iPod Hi-Fi speaker system unveiled | iLounge News

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iPod Hi-Fi speaker system unveiled

imageApple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPod Hi-Fi during today’s special event at Apple’s Cuperinto headquarters. [Live coverage] The high-end speaker system delivers “breathtaking acoustic performance and room-filling sound unlike any other speaker system designed for the iPod in an innovative, all-in-one design.”

The iPod Hi-Fi, which can be powered from a wall socket or by six D-cell batteries, features an integrated iPod dock and is controlled by the 6-button Apple Remote. It’s available starting today for $349.

Compatible with all dock connector iPods, the Hi-Fi charges your iPod while docked and offers Tone Control, Large Album Art mode and volume mirroring on fifth-generation iPods and iPod nanos. The device also features molded handles, a removable front grille, touch-sensitive volume control buttons, a built-in power supply (no external power brick), and a 3.5-mm auxiliary input. The Hi-Fi measures 17.0” x 6.6” x 6.9.”

“iPod Hi-Fi has been designed and engineered by Apple to deliver unrivaled sound quality, realistic sound imaging and optimal audio performance,” the company says. “Its clean, all-in-one design features a unique isolated enclosure system that includes two custom designed wide-range speakers and a tuned, ported bass system, minimizing vibration while maximizing sound quality and allowing users to listen to their favorite music as it was intended with amazing sound clarity and rich, deep bass.”

Apple also today introduced new Intel-based Mac mini computers. Available in a 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor configuration and a 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor configuration, the new systems feature Apple’s Front Row media software and a new music, video and photo sharing feature that uses the company’s Bonjour wireless networking technology. The new Mac minis start at $599.

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Comments

41

There is another way to review the pricing.  And doing so means Apple is really going to need to tighten its marketing message.

Now I admit what I am saying is smoke and mirrors but if Apple does not DIRECTLY compare their product to the Bose Soundock they could promote: A Music System, bundled with a Dock and Remote (Normally purchased separately) for only $349.  That had to be their approcah or the price selected is puzzling.  Again, I know you get dock capability, etc with a BOSE, but do all competitive players offer a remote?

It’s all in the message.

Posted by Navec245 on February 28, 2006 at 5:04 PM (CST)

42

One thing to say :

Logitech Z-5500 $399

This iPod Hi-Fi system is totally stupid… How can Apple seriously think intelligent ppl will buy this piece of crap ?

Posted by Goldtiqer on February 28, 2006 at 5:05 PM (CST)

43

a few things:
-Czako: fm support?are you kidding?ipod has been labelled a digital revolution, and you’re here on ipod lounge shows you’d like to be part of that…and yet, u still listen to fm radio. This is called an iPod speaker for a reason. Its not called an ‘Apple Home Stereo (feat. iPod dock’.  give it up with the fm radio…only a minority want it.

-What did everyone exactly expect apple to come up with?i mean…how can you accurately create a speaker for a sound enthusiast, and get rid of that form factor, all the while keeping it portable…. This is as good as it gets. Its designed to be picked up and moved around alot.

The trouble is with this product, is taht its exactly what everyone expected, and so it’s not blowing people away. And by the whole event today, its evident it wasn’t meant to.

ahMEmon: NOT utterly pointless. same as that ipod dj thing. it jsut has a target audience that you’re not a part of.
i bet this thing does pretty well.
You go into a store, see the bose system, a bunch of cheapy, crappy creative speakers, and an apple ipod hi fi speaker…alot of pepoel will go with brand, and apple are simply capitalising on it.
NOthign wrong with it.
If you dont like it, simple, don’t buy it. If you don’t need it, simple, don’t buy it.

Dan x

Posted by Dan Nicholls on February 28, 2006 at 5:10 PM (CST)

44

This event was LAME. Come on an ugly over priced speaker BRICK, over priced leather cases. And upgrades to Mac Mini? Come on… I don’t think I would have been so dissapointed had it not been so hyped. This is the kinda junk apple should just release without any event.

Those of you who are considering buying this thing should take all that extra money you apperantly must have lying around and send it orphans in India or somthing good. Im all for nice things, but sometimes people ask ridiculous amounts for what isn’t that impresive.

Posted by JeremytheIndian on February 28, 2006 at 5:11 PM (CST)

45

at least fit AirtTunes in that HUGE thing—maybe even a flip up LCD screen—come on guys, i’d expect more than this from apple, especially given its enormous size and not so cheap price!!!!!  (do you think they know there are alternatives, or did they think this was the only way people would think to play their ipod music…....maybe this is all a joke.)

Posted by Joseph on February 28, 2006 at 5:21 PM (CST)

46

These comments remind of the negative comments when Apple first released the iPod and then the iPod mini. Mark my words—this speaker system will sell very well (I’m ordering one, maybe two).

Why? Because it addresses all the shortcomings of existing iPod speaker systems. Apple focused on the sound quality, not on unnecessary extras. For example, it does not feature an alarm because the iPod already has an excellent alarm. It does, however, feature an optical input for an Airport Express—something that other iPod speaker systems don’t have.

If these speakers sound good, expect people to buy several—one for the bedroom and kitchen to use with their iPod and one for the den or living room to use with Airport Express. Etc.

I suspect Apple used technology similar to Yamaha’s virtual surround speaker system, which provides 5.1 surround sound from one unit. Here Apple only had to provide 2.1 sound from one unit—an easier task, which explains the modest price (for an audiophile product).

Look out Bose ... and especially Klipsch (the iFi).

Posted by Rockr on February 28, 2006 at 5:26 PM (CST)

47

OKAY.
bash time.

1) Huge Much?
2) Money Much? sorry i’m not rich. thanks. it’s more than even a SOUND DOCK, although probably much better- it has an aux input for starters.
3) Its actually not that ugly, in its defence…it would look cool on a dresser i guess
4) why is it not…more durable? like, its meant for a shelf. you can’t cart this around i dont think
5) lastly, what happens if it breaks…k so my applecare covers all apple branded accessories. i dont think i can just courier this back to them :P

Posted by Noah Gomberg on February 28, 2006 at 5:33 PM (CST)

48

I firat i was like, ‘its just another speaker” then i saw the price!!! Apple is #1 with me. The case is to $$, and the Hi-Fi is WAY to $$$$$$. If they came out with another iPod with bigger screen, just go get ya a portible DVD player. Apple did a good thing with the video, so lets just keep it there. Also, If they made a econamy line iPod, then it would just take the quality and prfectness out of a iPod.

Posted by LawnBoy on February 28, 2006 at 5:35 PM (CST)

49

Rockr: Puh-leaze. Why pretend this is about fidelity when 99% of iPod users already have their songs encoded in lossy formats? Audiophiles that are so anal about sound quality that they will fork over $350 for a unit whose sole advantage is its supposedly (as none of us has heard one in person or seen it put through rigorous testing) superior sound reproduction are not likely to bother with an iPod to begin with. Even if they did, that’s a pretty teeny segment of the customer base to target.

Posted by Hrothgar on February 28, 2006 at 5:39 PM (CST)

50

Disappointment. D batteries!!?? 1983 called, they want their power back. Holds breath to see if sound quality is worth the $350. I’m no aesthete, but that thing is all wrong.

Posted by uphillslide on February 28, 2006 at 5:43 PM (CST)

51

Just like Apple continues to sell lot’s of Ipods, despite the “scratch issues” that only people on the boards rant about, there will probably be a significant market for this product. Given Apples remarkable recent success rate, I am sure they are confident in their Market Research that surely suggests this was a great move for them.

Posted by Navec245 on February 28, 2006 at 5:48 PM (CST)

52

Hrothgar, I think the audiophile market is split into two camps at this point—those who cling to their SACDs and DVD-As (and vinyl) versus those (like me) who have made the leap to lossless digital files (in my case Apple Lossless with a smattering still in AIFF).

Plenty of audiophiles don’t want 6 foot speakers in their bedroom, kitchen, study, etc., but they want good sound. The iPod HiFi fits the bill.

Plus plenty of upper middle class and wealthy non-audiophiles will buy one along with their iPod at the Apple Store. These are the people who usually buy Bose, but why do so when they can get a complete solution from one company. You can bet that Apple will have a great sales display for the iPod HiFi.

Posted by Rockr on February 28, 2006 at 5:52 PM (CST)

53

You guys are missing what happened. IS Apple this stupid? They called a special press event, and the last time they did such a thing, they introduced the video capable iPod. The Hi-Fi was clearly not supposed to be the “one more thing” press-buzz generator. Something was removed at the last second, lastly a response to Microsoft’s announcement. It was the smart thing to do. Don’t look at this as a disappointment. Apple has never called a press event to release 3 mediocre items. They had to have known that this was going to be yawned at, but it wasn’t worth the risk of releasing a critical item before watching to see how Microsoft was retaliating. Think of it as a cleaver shot-fake.

Posted by Sam on February 28, 2006 at 5:55 PM (CST)

54

Looks more like a bench to sit on. Truly ugly.

Posted by Jeff on February 28, 2006 at 6:04 PM (CST)

55

$350 for a set of speakers? ehh no thanks.
featureless and expensive.
anyone can just hook up their ipod to a decent home setup .. plus the frequency response on this thing sucks. we all know the EQs often distort bass on the ipod .. are they saying it won’t do so when connected to this set? meh. what a waste. those cases are ridiculous as well .. no access to the screen or controls .. and .. $99?!
and i thought those butt fugly vajas were bad.

Posted by ehh on February 28, 2006 at 6:06 PM (CST)

56

NO FM/AM TUNER!!!! SO….when I’m out with my iPod making the rounds, my wife get to stare at this uninspiring lump of plastic that has no functionality until I return and plug in my iPod. Total SHITE!

Posted by BUBBA on February 28, 2006 at 6:08 PM (CST)

57

Frequency response: 53Hz to 16kHz ± 3 dB

Terrible.  Get a real speaker system.

Posted by Kevin on February 28, 2006 at 6:17 PM (CST)

58

Hrothgar: You address your post perfectly: indeed, why would the average ipod user who has lossy file formats want this?audiophiles would have their music in a good file format, or even if they dont, surely they want the best they can get with the source they have(ipod)?
audiophiles, well, take for example a friend of mine;‘s father…he ‘on a whim’ forked out around £2000 for a set of speakers for his stereo, and then another £300 for speaker wire (which looks somethign akin to those thick wires companies dig up the street to install), and he’s not rich, nor stupid. he jsut lieks good audio quality, and is willing to spend what it takes to get the best signal from the source he can.
My point is, he uses both cd’s and vinyl, cd’s for convenience in his car, vinyl when he’s abel to use his proper stereo system or when the album/single isn’t on vinyl…audiophiles would probably buy an ipod for convenience, and, yeah, its not perfect, but this ipod hi fi is basically presenting them with getting the most out of their ipod. nothing more, nothing less.
This is a darn good solution. I’m not an audiophile, but im considering buying one of these for when i’m at university, so that i don tfill up my HD with music, or have to lug a stereo aroudn with me.
Dan x

Posted by Dan Nicholls on February 28, 2006 at 6:25 PM (CST)

59

Wow!Apple is finally TRYING to make good sounding music. I can’t believe people are bashing them for introducing a speaker and amps for only $350.

What ever happened to sound quality? I guess all those earbuds are burning out peoples hearing? Lots of studies coming out to support that statement.

Hello is anyone home? Go out and listen to some vinyl or good CD’s at a audio speciality shop and then compare that to what you are getting off your horrible sounding lossy compressed audio files. If you are enthusiastic about music you owe this to yourself and just try it. Take a reality check and hear what you have been missing.

I applaude Apple for trying to sell better sound quality instead of going for price point based garbage that everyone seems to spew out and claim is “great sound”. Give me a break, you have been duped.

Forget about Circuit City and large mid fi chains. Go out to a real audio store and listen to a system that involves you with the music at a new level.

Posted by John K. Wood on February 28, 2006 at 6:25 PM (CST)

60

I find most of these comments quite humorous. Generally, if you want better SQ size DOES matter, despite what Mr. Bose and his misguided disciples spew otherwise.

Hrothgar: no TRUE audiophile will fork over even a paltry amount like $350 for this contraption and claim it’s the worthiest of purchases, even for lossless listening. You just DON’T get proper imaging and projection from a single-housed source for stereophonic sound, no matter what anyone claims. 

However, even without first listening I’d tend to think that it WILL sound better than a SoundDock, even if it’s not “pretty”, something it seems is oh so important to you iPod fashion slaves (and I trust that you DO know who you are). With conventional driver components, there’s NO substitute for the ability to “push serious air”. And considering what some fools are willing to pay for stupid CASES for their iPods, is a $50 premium over the SoundDock really that much to pay if it gets you better SQ? After all, it’s SUPPOSED to be the music that matters most, isn’t it?

Whether this solution will sound as good as my new iPod-dedicated Klipsch i-Fi set ($200, thanks to Costco, though I still haven’t decided that I even LIKE their sound), or my 6-yr old Monsoon MM-1000 2.1s (the best-sounding multimedias I’ve EVER experienced, even if they’re getting a little fragile with age)...well, being confined to a single enclosure doesn’t help imaging or the soundstage, that’s fer dang sure.

At least both of those spare my equally new Thiels, the soon-to-be retiring Martin-Logans (if I can come up with the $$$$$ for the Innersounds I’m lusting after) or even the Paradigms in the playroom the indecency of being fed lossy content; cheap minijack-to-RCAs from Radio Shack need not apply in MY house.

Posted like a true psuedo-audio snob (and bloody damned PROUD of it, I might add, even if my wife generally thinks I’m nuts as a result).

Posted by flatline response on February 28, 2006 at 6:28 PM (CST)

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