Macworld Expo is here! As always, the Editors of iLounge have quietly been working behind the scenes to bring you the best possible coverage of North America’s biggest Apple-related trade show. Rather than forcing you to sift through lots of separate coverage in different sections of the site, our Complete Guide to Macworld Expo 2007 serves as our central hub for all the big announcements, booth details, and other surprises that are in store. We’ll update these pages regularly with tons of photos and new information, so bookmark the Guide and keep checking back through the end of the Expo!
This part (Part 3) of the Complete Guide covers companies with names lettered P through Z. Click here for Part 1, which covers general Expo details, companies with names A through C, and our Best of Show Awards – after they have been handed out mid-show, or Part 2 (with letters D through O).
A vendor of cases, speakers, and docks, PRT will show the iPod-ready, light-up backpack teased in The iPod Home section of our 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide, as well as new budget-priced accessories. More interestingly, it showed a collection of new and improved cases called Executive Leather Folios, as well as Speck-styled armbands, Quartz Shield clear cases, and introduced a 40W two-speaker docking audio system called Cube HIFI-40 ($200), with an iPod dock on the top of the left speaker; black or white versions are available.
This new, small company showed stuffed animal iPod holders – iPod nano-sleeved bears and pandas.
Having expanded its aluminum-slash-silicone case series with the Aluminum N2 for iPod nano, PDO showed its prior lineup, including TopSkin and Aluminum V2 for iPod video.
Portable Sound Laboratories
The maker of iMainGo will exhibit its flagship portable speaker case at the Expo.
Known for myriad silicone case innovations since the release of the first-generation iPod, Power Support always uses trade shows to introduce new and updated versions of its prior products. The company’s Japanese site is already showing the new offerings for iPod shuffle (2G)- a surprisingly protective Silicone Jacket, three colors of plastic Crystal Jackets (clear, clear black, and clear pink), plus an iPod shuffle Second-Generation Jacket Set with two Crystal Jacket (plastic in Mirror Gold and Mirror Silver) cases, one pink Silicone Jacket that glows blue in the dark, plus film for the shuffle’s rear clip. The company also has updates of prior iPod nano cases and cupholders ready for the second-generation nano, and announced a new official name for an earlier product: the Square Type Silicone Jacket has become The Ice Case. New packaging for its entire lineup was also unveiled.
The maker of high-end iPod car mounts has continued to develop versions of its past excellent car mounting systems for the newest cars; we are still very partial to the Padded Adjustable Holder. As of yet, it hasn’t released second-generation iPod nano-ready holders – could this be the show where it happens?
This has been another odd show for Qool, a company that also appeared at one of last year’s trade shows with somewhat interesting speaker designs, yet never wants people to take photos of its products. This year’s designs – Xensaxion Speakers for iPod, including standard and wireless models in interesting shapes – looked somewhat like prior iPod speakers, but interesting enough to stand apart.
Cleaning products are still our favorite RadTech offerings – the company is now aggressively reselling unique headphone and case designs from other companies, including Westone, Otter, STM and H2O Audio. We’ll have to see whether the lineup expands.
Last year, Rain Design surprised us with iWoofer, a cute little speaker and radio in the shape of an alien dog. The company’s stand is traditionally mostly devoted to its ergonomic computer accessories; will it appear with new iPod designs this year?
This maker of hard cases for iPods and computers will show off its Aluminum Accents for iPod shuffle, new Nano Accents for the second-generation iPod nano, plus its new hard plastic Hardcases for MacBook laptops. Nano Accents ($30 per 2-pack, March) come in five color choices—red, blue, green, pink and black—and are made of a lightweight aluminum with a high-polish finish. Protective features include a clear, polycarbonate plastic covering for the screen and a neoprene lining to help prevent scratches.
Roxio has announced that it has teamed up with TiVo to offer its highly anticipated TiVoToGo support for Mac OS X. Through Toast 8 Titanium ($100), Roxio’s disc burning software for Macs, TiVo subscribers with broadband connected TiVo Series2 DVRs can transfer recorded shows to watch on their Mac, burn to a DVD, or encode and transfer to a fifth-generation iPod. Recorded content can be transferred to a Mac either one episode at a time or automatically as soon as the TiVo DVR has recorded them.
A company representative said that the TiVo transfers are faster than on PCs if you’re using TiVo’s official Wireless G Adapter, as the software can apparently toggle between wireless modes to maximize bandwidth, and a full download queuing system has been developed, as well. We’ll have to see how this plays out, but we’re pretty sure we heard that a “one-hour show can download in 30 minutes.”
Best known for its JukeBox Station, this maker of unusual iPod speaker systems is at the Expo to exhibit past and future wares, including updated JukeBoxes with two- and three-colored light systems, plus upgraded 100-watt stereo hardware. It also showed an Pod dock called Home Link With Universal Dock, featuring video outputs and an IR remote that’s noteworthy mostly in the number of buttons – 17.
As a leading developer of in-car and wireless solutions for the iPod, as well as numerous cases, Scosche is expected to continue its work with Bluetooth wireless technologies for updated products this year. Will its past BlueLife car, home, and headphone offerings be updated to Bluetooth 2.0+EDR? Can the company offer all of its products at price points that make purchase of the complete set financially reasonable for average consumers? We’re anxious to see what Scosche delivers, and how smart its approach will be.
Known for its InvisibleShields, ShieldZone has already unveiled a new version for the second-generation iPod shuffle ($12) to complement older versions for the second-generation iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod.
Prior to the Expo, we heard rumors that big changes were in the works for Shure’s entire lineup of headphones – specifically that the E3c, E4c, E5c and E500 earphones would be shifted into new models, each at their predecessors’ price points. 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.
Update: Shure has provided an explanation of sorts as to its new SE series of earphones: though the E500/PTH has now become the SE530 without any other changes, the company’s other three headphones – SE210, SE310, and SE420 – are actually a little different inside than the prior-generation E3c, E4c, and E5c, despite some similarities. The SE420 now features a new crossover design that’s actually inside the earphones, and delivers smoother mids – an issue some users had with its E5c predecessor. SE310 and SE210 feature smaller and more comfortable enclosures, plus slightly different tuning. SE310 delivers superior lows to the SE210, thanks to a tuned bass port, and slightly higher highs.
Surprisingly, the company said that it would not be discontinuing the old E series of earphones in favor of the newer ones, though it’s our feeling that this may just be a temporary measure while the E-series stock is depleted.
Silex exhibited wiDock, its $150 iPod home AV dock with wireless iTunes synchronization functionality.
Sonic Impact always brings surprises to its trade shows, and we’re hoping that this one won’t be any different. Last year saw the introduction of the Bose-alike T24 audio system and teasers on what eventually became the award-winning Video-55 Portable Video Display; we’re hoping for updates to both this year.
Batteries, batteries, batteries. We’re still not fans of the company’s way-big iPod FM transmitters, but its Volta battery pack, replacement batteries, and chargers are continuing to generate interest.
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.
Year in and year out, Speck Products has come to be one of the most reliably interesting exhibitors at trade shows, coming prepared with brand new, innovative products. Having spotted the remote control-equipped SpeckTone Retro 2 ($150) in stores before the holidays, the surprises at the booth were these: a new logo and seemingly shortened name (Speck), plus a redesigned ToughSkin. ToughSkin 2Tough is a 5G iPod and second-generation iPod nano case that’s made from hard plastic in a brick-like shape, with a smoky black rear casing and clear front casing. A detachable rotating belt clip is also available.
SeeThru Lucid is a lear hard shell in smoke black or clear color, with a hinge at the top, designed for low profile, contoured protection of a second-generation nano or fifth-generation iPod. The fifth-generation iPod case lets you display a photograph in the back.
ActiveSport Lite is a combination armband and iPod case offering that looks a lot like XtremeMac’s past iPod nano armband.
Shuffle Puck is a generic small, simple ballistic nylon zipper-closed case with room for the iPod shuffle and its earphones. There were also new fabric and leather nano cases on display.
Many moons have passed since we’ve seen a new Sumo Case for iPods – unfortunate given how much we’ve loved the design and pricing of its leather offerings in the past. At Expo, the company showed its play-through version of the iPod nano second-generation leather flap case, called Nano Flap, in multiple colors, along with older bag and laptop case products from its lineup.
Is Targus thinking bigger than iPod cases and planning for the next generation of electronic accessories? Last year, it looked like the answer was yes, thanks to technologies developed by ABT. But we haven’t seen much from the company over the past few months, and wonder which direction it will go in at the Expo: back to making computer bags, or forward with more for the iPod?
This OEM/ODM speaker system maker showed a collection of new iPod-ready speakers that might make it to these shores under different names. i-2903 (UFO) takes cues from JBL’s On Time, i-3901 (iCon) has both an iPod dock and Bluetooth audio connectivity with cell phones, iCute is a rounded-off box with an iPod dock, and i-Chair (a-2221) is a half-glove with an iPod nano dock in the center.
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.
TiVo has announced that it has teamed up with Roxio to offer TiVoToGo support for Mac OS X. Through Toast 8 Titanium ($100), Roxio’s disc burning software for Macs, TiVo subscribers with broadband connected TiVo Series2 DVRs can transfer recorded shows to watch on their Mac, burn to a DVD, or encode and transfer to a fifth-generation iPod. Recorded content can be transferred to a Mac either one episode at a time or automatically as soon as the TiVo DVR has recorded them.
Largely absent from the United States though still conspicuous on store shelves we saw recently in its home country of Japan, Tunewear showed off cases such as Prie Ambassador, Prie SilverBall, Prie Uni, and TuneWallet micro, all for the second-generation iPod nano, Icewear for iPod nano 2G and shuffle, as well as the BoomTune mini speaker, an FM transmitter with USB cable and car charger called TuneWave FM, a cupholder mount for the iPod and TuneWave FM together, and several other accessories.
Not to be confused – well, easily to be confused – with Micromat’s similarly-named Protogo, a recently released software package for iPods, Tursiogear’s Portago combines a 5G iPod case, dock, and Infrared remote control into a single $80 (introductory price) enclosure. The case has a U.S.-styled set of flip-out wall blades on the the back, so you can plug your iPod directly into the wall; when we went to touch the plugged in iPod, it gave us a static electricity shock.
Other than its impressive triple.fi 10 Pro Earphones, which were unexpectedly delayed by production glitches until the very end of December, Ultimate Ears is expected to show off new metro.fi offerings at the Expo.
Updated: Thanks to a partnership with Altec Lansing, the company’s Metro.fi line is now shifting off to Altec; its Super.Fi and Triple.Fi products were all on display. Production issues continue to keep supplies of Triple.Fi extremely low – Earphone Solutions received virtually all of the first batch.
The European case maker showed iVak N-Type 2, hard plastic cases for the second-generation iPod nano in various colors.
Headphone maker V-Moda will add two colors (brown, and nano-matching red) to its existing line of black and chrome Vibe earphones, with plans to launch in late January.
ViewSonic has announced a new high definition “Made for iPod” DLP front projector. The ViewSonic PJ258D features a top-loading dock for fifth-generation iPods, eliminating the need for a computer to project video content. The $999 projector boasts a 1024×768 XGA resolution, 2,000 lumens of brightness, and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. Other connectivity options include S-Video and VGA.
Responsible for the impressive single-driver UM1 and double-driver UM2 in-canal earphones, Westone has announced Westone 3 (aka “3”, approx. $379, February), an in-canal triple-driver design with balanced armature drivers and a passive three-way crossover network for “powerful lows, lush midrange, and crystal-clear highs.” Said by the company to be “the first and only 3-way system on the market,” Westone 3 is “from the ground up an iPod earphone” with 25 ohm impedance, rather than “a crossover from the music world to the iPod world like others are doing.” With white or silver iPod-styled casings, black cables, and a ten pair eartip fit kit featuring multi-sized foams, single- and triple-flanges, the earpieces are designed to fit comfortably in any ears while delivering the company’s highest possible audio quality. A travel case, inline volume control, wax loop, and 1/4” adapter will also be included in the package.
iLounge has spent time with a prototype version of Westone 3, and found the design to be sleek and comfortable, with a very pronounced emphasis on low-end sound. Like Westone’s earlier headphones, 3 aims to color your music rather than present it neutrally, and delivers fuller-bodied, warmer renditions of audio than comparable triple-driver designs, a choice which some users will like, others not. It’s akin to XtremeMac’s earlier FS1 earphones and releases from Future Sonics, only with three drivers rather than one or two.
Certain XtremeMac products already trickling into stores – AirPlay Boost and Luna – have seen their first trade show displays at Macworld; we’re always pleasantly surprised by what the continually impressive design house is able to show off. Luna and Tango speakers are XtremeMac’s big products at the booth, while second-generation nano versions of its prior clips and cases, such as MicroShield and SuperClip, were also on display, alongside SportWrap, TuffWrap Accent, and others. The company’s recently-released MicroMemo for iPod nano, MemoMic, and the Incharge Traveler – a wall, air, and car charger for the iPod – were also shown.
XtremeMac’s big announcement was XtremeHD, a new lineup of cables and a 4-port switcher designed for use with Apple’s upcoming Apple TV. Promising full compliance with the HDMI 1.3 specification – necessary for HDMI cables to be used with the most recent copy protection standard (HDCP 1.3) developed by the movie industry – plus attractive prices, the product line is ready to be used with other devices as well, and the Apple TV-matching, stackable XtremeHD 4-Port Switcher ($100) promises 1080p compatibility. The XtremeHD HDMI>HDMI cable, HDMI>DVI, Component>Component, and Toslink Audio Cables will sell for $20 each, while an Analog Audio (RCA) cable will sell for $15.
This manufacturer of iPod cases is no longer actively covered by iLounge based on comment spamming – the company’s decision to post fake comments and/or advertisements for its products on the iLounge site and forums. Since truth in marketing is a critically important issue to iLounge’s readers and editors, we urge our readers to vote with their dollars and patronize honest companies.
New to the iPod market, this Switzerland-based company will show EWOO, a combination dock and color LCD remote control for the iPod. Like Keyspan’s earlier TuneView, EWOO’s remote control simulates the look and feel of the docked iPod – most likely in the sort of “too close” way that will lead to the product being thoroughly redesigned before release – while providing 2.4GHz wireless control from up to 100 feet away. Optical, analog, and S-video outputs are provided on the dock; an optional USB module will enable the remote to control iTunes-equipped computers, as well. Unusually, the remote control packs a lithium polymer battery promising “10 days power,” which we assume is either a typo or an unrealistic benchmark of its actual power drain under real-world conditions.
[Editor’s Note: We want to be as inclusive as possible. If your company’s name is not linked above, or otherwise not listed here, please follow the Add Your Company and Submission Guidelines links in The iPod Directory, and contact the author of this article once you’ve submitted your Directory entry. If you have a product to announce at Expo, please contact the author of this article immediately to secure inclusion. Unlike other services, there is no charge for listing your name or any of your products with iLounge. Companies listed with an asterisk (*) have announced new products that are anticipated to be shown only at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.]