We have to give Portable Sound Labs credit as the “most improved” developer we spotted at CES: after some stale past products, the new design direction it was showing off at this year’s International CES has us genuinely excited. On display were some unique speakers, many of which are still in the prototype phase but are slated to be released later this year. The first is Aire SideKick, an iPad 2 speaker that doubles as a cover for the tablet. It attaches with magnets much like Apple’s Smart Cover, and the final version will be made out of aluminum. This will make the flat speaker thin and light.
Next up are Pipeline and Base, both portable wireless speaker systems. Each is modular and works in sets, or as individual pieces. Pipeline’s central unit is a long horizontal tube, and it comes with two satellite speakers called Drops that attach to either side with magnets. Base, on the other hand, is a large dish-sized cylindrical shape, with detachable speaker units called Slices.
What’s unique is the satellites are also Bluetooth-enabled, which means they can serve as standalone units on the go. Both Pipeline and Base come with two of the smaller speakers, but more will be able to be added if purchased individually.
We also saw AllSpark, which has a very different design from anything we saw on the show floor. The set is made up of two pyramid-shaped speakers that attach to one another with magnets in their bases, creating a cube that can be held at an angle in the included stand. AllSpark supports a Bluetooth connection, with one speaker acting as the receiver and carrying the audio to the other over a cable. Each of the items is being targeted for very aggressive pricing; AllSpark for instance is slated for a $100 selling price.