We described Portable Sound Labs last year as “Most Improved”, having seen a few new speaker systems in some interesting configurations. This year, it showcased two similar modular setups: the Pipeline and Drop, as well as the modular KONX living room audio system. The $249 Pipeline package includes a Pipeline receiver and two Drops—handheld, RF-connected portable speakers that can be added on for $99 each. Each Drop can also be used as its own independent, Bluetooth-connected speaker, giving buyers a grab-and-go speaker option. Like many dock and audio vendors at this year’s show, Portable Sound Labs is relying on Bluetooth for its iOS device connectivity.
A Pipeline receiver and Drop speaker from Portable Sound Labs, connected to an iPad through Bluetooth. The iPad fits in the Pipeline for convenience, but does not dock or charge there.
A Pipeline receiver and two Drop speakers from Portable Sound Labs.
A Portable Sound Labs representative inadvertently testing the lightweight nature of a Drop speaker, connected to a Pipeline receiver (by RF) and an iPad (via Bluetooth).
A KONX (pronounced connect-x) family wireless speaker system from Portable Sound Labs at CES 2013, featuring a Stix soundbar and a Trax speaker (without covers or shields for display). Most of the company’s new speakers are wooden boxes with rubber feet, varying in size, price, and drivers.
The KONX line of wireless speakers from Portable Sound Labs on display at CES 2013. The KONX takes a similar approach to entertainment systems, with RF-connected units that, in the case of the $99 Blox modular speakers, can also function as their own Bluetooth speakers. The Stix ($179) is an 80-watt soundbar that ships with a built-in split: you can run it under your television, or stack it as two vertical speakers. There’s also an Apex sub-woofer, a Trax ($149) and Lynx ($199), and they all arrange in whatever combination you’d prefer.
A single Lynx speaker from Portable Sound Labs at CES 2013.