Philips has joined the likes of JBL by selling Lightning-compatible speaker docks for Apple’s latest iOS devices. Today Philips announced not one, but four new speaker docks with Lightning connectors. Each speaker set serves a different purpose, ranging from a nightstand dock with alarm to a portable speaker.
These speakers should start hitting retail channels this month, but Philips hasn’t given any pricing info yet.
You know that feeling you get when you see an iPhone accessory that’s so ridiculous you feel like you have to have it? Behold the Philips FWP3200D 300W Mini Hi-Fi System (say that 10 times fast). This giant jambox wants to make you the ultimate party rocker, but only if you’ve got £299.99 ($470) to drop. With a pair of 2-inch tweeters and 5.25-inch woofer, the “Party Machine” features a dual iPhone and iPod dock made to look like two classic turntables. Plug your iPhones in, and they will literally spin around as the beats blast.
When we review speaker docks here at Cult of Mac, one of the most common things we’ll ding them for in our ratings is lack of Bluetooth streaming support. Especially for the more expensive speaker docks, it just seems like a no brainer: why not just slap in a Bluetooth chip for a couple bucks and infinitely expand the usefulness of your product?
We assume that we will continue to be disappointed by Bluetooth-less speaker docks for years to come, but maybe this brilliant KickStarter project can help mitigate that disappointment. Called the Pear (get it?), it’s a tiny little Bluetooth dongle that plugs into your speaker dock’s 30 Pin Dock Connector and gives A2DP streaming Bluetooth audio support to any device!
There’s not much more to it, which is why this is such a great idea: imagine being able to upgrade that dusty old speaker dock going unused on your nightstand or in your kitchen with just a $40 add-on. Unfortunately, it’s a Kickstarter project right now, but with more than $29,000 dollars towards its $40,000 goal already attained with almost two months left to go, this looks like one idea that’s going to soon become a reality.
Let’s face it: the iPhone is the Hot Rod of smartphones. If Steve McQueen was still alive, he’d own one; Jay Leno probably has a hanger filled with a hundred of them. Nothing seems more appropriate to me, then, but to see a Hot Rod style exhaust snaking out of an iPhone. The iPhone is the most powerful thing you can drive that fits in your pocket.
That’s just what the iXoost dock does. It’s a speaker dock handbuilt by Xoost in Italy that grafts some gorgeous aluminum exhaust pipes onto your iPhone.
Remember the WALDok? It sounded like the unholy cybernetic offspring of WALL-E and Iron Man’s creepy hypercephalic floating robot head nemesis, MODOK, but the WALDok was actually a Kickstarter project for a gorgeously compact speaker dock for the iPod nano capable of outputting some truly impressive sound while simultaneously juicing you up.
The only problems with the WALDok? First, it was iPod nano only… a design decision which seemed to unnecessarily specify the WALDok into obscurity. Second, as a Kickstarter project, it hadn’t yet made enough money in $59 pledges to guarantee that it would ever be made.
Luckily, over the weekend, both problems resolved themselves. Designer Hern Kim not only redesigned the WALDok to accommodate other iPod models, but also surpassed the $30,000 pledge total thanks to some publicity from Gizmodo and Wired, meaning that the WALDok will soon be a very real product. $59 pledged at this point is as good as a pre-order. Hooray!.
While the audio benefits of an unpowered iPhone speaker dock are pretty minimal, Koostik’s line of wooden docks specially carved from assorted species of tree trunk in order to channel and boost your device’s sound volume are undeniably classy enough to live on almost any mantle. At $85 each, though, you almost wish they had at least a couple whizbang LEDs implanted within to justify the price.
JBL continues to solidly plug away at the take of making affordable, decent sounding iPhone and iPod portable speaker docks with their latest, the On Stage Micro IV and On Stage Micro III, both boasting a new and eyebrow arching design the company affectionately refers to as “the Weave.”
Compact and easily slung about, the new OnStage units feature aluminum-domed transducers to deliver accurate high-frequency response, as well as a slipstream port design that is meant to optimize bass output while doing away with distortion. The On Stage IV comes with four Odyssey transducers, which will pump out vibrant, deep and limpid sound perfect for most environments, while the On Stage Micro III only comes with two.
There are a lot of iPod docks on the market, but not a lot of them have docking trays big enough to accommodate the iPad without snapping it in half over your knee first… a tact which has some obvious repercussions on the resulting music’s audio quality.
Phillips’ latest dock changes that with a docking tray wide enough to accommodate the iPad’s chunky width. Called the Fidelio, the dock also features Bluetooth so that your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch doesn’t even need to be plugged in to avail itself of a nicer, room-filling speaker.
The Fidelio is also portable, with a battery that allows you to play music up to five hours per charge. Unfortunately, the Fidelio’s price and release date has yet to be announced.