Miami – Multi-room-audio supplier Niles has updated its
collection of iPod-dock products to charge newer iPods via their USB pins and
to include the first models that connect to the company’s ZR-6 multi-room/multi-zone
When used with
Niles multi-room-audio systems, the docking products turn a docked iPod into
another music source that can be controlled from multiple rooms of the house
and played back through the multi-room system’s in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.
The devices that
connect to the ZR-6 are the iWare-series SmartDock2 tabletop dock and the ES2
wall-plate extender, each retailing for a suggested $149.95. Both devices also
connect to the company’s IntelliControl ICS multi-room-audio
controller/switchers via a new $249.95-suggested IntelliControl ICS IM-iCARD2
iPod integration module, which slides into the back of the ICS.
“The iPod is the most popular music source for our
distributed audio systems, so it’s important that we provide compatibility with
Apple’s latest offerings,” said Niles president Frank Sterns.
The SmartDock2 is a tabletop dock that connects via a
supplied 2-meter 30-pin cable to a ZR-6 multi-room receiver or to an IntelliControl
ICS controller in the same room. For SmartDock2 models placed farther away or
in other rooms of the house, consumers would add the ES2 wall-mount extender
system. ES2 consists of a wall plate with 30-pin connector and electronic
circuitry to send audio from a connected SmartDock2 up to 100 meters to a ZR-6 or
to an IntelliControl ICS controller. Users connect a SmartDock2 to the wall
plate’s 30-pin port via the dock’s supplied 2-meter cable. The ES2 connects to
the ZR-6 or IntelliControl ICS via dual runs of CAT-5 cable and outputs balanced
audio, which reduces noise pickup when audio is sent over long distances.
The SmartDock2 also syncs iPods with a nearby USB-connected
PC via the dock’s mini-USB jack. If the dock is simultaneously plugged into a ZR-6
or IntelliControl controller either directly or via an ES2 extender, the iPod
remains connected to the Niles system while it syncs with the PC’s iTunes
Per Apple licensing requirements, the SmartDock2 and the ES2 won’t charge
older generation iPods that charge via FireWire pins, but consumers who own a
mix of old and new iPods get a break if they use an IntelliControl ICS controller/switcher.
Because IntelliControl ICS uses a modular card cage, the company said,
the new USB-charging IM-iCard2 can be inserted in an empty slot next to the
company’s previous-generation FireWire-charging iPod card. As a result, it is
possible to simultaneously charge iPods in previous-generation Niles docks
while charging newer-generation iPods in the SmartDock2.
All three products have begun shipping.