Corresponding with the start of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Altec Lansing has announced three new iPod-ready speaker systems: the iMV712 video speaker dock, the M812 wireless home system, and the iM600 portable audio system with FM radio. Release dates have not been announced as of press time.
• iMV712 - Following the lead of companies such as Sonic Impact, Altec’s iMV712 ($350) combines a 8.5” “high-resolution” LCD panel with 3” neodymium speakers, an integrated 4” subwoofer, and an iPod dock to deliver a better-than-iPod-quality audio/video experience. With a wireless remote control, the iMV712 can be controlled from a distance, enabling you to watch iPod video content from near or afar, while the speakers are designed to deliver audio quality superior to competing video docks. The trade-off? Portability; iMV712 is designed to be used in one place.
• M812 - As the latest in several similar, competing accessories, the M812 ($400) wireless home system uses 2.4 GHz wireless technology to transmit a docked iPod’s “brilliant sound” up to 100 feet away through twin 3.5” woofers and 1” tweeters, which can be placed in your choice of additional locations. A “full-featured learning remote” provides access to the system’s iPod dock, FM radio, and auxiliary input features, interestingly simply by being pointed at the speakers, wherever they may be. A wall mounting kit is included for the speakers, and up to three additional wireless speaker sets can be added to the system.
• iM600 - With styling extremely similar to the company’s smaller, iPod nano-specific iM500 speakers, iM600 ($150) has room for a full-fledged iPod dock on its front bottom, plus an integrated, stylish digital FM radio tuner on its front top. The new model preserves iM500’s flip open/flip closed mechanism for convenient storage and carrying, and now includes a wireless remote control with iPod, system, and FM radio buttons, plus a Sound Field Expander button to create artificial spacialization. A rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery can be used for power on the go, or the included AC power supply can provide power when you’re near an outlet indoors. Auxiliary input, subwoofer output, composite video output and mini USB ports are included, too.
Soundcast Systems has announced two new iPod-ready wireless speaker systems—the SpeakerCast and OutCast. Both systems include a Soundcast iCast wireless dock for iPods, and transmit audio up to 150 feet through multiple rooms indoors, and over 350 feet outdoors. They use Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology on the 2.4GHz band.
The SpeakerCast ($399) home audio system integrates an amplified stereo speaker enclosure and two 3” full range drivers, a 50 watt per channel digital amplifier, and the Soundcast receiver. A wireless remote is also included. The OutCast ($499) is an all-weather, outdoor speaker system. It features an 8” downward firing woofer, four 3” high frequency drivers, a 100 watt digital amplifier and the Soundcast receiver. The OutCast has an integrated NiMH battery and can also be AC powered. Photos forthcoming.
Developed by SDI—makers of the popular iHome series of iPod alarm clocks—Timex has announced Ti700, a silver and black pillar-like clock radio designed with a space-saving footprint. In addition to a universal iPod dock with charging and audio output functionality, Ti700 features many of the concepts pioneered in earlier iHome clocks, including a large, blue-backlit screen, dual alarms with an AFC-enhanced FM/AM radio, 9 station presets, and an included 9-button remote control. Ti700 relies upon a single speaker driver for its audio output, and can take input from other audio devices through a line input. Pricing and availability were not provided.
JVC today announced that it has expanded its “Made for iPod” product offerings with four new audio systems. The company’s new iPod-ready lineup includes the UX-EP300 ($250; Sept.), a 2.1-channel DVD theater system featuring 3D Phonic Front Sound technology; the UX-EP100 ($150; April), an ultra-compact two-channel desktop music system with CD/MP3/WMA playback; the MX-KC58 ($200; April - shown right), a 400-watt mini system that is XM-ready; and the RD-HA3 ($350; May), a boombox that features side-firing subwoofers and XM Satellite Radio readiness.
iHome Audio has announced several new iPod audio systems and clock radios, as well as new “colortunes” versions of its current products in colors to match the latest iPod nanos. Among the new iPod accessories announced were:
• iHome iH10/iH14 - A classically-styled tabletop iPod speaker system with AM/FM radio. It features rotary knob controls, tuned wood cabinet construction, and top-mounting universal iPod dock. The iH10 comes in white or black plastic, while the iH14 comes in black leather or wood finishes.
• iHome iH4 - An alarm clock that lets you wake and sleep to the music on a docked iPod. It features EXP Expanded Bass and Reson8 technology, an AUX/MP3 input jack, and adjustable LED side accent lights. The iH4 is available in white or black.
• iHome iH5 (colortunes) - A new version of the company’s popular iHome iH5 with colored speaker grills to match the 2G iPod nano. The colortunes iH5 will be available in white with grills in blue, green, and pink.
• iHome iH3 (colortunes) - A new version of iHome’s iH3 iPod alarm clock and speaker system in blue, green, pink, and silver to match the 2G iPod nano models. The colortunes iH3 is being sold exclusively at Target stores.
• iHome iHM1 (colortunes) - An updated and colorized version of the company’s ultra-portable speaker system. Available in blue, green, and pink, the speaker system works with 1G and 2G iPod nanos.
• iHome iH19 (colortunes) - A new version of iHome’s water-resistant stereo sport case for iPods. The case, now available in blue, green, pink and silver, features two integrated stereo speakers and an external iPod control pad.
Pricing and availability were not provided.
Following up on three of its earlier products, Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) has announced the new speaker system iBoom Travel, a new 2007 edition of its car charging, mounting, and FM transmitter solution, TransDock, and an upgraded version of its on-TV docking solution HomeDock Deluxe. Prices and release dates were not immediately available for all three items at press time.
• iBoom Travel - This unit combines an iHome-style brightly lit LCD clock radio - here, FM only - with two speakers, a buzzer, and an iPod dock. Using battery or AC power, it’s capable of playing back iPod music, digitally tuned FM radio stations, or the alarm buzzer as you prefer, and unlike the previous DLO speaker iBoom, can easily fit into a small bag for travel. It is available now for $80 in black or white versions.
• TransDock - The new version of TransDock boasts a “new enhanced mounting arm,” video-out for use with in-car video displays, a new design with a top- and side-mounted antenna for superior FM broadcasting quality, and removable faceplates to help you match your iPod or car. Like the prior TransDock, which was also known as TransPod, this version charges and plays audio from your iPod via FM transmission; an auxiliary input lets you connect other devices for the transmitter, and a USB pass-through so that you can charge other USB-based electronic devices.
• The All New HomeDock Deluxe - Though cosmetically near-identical to its predecessor, the new HomeDock Deluxe now includes on-screen album art display on a dedicated Now Playing screen, the ability to navigate both music and videos through an on-screen menuing system, and 12 new color themes and screen savers. A feature called My Jukebox enables you to create “on the fly” playlists for a party, as well.
Shure has announced four new models of sound isolating earphones, which the company says will begin to be available next month. The new Shure earphone line consists of of the SE210, SE310, SE420, and SE530 (formerly model E500).
• SE210 ($150) earphones feature “premium sound in a sporty package.” The earphones integrate a Hi-Definition MicroSpeaker to provide “full-range audio distinguished by an optimal high frequency response.”
• SE310 ($250) earphones feature a Hi-Definition MicroSpeaker with Tuned BassPort technology which “showcases extended range audio and enhanced bass for optimal high frequencies and enhanced low-end performance.”
• SE420 ($350) utilize Dual TruAcoustic MicroSpeakers—a dedicated tweeter and woofer. An internal crossover “sends lower and higher frequencies to dedicated drivers so that lows, mids and highs are distinct and defined, for accurate reproduction of all the details of your music.”
• SE530 ($450)/SE530PTH ($500) feature Triple TruAcoustic MicroSpeakers—a tweeter and dual woofers. An internal crossover “routes audio to a dedicated tweeter to ensure that highs and mid-highs are incredibly accurate and detailed, while two dedicated woofers provide the ultimate in balanced lows and low-mids and full-bodied bass.” The SE530PTH also includes the Shure Push-To-Hear Control (PTH) module.
Shure’s SE210 and SE310 feature Shure’s Deluxe Fit Kit, and a Premium Fit Kit is included with SE420 and SE530 models. The Deluxe kit includes three pairs of disposable black foam sleeves (S, M, L), three pairs of soft flex sleeves (S, M, L), one pair of triple flange sleeves, deluxe carrying case and wax guard. The Premium Fit Kit includes everything in the Deluxe version, but adds a premium carrying case and airline adapter.
IntelliTouch has announced a new wireless multi-room speaker system for iPods. The Eos system uses Wi-Fi technology to link up to four wireless satellite speakers, and broadcasts “CD quality sound” up to 150 feet through walls and ceilings. The Eos base station/transmitter features a built-in iPod dock, two stereo drivers and a ported sub-woofer. Each remote wireless speaker also has two drivers and a ported subwoofer. An Eos core system, with a docking station/transmitter and one wireless remote speaker, will be available in March for $299. Additional Eos wireless speakers will cost $129.
Belkin has introduced the TuneStudio, a four-channel audio mixer that allows users to create digital recordings directly to a fifth-generation iPod. The mixer accepts up to four different instruments or audio sources, and records the audio to the iPod in 16-bit, 44kHz stereo quality for instant playback; each source has a 3-band equalizer, pan and level controls, and the system offers microphone gain and makeup gain features attenuated to the iPod’s recording needs. According to the company, it can also serve as an external USB sound card for PCs or Macs, allowing PC source audio input and output to a PC from any of its inputs, as well as streaming audio over a USB connection.
“TuneStudio is compact, portable, and tough enough to withstand life in a rehearsal room or in a garage,” says Belkin. “Bands can easily attach instruments and microphones to TuneStudio and record jam sessions directly onto an iPod. Podcasters can also use this device to record their shows either in a studio or on location.” Belkin said the TuneStudio is expected to be released this summer, priced at $180.
H2O Audio has announced a Sports Integration System ($25) for its recently unveiled iPod nano Outdoor Case. The mounting system offers up a custom locking clip system which lets users mount the Outdoor case and enclosed nano on a variety of surfaces including handlebars, backpacks and hiking gear. The system is designed to help iPod users get more rugged outdoors enjoyment with their nano.
Griffin Technology has announced its lineup of iPod products that it will show off at next week’s Macworld Conference & Expo. The lineup of existing and new products includes:
• Amplifi is a 2.1 iPod sound system featuring an all-wood, acoustically tuned enclosure, two front-firing 2-3/4” neodymium drivers and a 5” downward-firing woofer. It also offers a built-in iPod dock, 3.5mm stereo input jack, and IR remote.
• Journi (previously known as Voyager) is a mobile speaker system that features a Wrapstand exterior which “protects your iPod when you’re on the go, then flips open to create its own stand.” It has internal Lithium-Ion batteries (8-10 hours of play on a single charge), an adjustable dock bay, and speakers with SRS Labs’ SRS WOW digital signal processing.
• AirDock (A) is a silver metal iPod dock that allows you to connect your iPod to a stereo or TV. It also charges an iPod and comes with a 5-button RF remote for controlling playback from up to 60 feet away.
• Dock Adapter for iPod Shuffle enables use of the second-generation iPod shuffle in devices with an Apple Universal iPod Dock.
• TuneFlex AUX is identical to Griffin’s TuneFlex automobile charging cradle, but includes a 1/8” (3.5mm) auxiliary input cable instead of a cassette adapter.
• TuneJuice 2 is an improved version of Griffin’s battery backup brick for iPods. Powered by 4 AAA batteries, TuneJuice 2 adds up to 14 additional hours of audio play and 2 additional hours of video play.
• Reflect Cases (B) for the second-generation iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod sport polycarbonate hard shells with a mirrored-chrome reflective face. “Wake up your iPod, and the bright, clear iPod screen shows up as if by magic,” says Griffin. The Reflect cases have a matte black rubberized back.
• Tempo for iPod shuffle (C) is a new adjustable armband for the second-generation iPod shuffle. It features a built-in cord wrap and reflective accents for night safety.
• iClear Custom (D) is a new version of Griffin’s see-through iClear case which gains a slot in the back to add your own photographs and artwork. Versions will be available for the second-generation iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod.
Pricing and availability for the products was not provided.
Applied Imaginations has announced its Mood Wrapz, new heat sensitive, color-changing iPod skins. The protective skins cover the front and sides of your iPod, and are adhesive backed. The skins are temperature sensitive to the touch and change colors to be “as hot or cold” as you are. A full size Mood Wrapz costs $11 and a nano version will run you $10.
Citing no sources, TheStreet.com’s Doug Kass posts a rumor that Apple “will announce that [CEO] Steve Jobs will be taking a leave of absence from the company.” No further details are provided.
The Flux today announced its 2007 iPod Film Festival. The festival is geared at films specifically formatted for playback on the video iPod. Unlike last year’s event, this year’s festival will be free to enter.
Mogopop.com is offering two free, member-published iPod guides for next week’s Macworld Conference & Expo. Together they offer a “comprehensive portable guide to this major annual event for Macintosh fans, users, developers and enthusiasts.”
Apple and CBS have added the first season of the original Star Trek series to the iTunes Store. Nearly 30 episodes are available for $56.99 or $1.99 each. The Star Trek season aired in 1966.
Tune Belt has once again expanded its line of “Open View” iPod cases and carriers. The latest products include belt carriers for iPod nanos and fifth-generation iPods. Each of the neoprene belts, which allow users to secure their iPod around their waist, feature a clear, protective mylar window that allows for play-through control. The belt for 5G iPods has an extra pocket on the back that holds personal items such as credit cards, keys and money, while the belt for the nano has a space that “perfectly fits the Nike+iPod Sport Kit receiver.” Both belts sell for $20.
iSkin today announced two new versions of its special edition iPod protectors. Both new cases feature stylings that mimic Apple’s special edition U2 iPod. The Special Edition iSkin for iPod nano ($30), designed to fit second-generation models, features a dual-layer design that combines a dark-tinted hard outer shell with a silicone inner layer. The case comes with a removable rotary beltclip, lanyard, and dock connector port cover. The Claro Special Edition for iPod with video ($45), for fifth-generation iPods, also features a dual-layer design with a scratch-resistant polycarbonate hard case covering a silicone inner layer. The Claro also sports an integrated kickstand belt clip.
While U.S. album sales continued to decline in 2006, total music sales were up nearly 20 percent thanks to a large increase in digital downloads. Approximately 588.2 million physical albums were sold last year, down 4.9 percent from 2005, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Digital music sales, however, increased by 65 percent over the previous year. Some 582 million tracks were sold, and digital album sales more than doubled, with nearly 33 million sold. Overall music sales—which includes all albums, singles, music videos and digital downloads—increased by more than 19 percent in 2006.
Luxpro, the Taiwan-based company known for its iPod shuffle knock-off, says it has won a lawsuit filed against it by Apple, and now plans to countersue the iPod maker for $100 million in damages. “We plan to sue Apple in a Taiwanese court before the end of the month and demand $100 million in compensation for the revenues we have lost due to their abuse of their global power,” Wu Fu-chin, Luxpro chairman, told the Financial Times.
In early 2005, Luxpro introduced a digital audio player that was nearly indistinguishable from Apple’s first-generation iPod shuffle. The Super Shuffle, later renamed the Super Tangent, had the same measurements, weight and overall design—including the control pad, backside slider switches and USB port cover—of the iPod shuffle. It also came in 512MB and 1GB sizes like the Apple player.
In August 2005, Apple sought and received an injunction to stop sales of the Luxpro player from the Shihlin District Court in Taipei. Luxpro appealed and won subsequent lawsuits in the Taiwan High Court and the Taiwan Supreme Court. Last month, the Shihlin District Court lifted the original injunction, stating that “the appearances of the two products are significantly dissimilar.”
Logitech has announced the X-240 computer speaker system, which features an audio control center that serves as a cradle for an iPod or similar device. “With plug-and-play functionality, the X-240 speaker system allows people to dock their digital device by simply plugging it into the cradle,” says Logitech. “When their device of choice is docked, people can charge it and sync or play their favorite digital music. And when not in use, the cradle can be stored flush with the control pod.” The Logitech X-240 system ($50; April) includes specialized trays for the iPod and Microsoft Zune. The speakers feature high-excursion satellite drivers, a ported down-firing subwoofer and dynamic, real-time bass equalization.
Mopar, DaimlerChrysler’s original equipment manufacturer, has expanded availability of its iPod Integration Kits for most Chrysler Group vehicles. The following iPod Integration Kits are now available for 2006 and newer Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles:
• Can-B Integrated (#82209617AC -$215) for the Chrysler Aspen, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Charger, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Ram, Dodge Durango, Dodge Dakota, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander.
• J-1850 Integrated (#82209616AC - $179) for the Jeep Liberty, Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Chrysler Pacifica
• FM-Bounded (#82210181 - $139) for Jeep Liberty, Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler 300, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Aspen, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Ram, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Durango
• FM-Bounded (#82210848 - $139) for Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Nitro, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger
The iPod Integration Kits from Mopar are available for purchase and installation at Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealerships across the country.
iLuv has introduced two new iPod speaker systems—the i277 and i199—which feature support for two-way wireless music streaming. The systems are iLuv’s first products to feature BluePin, which allows users to “wirelessly send and receive music to or from a mobile phone, laptop computer, MP3 player or other device with Bluetooth wireless technology.”
The iLuv i277 ($150) features a built-in iPod dock, jAura acoustic speaker technology, digital clock display with dual alarm, AM/FM Radio, video output, and remote control. The i199 ($230; shown) features an iPod dock, jAura speaker technology, CD/MP3 CD player, AM/FM radio, digital clock with dual alarm, and support for USB audio devices. Both models work with 3G, 4G and 5G iPods, iPod minis, and iPod nanos.