Reminiscent of the iDog is this multi-function 4-port hub with built-in speaker and LED light. Decapitate the Smart Dog’s head and you have a portable radio (88Mhz - 108MHz) to keep you company on the road. USB 2.0 compliant, it has both an in and out 3.5mm audio jack. At a size of 8 x 7 x 6.5cm, the radio/head needs 2 AAA batteries (not included,) comes with earphones, and carries a price of $19.15.
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Oh, look! Another ET has landed. This Happy Alien Mini-Speaker can accompany your iPod, MP3, or MP4 player. With a USB rechargeable Li-ion battery, you can extend or retract its body to change the volume. At a size of 70 x 55 x 54mm and a weight of 60g, the speaker also features a 3.5mm stereo audio connector and comes in orange or blue with an MSRP of $11.90.
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We like the triangular look of Kenwood’s AS-IP300 iPod Speaker. It works with all models of the Apple player and charges while playing your tunes in 3D sound. The device features a stereo mini-jack AUX input and comes with a rechargeable remote and adapter, batteries, and AC cord. At a size of 380 x 157 x 221mm and a weight of 1.2 kg, the speaker is available in black or white at a price of $199.95 in Japan.
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Vahakn Matossian’s Boomboy can hang on my desk top any time. The loudspeaker is hand carved from walnut and has a bass duct running through his body and a Bowers & Wilkins driver. The prototype holds a pencil in his little fist, but you can substitute a cable or some earbuds. Vahakn claims he has a “loud voice and naughty temperament, slight drinking habit, good with the ladies.” We can vouch for the latter, although we wonder if the designer was describing himself.
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While we are still getting scatterings of snow and rain, we are thinking that Spring will never come. So since the showers continue, this might be a good opportunity to pick up an AquaTune nano v2. The case will withstand dust, dirt, sand, and water up to 1 meter in depth for about 30 minutes. It also has a waterproof speaker in case you want to sing along in your shower. Hang on to it until it’s time to beach it. The AquaTune is available from Focal for ¥10,800 (~$107.00.)
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Remember the iriver Mplayers? In addition to their current players, older Disney fans will appreciate that they are back this week debuting in 7 new styles, three of them in camouflage, and four in Swarovski crystal for the fancy few. Like the original, the mini-players hold 1GB (about 240 tunes) and have a playback time of about 9 hours. Prices for the new line are 13,800 ($138.00) and 14,800 Yen (~$148.00) respectively. iRiver is also offering a 1.1W mini-speaker to go with your new musical toy for 2680 Yen (~$27.00.)
Bose’s newest amplified neodymium speaker system is also their smallest and will gladly make itself at home on your desktop. Working with your PC or almost any portable audio source, the Computer MusicMonitor features switching amplifier technology with a new acoustic design and their noted digital signal processing. With a one cable hookup, it also has a remote for controlling power and volume. The MusicMonitor speakers are encased in aluminum with a metallic silver finish, and carry a price of $399.00.
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Brando is always coming up with the latest in USB gadgets and has just acquired two mini-speakers. Both work with all electronics that have a 3.5mm stereo audio connector such as a cell phone, MP3 player, or CD player. They also have a 2W output, rechargeable Li-ion batteries, and on/off and volume switches. You can even wear them with included neck straps. Both come with audio and USB cable. Select from the Mini Lips or Mini Mouse with flashing eyes at a price of $14.00 each.
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One of the honorees at this year’s CES was Spracht’s Aura Mobile BT. The Bluetooth gadget turns your cell phone, computer (VoIP) or cordless home phone into a conference phone. It features a dual speaker system and external microphone. It comes packaged with power adapter, car charger, and VoIP and wireless phone cables so that you can take it along with you wherever you go. The price for the lightweight, diminutive Aura is $129.95.
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In our quest for the most nauseatingly cute musical accessories, this one comes pretty close. The Speaker Monkey is a 7-inch full range stereo speaker that runs on USB or batteries. It is compatible with PCs, Macs, iPods, CD and DVD players or any other gadget that has a standard audio jack. If the Monkey isn’t your style, we suspect that you can choose a Penguin or Turtle to appease your inner animal needs. Each one comes at a price of $6.88.
Read More | Spilsbury