twice connect

Bluetooth-Equipped Speakers Run The Gamut

5/08/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – New Bluetooth-equipped tabletop speakers
are coming to market at price points ranging from a
suggested $39 to $199 for Bluetooth-only models and
up to $799 for models equipped with iPod/iPad docks,
AirPlay and DLNA networking.

Many Bluetooth-only models are AC/DC portables.

Here are some of the newest Bluetooth speaker products
announced or shipping:

Accessory Power: The Westlake Village, Calif., company
is rolling out a quartet of portable Bluetooth speakers
over the next two to three months at suggested retails
of $49 to $99. Three are portable AC/DC models.
All carry the GOgroove brand.

Braven: The Provo, Utah, startup launched a trio
of Bluetooth speakers that double as
hands-free speakerphones and charge
mobile devices via USB. The speakers
are the $149-everyday Braven 600, the
$179 625s and the $189 650. They begin
shipping at the end of June.

The $149 Braven 600 is made from
aircraft-grade aluminum and is available
in gray and red. The $179 625s is encased
in a ruggedized, shock-absorbing
exterior with aluminum grills and comes
with USB flashlight and waterproof bag.
The $189 650 features AptX and AAC
audio decoding and aluminum body.

Coby: The company plans to ship its
first Bluetooth-only speakers sometime
later this year following the late-April shipment of its first
iPad/iPhone-docking speaker with embedded Bluetooth.
The latter is the $39-suggested CSMP15. Details
on the Bluetooth-only speakers were unavailable.

Edifier: Three new Bluetooth-only speakers will arrive
in the coming months, including the $349-suggested
Spinnaker in June. It consists of two speakers in tuskshaped
enclosures, each 15 inches tall.

Two other Bluetooth-only speakers, are the $129 Prisma,
shipping in May, and the $99 Exclaim, shipping in July.

Two Bluetooth-equipped iPod/iPhone-docking speakers
are the $299 Esiena, shipping in May, and the $99-suggested
IF 330PLUS portable dock, shipping in August.

Eton: The company’s first two Bluetooth wireless
speakers are the $149-everyday solar-powered Rukus
Solar and the $99 non-solar Rukus. They ship May 1 in
black, white or green.

The Ruckus Solar uses solar power to charge its internal
lithium-ion battery. Both speakers feature an E Ink
display with 180-degree viewing angle in direct sunlight.
Via USB, the systems charge most portable music players
and smartphones.

iHome: The company added to its Bluetooth speaker
line with the shipment of the spherical $59 iDM8 and
square $69 iDM11 AC/DC minispeakers with hands-free
feature, lithium-ion battery, USB charging port and aux in.

Philips: The company’s first four Bluetooth-only
speakers will join a variety of iPod- and Android-docking
speakers equipped with Bluetooth. The new Shoqbox
systems are all one-piece portable AC/DC models shipping
in May at suggested retails from $149 to $199.
They feature stereo drivers, hands-free Bluetooth calling,
voice prompts, motion gesture to control song playback
and aux in. The line ranges in price from $149 to $199.

Samsung: The company is incorporating AptX Bluetooth
in all five of its first tabletop speakers, all with stereo
Bluetooth, iPod/iPhone dock, and separate USBcharging
dock for the Samsung Galaxy smartphones
and Galaxy Note.

The top model is the $799-suggested
DA-E750 audio dock, which
also features vacuum-tube preamp,
Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay and DLNA-based
AllShare network technology.

Satechi: The San Diego accessory
supplier launched the Audio Cube
Bluetooth speaker at $45 It features
built-in rechargeable battery for six
hours of playtime and aux in.

Soundfreaq: The supplier of Bluetooth-
equipped iPod/iPad-docking
speaker systems shipped its first Bluetooth-
only speaker, the portable AC/
DC Sound Kick, through Target stores
nationwide in mid-April at $99.

TDK Life On Record: The Imation-owned brand
plans its first three Bluetooth-only speakers, all capable
of reproducing music streamed over Bluetooth in the
AAC and Bluetooth SBC codecs. Two are portable AC/
DC models with rechargeable batteries. They’re scheduled
to ship in September.

The lineup starts with the $249-suggested A33 2.1
system with active left and right channels, embedded
powered woofer, 15-watt output, water- and weatherresistant
chassis, integrated mic for hands-free voice
calls, 3.5mm aux in, USB charging of connected mobile
devices, and rechargeable battery delivering six to eight
hours of playback time.

The$299-suggested AC-only V513 Sound Cube is a
27-watt RMS system with a full-range driver on each vertical
side and a powered woofer to deliver 360-degree
sound. The 9- by 9- by 9-inch cube also features USB
charging port and 3.5mm aux in.

At $399, A73 Boombox is an AC/DC model with rechargeable
battery, integrated handle, AM/FM tuner, 3.5mm
aux in, 29-watt RMS output, two 2-inch full-range drivers, two
5.25-inch passive radiators and one 5.25-inch subwoofer.