Every minute, another company seems to launch a home audio product that docks with iPods. Products that dock with Zunes are also growing in availability, though they’re not nearly as widespread as products that dock with the share-leading iPod.
Here’s what’s new:
Altec Lansing: The iM414 for Zunes and iM413 for Sansa players are the company’s first speaker systems with pin connectors for an MP3 player other than an iPod. Both will retail for a suggested $99.95 on Altec’s Web site and to retailers.
Both are AC/DC-powered and feature built-in FM receiver, LED radio dial and a wireless remote. The Zune model also leverages the Zune’s alarm clock functions to wake consumers up to music.
Boynq: The Dutch company’s first two U.S. products are the iCube II and Sabre, available for about two months through Amazon and Target.com. They will be joined in January by the Boynq WakeUp alarm clock.
The $129-suggested Wakeup is designed to look like three stacked cubes, each with its own LCD display. One displays volume, the other time, and the third displays radio station information. A fourth cube, which can be detached to make way for a docked iPod, contains snooze controls that send snooze commands wirelessly to the main chassis, which features side-firing 3-inch speakers and 10-watt amplifier.
The $69.99-suggested iCube II consists of a cube with side-firing speakers and on-top dock. It features audio input for plugging in any brand of MP3 player and an audio output for connection to a home stereo system. It’s available in two color schemes: black, orange and silver for guys and pink, purple, and silver for ladies.
The Boynq Sabre at a suggested $99 is a tube-shaped model with front-panel dock, 2×10-watt amp, 3-inch side-firing speakers, and audio input for connecting other-brand MP3 players. It’s available in black/gray and lavender/gray.
iHome: iHome’s first Zune dock is the $49.99-suggested ZN10 tabeltop AM/FM mono radio. It features 3-watt output, Vernier tuning mechanism for precise tuning, wood-cabinet construction, 2.75-inch driver, and line-in jack for other audio sources such as CD players and other-brand MP3 players.
XtremeMac: The iPod accessories maker unveiled its second-generation Tango speaker system for iPods and plans two new versions of its Luna iPod-docking clock radio. The introductions will bring the company’s iPod-docking selection to three models from two.
The new Tango, the $79.95-suggested Studio, shipped last month and adds FM radio and new slant-front design. It features blue LED display, two 3-inch speakers and auxiliary-input jack in back.
Toward the end of the year, two new Luna clock radios will replace the original Luna. The Luna X2 is dubbed an alarm clock and room audio system at a suggested $119. The Luna Voyager at a suggested $89.95 is an AC/DC travel alarm clock and personal audio system.
The X2 features dual alarms with independent source and volume, AM/FM radio, adjustable display brightness and multifunction remote.
The Voyager comes with travel case and features a display with brightness control.
VAF Research: At a suggested $499 on VAF’s Web site, the single-box Octavio 1i for iPods and Octavio 1z for Zunes feature three-way speaker system and digital equalization. Behind a single grille, an 8-inch subwoofer is flanked by a woofer/tweeter combination that includes a 5.25-inch woofer. A single knob adjusts volume and switches between sources, which could include other-brand MP3 players or game consoles connected via aux input on the back panel. It also displays Zune and iPod videos on a connected TV. Two cradles on top separately hold an IR remote and the portable player.
The Octavios are built from MDF and shipped with “acoustic skins” in different colors.