Docking Speakers Get iPad Capability, Projectors
By Joseph Palenchar On Nov 22 2010 - 5:01am
NEW YORK —
With retail-level dollar sales of iPoddocking
speakers rising this year despite a weak economy,
suppliers aren’t scaling back their focus on the
In fact, new suppliers have entered the market, including
Bang & Olufsen, startup WowWee and Optoma,
the latter two with the industry’s first models
that incorporate pico projectors to display iPod-stored
video on a wall or screen.
For its part, Tivoli Audio launched its first standalone
dock for connection to audio and AV systems.
Many of the new models are among the first to dock
with an iPad. They’re from Altec Lansing, Bang & Olufsen
The products are entering a marketplace in which
retail-level sales of AC-only docks grew 2 percent
in dollars and 7 percent in units for the January-October period, The NPD Group reports. Sales of AC/
DC models rose during that time by 5 percent in dollars
and 9 percent in units.
With the market still presenting opportunity for newcomers,
is entering the market with the $430
Cinemin-branded Slice. It ships in January with an embedded
pico projector that folds out from the back to project
images sized diagonally from 6 inches to 60 inches. The
triangular-shaped 7.5- by 10- by 7.5-inch device features
side-firing six-watt speakers; HDMI and VGA outputs for
connection to displays; and various A/V inputs to connect
laptops, handheld game players and some smartphones.
The 16:9 WVGA 854 by 480-pixel projector delivers a
1000:1 contrast ratio, 16 ANSI lumens of brightness and
manual focus. It’s packaged with 3.5mm A/V-to-composite
docking speaker system/projector docks
with iPods and iPhones is the $449-suggested Neo-i,
shipping in December with 16:9 WVGA resolution, 50
ANSI lumens of brightness, and ability to project images
up to 120 inches diagonally in size at native WVGA (854
by 480 pixels) resolution in 16:9 format.
The 16-watt Neo-i features bass-reflex stereo speakers
and a range of inputs and outputs, including HDMI.
John Grodem, Optoma sales and marketing senior director,
said the device is targeted first to consumers, particularly
to youth, and then to business users.
For its part, Altec Lansing
launched its first iPad-docking
speaker system, available initially in Apple stores. The
$149-suggested AC-only Octiv Stage features an iPad
stand that rotates to present the iPad’s display in portrait and
landscape modes. The stand also tilts all the way back to
facilitate typing on its virtual QWERTY keyboard. Other iPad
speakers systems rotate the iPad’s display, and others tilt the
display back, but no others currently on
the market rotate and tilt all the way back
to facilitate typing, said product manager
Steve Schlangen. Other models that tilt
back don’t tilt flat, he noted.
The speaker system is certified for
use with iPods and iPhones and accepts
all iPods but the latest iPod
Nano, which features an integrated clip
on back that prevents docking.
The base features back-panel 3.5mm
aux input and front IR receiver. The included
IR remote controls play/pause,
track up/down and volume as well as
navigation of the iPad’s iTunes-synced
music and videos. Consumers’, however,
can’t launch the iPad’s iTunes app
via the IR remote.
At the other end of the price spectrum,
Bang & Olufsen
entered the iPod/
iPhone-docking speaker market with a
$999 model that also docks with iPads.
Other docking speaker systems at the high end include
an iPad-docking SpeakerCraft system with CD player and
FM tuner, a $599 model from Bowers & Wilkins, and a
$599 model from Bose. The latter two lack CD and tuner.
B&O’s BeoSound 8 becomes available in November in
Bang & Olufsen stores with aluminum chassis, included
remote and choice of six grille colors. One version will
feature a white back panel, and the other will feature a
black back panel.
tabletop system captures
the digital PCM
output of a docked
Apple device. The
dock comes with
a back bracket to
prop up a docked device.
switch optimizes audio
wall mounting, corner
placement on a flat
surface, and freestanding
on a flat surface.
The system’s coneshaped
feature circular grilles
that face forward and
enclosures that taper
back to a smaller diameter.
frequency response is said to be 38Hz to 24,000Hz.
Other features include USB port to connect a computer
and an auxiliary line input, which is used to connect
other audio devices or an AirPort Express, which streams
music wirelessly from a networked PC or Mac.
B&O will also offer a free app with access to 20 Internet
radio stations and alarm clock functions for the iPod
Touch, iPhone and iPad. An upgraded app due in December
at $19.99 will expand the number of Internet radio stations
to more than 10,000, add a comprehensive music
library browser, and have an alarm clock that delivers the
chime of the company’s BeoTime alarm clock.
For people who want to connect an iPod or iPhone to
an existing sound system, Tivoli Audio
launched its first
standalone iPod/iPhone dock/charging stand, which delivers
music and video from Apple’s docked devices to
any connected audio or video system, including Tivoli’s
tabletop audio systems and radios.
Dubbed The Connector, the $125
dock is Apple-certified for use with
iPods and iPhones. A supplied remote
control operates both The Connector
and most iPhone or iPod functions, the
The Connector uses S-Video and
composite-video outputs to play iPod/
iPhone-stored video through a connected
TV. Its audio line outputs deliver
audio from the docked devices to a stereo
system or to a TV.
For use anywhere in the world, the
device is packaged with a 100-240V
universal external switching supply and
power adapter plugs.
The stand comes in furniture-grade
walnut or cherry, aluminum, black and
multi-layer high-gloss white to match
existing Tivoli Audio radios and audio