By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — High-end audio suppliers want to bring high-end sound to the mid-fi iPod.
Krell of Orange, Conn., is targeting summertime shipments of its first iPod dock, and pro-audio supplier TL Audio of the United Kingdom is shipping a vacuum-tube dock through American Audio & Video. Previously, North American distribution was handled by Bluebird Music of Toronto, Canada.
TL's $649 two-piece dock, called the Fatman iTube Valve Dock, consists of a dock and companion 2x13-watt integrated tube amplifier that connects to any speaker pair. The iTube is only one of a handful of tube-based docks available in the industry, said Bluebird president Jay Rein.
iTube is compatible with all iPods but the Shuffle and comes with all connecting wires, including a video cable for connection to a TV. The device also features additional audio inputs to power other sources. The supplied remote controls on/off, track, playlist, repeat, mute, volume and bass and treble.
For its part, Krell is eschewing tubes in developing the KID (Krell iPod Dock), targeted to retail for about $1,200, said assistant sales and marketing VP Jim Ludoviconi. Instead of using tubes to generate superior sound quality, the dock taps the differential output of the iPod's DAC.
KID also sports a video output for displaying videos and pictures on a connected TV. A serial port allows for integration into home control systems and metadata display on a home-control system's touchscreen or in-wall keypad. A supplied handheld remote controls the functions of the dock and iPod.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.