By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Consumers who prefer media on the go without headphones are being offered a new family of Sound Cases made by Sakar International. These protective cases for MP3, CD and DVD players and laptops incorporate built-in speakers that “let the sound out of the bag” — literally. Special cases allow the music or other audio to play on bikes and car visors.
The Sakar line, introduced last month at International CES in Las Vegas, includes seven different bags that are wired for sound. In each, an integrated speaker amplifies the audio so it can be heard without headphones. The pairing of the case and speaker in one unit eliminates the need to purchase two separate accessories.
MP3 Sound Case, at $29.99 suggested retail, offers a water-resistant, hard-shelled container with a speaker on the front and an inner mesh pocket to hold the MP3 player in place. A storage compartment holds memory cards.
CD Sound case, also $29.99, is a slightly larger carrier for CD players, where a storage compartment holds 10 CDs.
Stereo Sound Case, at $39.99, has two amplified speakers that accommodate either an MP3 or a CD player, and holds up to 36 CDs.
DVD Sound Case, at $49.99, comes in a leatherette version that houses a 5-inch or 7-inch DVD player. It includes stereo speakers embedded in fold-out flaps on either side of the open player's screen. It offers a front storage compartment for DVDs.
Laptop Sound Case includes a microfiber carrier with a cushioned protective laptop compartment and stereo speakers for laptop audio. Suggested retail is $59.99.
MP3 car visor Sound Case is a holder/speaker that pipes MP3 tunes into the car without the messy wires of inverters. The unit, at $29.99, slides onto the car visor and has a speaker in the center with separate compartments on either side for the MP3 player and batteries.
Bicycle Sound Case, at $39.99, is a saddlebag-type carrier with two built-in speakers and a cushion- ed compartment that holds either an MP3 or CD player. The case fits on all bikes and fastens to the bicycle bar with Velcro. It is weather-resistant and delivers enough volume to be heard over traffic, while also providing safe riding with headphones.
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