Tabletop Speaker Systems Display Diversity



Audio suppliers are filling up the fourthquarter pipeline with a variety of products that fill niches from the low to high ends and stray from the traditional component-audio, HTiB and shelf-system categories.

Single-chassis iPod/iPhone/iPad speaker systems, stereo-Bluetooth speaker systems and an AirPlay speaker system are among the new products designed to play back audio stored on hand-held devices such as iPods, smartphones, and tablets.

With the launches, Libratone is entering the U.S. market, HoMedics is expanding its docking-speaker HMDX lineup, and Soundfreaq is expanding its lineup of what it calls “universal” speaker systems. Here’s what these and other companies announced:

HoMedics Group:

The company is making a stronger push into the audio market under its HMDX brand, launching five new docking speaker systems to expand its HMDX selection to 10 products.

With the five new speakers, the company has launched nine HMDX audio products this year.

Three of the five new HMDX docking speakers are certified for use with iPods, iPhones and iPads, and one is certified for iPod/iPhone use. The fifth connects to any portable audio device via 3.5mm aux input. All retail for less than a suggested $70.


The high-end European audio brand launched its first two U.S. products, both of them singlechassis AirPlay speaker systems that also make a wired connection to TVs.

The 40-inch-wide Libratone Lounge starts at $1,299, and the 18.5-inch-wide Libratone Live starts at $699. Both are three-way speaker systems with a minimalistic design.

The Libratone Lounge is available in Slate Gray, Blueberry Black and Vanilla Beige at $1,299 but also in Red and Green Cashmere at $1,399. The Libratone Live is available in grey, black and beige at $699 and in Red and Green Cashmere at $799.

Features include ribbon-based tweeters, DSP, 150- watt total amplification, and proprietary Full Room acoustic technology to disperse sound waves in multiple directions, reflecting them off walls, to eliminate the stereo sweet spot, the company said.


The company unveiled its next-generation Mini Boombox, which is equipped with stereo Bluetooth to play back music streamed from any stereo-Bluetoothenabled portable device. It also doubles as a hands-free speakerphone. The $99-suggested device, available this month, comes with internal rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of playback.


The Los Angeles startup is expanding its selection of tabletop single-chassis speaker systems to four with the launch of its highest end product to date at a suggested $399.

All Soundfreaq systems are positioned as universal sys-tems because they connect to almost any portable music source. All feature iPod/iPhone dock, 3.5mm aux in, and stereo Bluetooth streaming from smartphones, PCs and Macs. All but the lowest-priced model add USB charging port to charge non-iPhone smartphones.

In addition, all but the lowest-priced model feature iPad docking and charging via the front Apple pin connector. All feature FM tuner.

The new $399 Sound Stack SFQ-03 steps up output and performance and adds an optical line input. The biamplified system features 80-watt output, two 3-inch full-range speakers, two ported 3-inch active subwoofers and DSP to widen the sound stage.


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