexes for cardiorespiratory health — monitoring heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood oxygen level — and stress levels. The indexes allow for daily and monthly monitoring.
A free Tinké app lets users share their results on Facebook, add friends to the Tinké network, and compare scores with other users globally. Coming in blue, pink, gray, or white, Tinké is now available.
JayBird has announced BlueBuds X ($170), a new pair of sport Bluetooth earphones. BlueBuds X are secure-fit, micro-sized earphones, offering eight hours of battery playtime. Listeners benefit from in-ear white noise reduction and Shift, a “custom implementation of the native Bluetooth SBC codec,” a feature that JayBird claims will enable BlueBuds X to rival top-notch wired headphones for purity and sound.
The X-Fit option allows users to wear BlueBuds X over or under ears. Voice prompting, a microphone for calls, and integrated controls are also notable features. BlueBuds X comes with three pairs of ear tips and ear cushions, a standard micro USB cable for charging, and a carrying case. It is available now in black or white.
Known for its iconic clean speaker designs, Geneva has announced a substantially new product called WorldRadio ($300), an audio system with a Bluetooth receiver and digital FM tuner. WorldRadio is Geneva’s take on the classic world receiver, a radio that can receive FM, long- and shortwave radio signals — it can receive FM as well as streaming Internet radio stations from any Bluetooth device. The European DAB+ version can receive digital radio stations, as well.
Featuring an amplifier and full-range loudspeaker, WorldRadio uses a rechargeable battery that offers six hours of music playback. A digital color display with touch controls and alarm clock are also notable features, as is a 3.5 mm input for other audio sources. Geneva WorldRadio will be available in December, in metallic finishes of silver, red, or black.
Griffin Technology has announced the first standalone third-party charge/sync Lightning cables. Four cables have been introduced, including the 4’ coiled USB to Lightning Cable ($25), which provides a slightly longer alternative to Apple’s official Lightning to USB Cable, as well as the 3 meter USB to Lightning Cable ($30), which is nearly 10 feet long.
Also announced were the 3’ USB to Lightning Cable ($19), and 2’ USB to Lightning Cable ($17), both sold at roughly the same price as Apple’s version. The cables will be available from Griffin directly on the first week of December.
Satechi has announced the Universal Remote dongle ($25) and RemoteBean app for iOS devices, targeting an already-served market with a more aggressively priced solution. The Universal Remote dongle connects to the 3.5mm ports of Apple’s devices, rather than relying on the discontinued Dock Connector standard. Using the RemoteBean app, the device can then control a number of electronics, including TVs, DVD players, DVRs, and more.
The RemoteBean app comes with a database of thousands of electronic products, but users can teach the app to control other devices, as well. Satechi’s Universal Remote is available now.
NYNE has announced the NB-250 ($200), a portable Bluetooth speaker with a water-resistant rubberized cover. The NB-250 features 2.0 stereo output from two drivers, and two passive radiators for extended low-frequency range. It can operate up to 30 feet away from a Bluetooth device, with eight to 10 hours of battery power.
An included USB port enables device charging, and a 3.5mm auxiliary jack allows non-Bluetooth devices to use the speaker. A shoulder strap is included to allow for easy carrying along with a 3.5 mm auxiliary cable, USB to micro-USB cable, and carrying case. The NB-250 is available for preorder.
Ferrari by Logic 3 has announced two new audio accessories, the Cavallino T350 Headphones ($399) and Scuderia FS1 Bluetooth Speaker Dock ($549). Inspired by the Ferrari GT car, the Cavallino T350 Headphones are active noise canceling over-ear headphones, housed in metal with a black or tan leather headband and ear cups. Equipped with 40mm drivers, the T350 comes with a three-button and one-button in-line remote, and anti-tangle, detachable cables trimmed in woven fabric.
The Scuderia FS1 Bluetooth Speaker Dock is a compact Dock Connector accessory, powered by a 2.1 speaker system with two 2” drivers. A digital signal processor allows for natural musical timbre and extended low frequency response. Though the Scuderia FS1 streams music wirelessly via Bluetooth, an auxiliary port is also provided. A video out port for Apple devices and USB charging port are also included, along with a remote. Both accessories are now available.
Wahoo Fitness has announced the Balance Smartphone Scale ($99), a Bluetooth 4.0 body scale. The scale tracks weight and BMI, sending the information to the Wahoo Wellness App or any compatible fitness app to track progress with charts and graphs. Profiles can be saved for up to 16 different users, and the scale’s own internal memory can save up to 130 separate weight readings.
The Balance Smartphone Scale is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, fifth-generation iPod touch, third-generation and fourth-generation iPad, and iPad mini. Now available for preorder, the Balance Smartphone Scale ships the first week of December.
Griffin has announced its first Lightning accessory, the PowerJolt SE ($25), a car charger. A 10W charger with a 12V accessory outlet, the PowerJolt SE features a coiled cable that can stretch up to 4 feet in length; it’s notably slower in peak iPad charging speed than options recently announced by Scosche, but also less expensive.
The PowerJolt SE features an LED power indicator, and a built-in, self-resetting SmartFuse, which guards against power fluctuations during charging. Like Belkin’s Car Charger with Lightning Connector, Griffin’s PowerJolt SE is available now.
iLuv has announced a Lightning-compatible car charger and charge/sync cable. The EnergySeal Micro-Size Car Charger comes attached to a 6’ cable for charging Lightning devices. Its small size is designed to fit a variety of car power port locations and orientations; it promises 10.5W output.
iLuv’s Premium Coiled Charge/Sync Cable is a tangle-resistant 6’ cable that can charge and sync Lightning devices when used with a USB charger. Prices for the two accessories range from $30-$50, presumably in reverse order of their listing above, but the specific costs for each accessory are currently listed as “TBD” on iLuv’s website.
JBL has introduced the OnBeat Micro ($99) and OnBeat Venue LT ($199), the first Lightning-compatible speaker docks. OnBeat Micro is a portable, compact speaker with two full-range transducers that can dock the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch and seventh-generation iPod nano, but not the latest iPad or iPad mini. It offers five hours of playback with four AAA batteries, and includes an AC adapter for device charging, as well as a built-in USB connector for use with other devices.
JBL’s OnBeat Venue LT is an updated version of its OnBeat Venue, which we reviewed last month. A 30W wireless speaker that can stream from Bluetooth-enabled devices, the OnBeat Venue LT can dock the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad, as well as the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, and seventh-generation iPod nano. It features four transducers — two low-frequency and two high-frequency. A movie button on the top activates an “extra-wide sound field” for watching video, and an auxiliary input provides a means to connect older Apple devices. Both speakers are currently available for preorder.
Outdoor Tech has launched the ADAPT ($40), a clip-on Bluetooth receiver that allows iOS devices and the latest iPod nanos to wirelessly stream audio to any pair of headphones or speakers. The device has a standard 3.5mm audio port, and receives Bluetooth audio from distances of up to 30 feet away. ADAPT also comes with playback controls and a built-in mic for calls. ADAPT promises nine hours of talking and listening time from its rechargeable battery, which is refueled with an included Micro-USB charger. It is available now, in black, pink, and blue.
iLuv has introduced ReF, a new line of headphones ($130). The collapsible on-ear headphones feature an all-fabric exterior, in-line remote, and a built-in mic with hands-free capabilities, as well as ear cups made from “Korean protein leather.” ReF headphones promise “deep bass and precise treble.”
ReF headphones come in two variations, one generic, and the other specific to Apple devices. Both versions come in black, white, navy, and red, and will be available this month.
Scosche has announced nine new accessories compatible with the Lightning cable — all of them chargers, offered in less expensive 5-Watt and more expensive 12-Watt iterations. StrikeBASE ($30-$35) is a wall charger, StrikeBASE pro ($40-$50) is a wall charger with two ports and a Lightning/micro USB cable, and StrikeDRIVE ($25-$40) is a car charger.
In addition to the 5W/12W choices, StrikeDRIVE adds a third option, which includes an extra USB port and Lightning/micro USB cable; StrikeDRIVE pro ($50) adds a second USB port. Finally, StrikeLINE pro ($30) is a retractable charge and sync cable for Lightning/micro USB devices. All accessories are currently listed as “coming soon” on Scosche’s website.
Griffin has launched Twenty ($100), a digital audio amplifier that uses AirPlay to connect the AirPort Express — or any digital audio source — to speakers. First seen at this year’s CES, Twenty basically turns any set of speakers into an amplified AirPlay wireless system.
Featuring 2.1 channel sound, Twenty provides connections for left and right channel speakers along with an RCA connector for a powered subwoofer. Although specifically designed to dock the original Airport Express, Twenty works with any compatible digital audio source. It is currently available.
Squier by Fender has introduced the Strat Guitar ($200), a new Stratocaster guitar that features iOS and USB connectivity. A mini-USB to Dock Connector cable and mini-USB to USB cable are included for connecting to an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac/PC for playing and recording.
The Strat Guitar also comes with a stereo headphone jack with volume control and an analog output lets the guitar function as a traditional Stratocaster that can plug into any amp, as well. It is available now.