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iPod, MP3 Make More Home Connections

New York — Hoping to leverage the popularity of the iPod and other portable MP3 players, Denon and Klipsch have unveiled home audio systems that play back music stored on docked compressed-music portables. Klipsch also unveiled a battery-powered boombox dock.

Denon’s first iPod-compatible products are the $999-suggested S-101 and $1,599 S-301 2.1-channel virtual-surround systems, each featuring DVD player, up-conversion to component video, and Dolby Virtual Speaker to deliver a multichannel sound field from two satellite speakers.

Both Denon systems control and recharge Apple HDD players through a front-panel connector. They also display photos from Apple music/photo players on a connected TV. The 301 adds the ability to control and recharge non-iPod MP3 portables equipped with a USB port. The 301 also adds universal DVD-Audio/SACD player with HD up-scaling HDMI output. Both ship in August.

Klipsch will expand its iPod-compatible selection of audio devices to include the one-piece desktop iGroove system and the iJam boombox, complementing the iFi amplified sub/sat system with docking station. Both are also among the industry’s first docking stations to amplify other-brand MP3 players, although the other-brand players can’t be recharged by the docking stations.

The $249-everyday iGroove ships in September with an IR remote that controls iPod track selection and volume and the volume of other-brand MP3 players.

iGroove is the first announced desktop docking station compatible not only with HDD iPods but also with flash-memory iPod Shuffles. It’s also the first such product to be announced with two-way speakers. Horn-loaded tweeters direct sound slightly to the left and right to increase stereo separation.

The $199 iJam boombox would be the second announced boombox docking station for iPods, joining the iBoom from Digital Lifestyle Outfitters. Unlike that one, however, the iJam offers the same MP3 player compatibility as the iGroove, Klipsch said. It will also feature AM/FM tuner and two 4.5-inch coaxial speakers. It ships in October or early November.