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Friday January 20, 2006 8:55 pm

Oregon Scientific iBall Speaker System Impressions


We recently got our hands on the Oregon Scientific iBall Speaker System for the iPod.  The iBall is a wireless speaker that is about the size of a bowling ball which features an LCD screen and iPod controls. Read our impressions and check out more images, after the jump.

iPod iBall

The iBall is a great little speaker system.  Since the iBall is wireless, the music is transmitted from a handy little charging dock and PC cradle.  The system comes with different dock mounts to comfortably hold every iPod flavor and variety - save for the iPod Shuffle - which requires a separate purchase for compatibility. The good thing about this cradle is that while it streams your music to the iBall, it will also charge your iPod.  Along with PC/Charging Dock there are also several media jacks to support different functions. These include S-Video Out, Line Out (Audio), and Aux In (Audio).  This means that if you have an iPod that supports photo display, you can run an S-Video cable to your TV to show a slideshow while playing music through the iBall, or using the line out to your A/V receiver. Even better, if you have an XM or Sirius portable unit with no speakers to hook it up to, you can use the Aux In port to stream your satellite music to the iBall. 

iPod iBall

The iBall itself consists of a built in interface which allows you to control the iPod, adjust the volume, and power the unit on and off. The one downside about the iBall’s LCD and interface controls is that when controlling your iPod, you can’t see what’s playing or browse your library of music from the unit. If you want to hear something specific you need to go to your iPod and select it there. The sound quality of the iBall is very impressive for it’s size.  I’m more of a rock/punk listener, and this little speaker puts out a great balance of highs and lows.  For those of you who listen to rap or other type of music, the iBall’s built-in interface allows you to adjust treble and bass easily.  The range on the speaker is about 30 feet.  I’ve gone through my whole apartment with no interruptions, even with a wireless network running strong.  All in all, the iBall is great speaker system that is great for just listening to music in another room or entertaining a party.

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