Exclusive: Belkin’s TuneStage Bluetooth stereo solution
Discussing the future of its iPod accessory line with iLounge today, third-party developer Belkin Corporation has disclosed details of its newest iPod accessory, provisionally titled “TuneStage,” a Bluetooth Class 2 stereo solution for the iPod.
TuneStage will consist of two components - a receiver and a transmitter - which will connect any iPod via wireless Bluetooth link to any stereo system. The receiver will connect to a stereo via 3.5-inch minijack or RCA left and right ports, and Belkin is currently considering whether to additionally include an optical TOSLink output on the final product. TuneStage’s transmitter will attach to the top of the iPod, enabling it to wirelessly broadcast audio to the receiver and act like a “remote control” for the playback of iPod audio, explained Belkin product manager Randall Stowasser.
Numerous design factors can impact the audio quality of Bluetooth signals, but Belkin is “extremely pleased” with the sound quality of the TuneStage, according to Stowasser. It will output digital stereo sound taken from the iPod’s headphone jack, which while not line-out quality is likely to satisfy the needs of most iPod users. iLounge will have photography of TuneStage closer to the product’s first public showings at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show and the San Francisco Macworld Expo next month.
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