Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I love, LOVE, Scandinavian furniture and have since I was kid. Hey, with a Swedish name, one has to, right? A walk through IKEA always gives me flashbacks to when I was a kid while in Germany and I always remember how my sweet parents spent thousands on a custom Scandinavian bed for me as a teen that I still miss to this day. Now, that same stunning look and simplicity comes to speakers for your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and even iTunes on your Mac or PC. Utilizing AirPlay from Apple, Libratone debuts it’s AirPlay enabled sounds systems that, “boast exceptional sound and minimalistic Scandinavian design made from hand-picked materials including Italian cashmere, and chrome.” One look at these blocks and you don’t have to look any further for beauty. While Libratone shafted us on any specifications in its press release, it certainly didn’t prepare us for the staggering prices. The “cheappy” clocks in at $700 and the top of the line will set you back $1,300! But hey, it’s Scandinavian, right?

View Press Release »

LIBRATONE DEBUTS AIRPLAY
ENABLED SOUND SYSTEMS

Libratone’s wireless AirPlay speakers boast exceptional sound and minimalistic Scandinavian design made from hand-picked materials including Italian cashmere, and chrome

Palo Alto – November 2, 2011 – Libratone, a brand known in Europe for its high-end sound systems, makes its U.S. debut with the launch of two cutting-edge AirPlay-enabled options for the ultimate sound experience: the Libratone Live and Libratone Lounge. Apple’s AirPlay® allows users to stream songs from their iTunes music libraries on Mac or PC, as well as music stored on their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, through their Wi-Fi networks.* The Libratone Lounge system is designed to make every corner of the room the ideal spot for sound while the Libratone Live allows for versatility due to its smaller size. Another attractive feature is the gorgeous design of both systems, which is heightened with quality hand-picked materials including Italian cashmere, chrome, wood and selected acoustic materials. Libratone Live and Lounge allow you to experience big sound with minimalistic design without clumsy, clunky speakers. One is all you need.

Liberation is a reoccurring theme for Libratone as they encourage a life without cables, without clutter and most importantly surrounded by great sound. Users can enhance the Libratone experience with the Libratone App, which allows for the customization of the FullRoom feature, enabling you adjust sound to fit any room.

The Libratone speakers are now available in a variety of colors to compliment your spaces. The Libratone Lounge, perfect for living room spaces, is available in Slate Grey, Blueberry Black and Vanilla Beige as standard at a cost of $1,299 and as red and green cashmere in its premium offering at a cost of $1,399. The more petite Libratone Live, ideal for any room in the home, is available in grey, black and beige as standard at a cost of $699 and as premium in red and green cashmere at a cost of $799. The stylish Live also offers a chrome handle for easy portability.
Libratone Lounge and Live are available at Apple Online Store in US. For a full list of other retailers visit www.libratone.com/buy.

“Music is the context in which we live our lives – a personal soundtrack so to speak. We believe strongly in simplicity and the ability to experience room-filling sound in any room without clumsy speakers and tangled wires” states Soeren Louis Pedersen, Chief Sales Officer of Libratone, “Libratone is designed to simplify and enhance any home décor with room filling, high fidelity sound”.

Libratone Live and Libratone Lounge features:

• Libratone Lounge and Libratone Live utilizes AirPlay, allowing users to stream songs from their iTunes music libraries on Mac or PC, as well as music stored on their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, through their Wi-Fi networks.*
• Minimalistic interior design. Libratone Live is small and even has a handle for easy placement. Libratone Lounge is designed to stand alone or to fit under a TV or anywhere aesthetically all while enjoying the same exceptional sound.
• FullRoom technology. The single sound source design ensures that acoustic sound is covered from corner-to-corner. Take the experience to the next level by personalizing the FullRoom feature with the Libratone App.
• Quality raw materials and craftsmanship all from hand-picked materials including cashmere, chrome and wood. Gorgeous colors compliment every home.
The Libratone App is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

*AirPlay requires iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch (2nd, 3rd or 4th generation), iPad 2 or iPad with iOS 4.2 or later, or Mac and PC with iTunes 10.1 or later. Wi-Fi network is required.

About Libratone
Libratone is a Copenhagen-based audio company that creates sound systems for today. That’s it.
Our approach is three-headed: Wireless technology, hi-fi quality, and Scandinavian design
– in one sound source.

Our goal is to play music from iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices worldwide and to deliver an alternative to clumsy stereo systems and the wire-havoc they wreak. All without compromising the sound experience.

To learn more about Libratone’s Lounge and Live audio systems visit www.libratone.com.

Trademark acknowledgements
iTunes, AirPlay, iPod, iPhone and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Libratone and FullRoom are registered trademarks of Libratone A/S.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There has been much talk of Steve Jobs failures since his resigning as CEO of the company he co-founded in 1976. The interesting thing about these lists, such as the one below in the cnet video, is the lack of one of Apple’s biggest flop to say the least since Steve officially dropped the i from iCEO in the late 90s. That flop? The Apple iPod Hi-Fi. You remember, the very speaker system for your iPod that replaced Steve Jobs entire high-end audio system at his Palo Alto home. His words, not mine.

Audiophiles around the globe immediately commented on the quality of this $350 white speaker box and the comments weren’t pretty. Muddy high frequencies were soaring on most lists while the lack of an AM/FM radio found its way on others. The placement of the iPod, on the top of the Hi-Fi itself, was another criticism due to the expensive media player being susceptible to damage due to lack of protection that seemingly begged to be hit by a passing object. The inability to use anything but an iPod, and only the older ones on top of that, was another gripe from the masses.

What most likely killed Steve Jobs home stereo replacement, the iPod Hi-Fi, was its price. For less money, one could pickup a quality speaker from either Bose or Altec Lansing for example. Competing brands also offered auxiliary inputs as well as other features lacking in Steve’s beloved white box.

For me, when I first saw the iPod Hi-Fi and it’s associated price, I laughed (yes, a true LOL!) and figured it would quietly disappear soon after introduction. It didn’t take long for that to happen. Just a little over a year after its May introduction in 2006, Apple discontinued the iPod HI-Fi in late 2007 without apology. No one’s sure if Steve eventually put his home audio system back into his AV rack but chances are good he did.



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

HARMAN Unveils New JBL On Air™ Wireless AirPlay® Speaker Dock

Harman, aka Harman and Kardon, has just dropped its new JBL speaker dock that fashions such wonderful features as AirPlay support and an LCD display. While some may question the color LCD due to the iPhone or iPod docked just above it, do note that the JBL On Air Wireless also packs in an FM radio (what, no AM? :) ) with RDS and an alarm clock. See, you do need the display.

JBL also relies on the HALO for this new dock sound blaster. HALO, or horizontal acoustic level optimization, “delivers clean, powerful sound that JBL products are known for,” per the press release below.

If you didn’t catch the wireless in the product name, yes, that does mean it has built in Wi-Fi and can connect to your PC or Mac’s iTunes library and stream audio to the JBL directly without the need of your iPhone or iPod, hence the AirPlay.

Grab yours for your Apple beloved device from Best Buy or Apple for a mere $349.99 and fill your bedroom with tunes from your iTunes or iDevice attached player today.

Press Release
HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR), today announced the new JBL On Air™ Wireless AirPlay® speaker dock, the newest in the JBL® lineup to provide music lovers an even more seamless music experience within the home. With AirPlay technology built in, the JBL On Air Wireless lets you play music from your iTunes® library on a Mac or a PC, and from an iPhone®, iPad® or iPod touch® device over your existing Wi-Fi® network. Users will enjoy album artwork and song information on the bright color display, and can use the included remote control to play and pause music, as well as navigate to next and previous tracks. AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later and iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 4.2 or later.

Three advanced JBL transducers deliver rich, full-spectrum sound uniformly across a wide-listening area. Distinct stereo imaging is often less than ideal with desktop sound systems, but the JBL On Air Wireless dock’s unique HALO (horizontal acoustic level optimization) design delivers clean, powerful sound that JBL products are known for. It also employs proprietary JBL technology – digital signal processing – to maximize sound quality and output under any listening conditions.

“Since the unveiling of our very first iPod dock, HARMAN has always been at the forefront of creating the most cutting-edge products for consumers,” said David Slump, president, HARMAN Consumer Division. “With the new JBL On Air Wireless speaker dock, JBL will set the standard again by introducing a solution for music lovers to store, access and listen to their music content for an even greater seamless music experience within the home.”

Pricing and Availability

The JBL On Air Wireless speaker dock will be available in April 2011 for $349 MSRP at Best Buy and Apple online and retail store locations throughout the U.S. To learn more, visit http://www.onair.jbl.com.

Product Features

JBL On Air Wireless AirPlay Speaker Dock at a Glance:

· AirPlay wireless music streaming
· Color LCD screen
· Works with Wi-Fi networks
· iPod/iPhone dock
· Digital FM radio with RDS and 10 station presets
· Clock with dual alarms
· Three JBL transducers with 360-degree HALO acoustics
· Proprietary DSP technologies



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Apple Dock Patent USB 3 and Thunderbolt

AppleInsider has revealed Apple’s latest patent filing which details a new dock connector for the popular iOS devices from the Cupertino manufacturer. Most noticeable about the filing is the verbiage associated with the diagrams which read, in part, “Some embodiments of the present invention can provide support for one or more new high-speed communication standards.” These high-speed standards would be, as the filing listed, USB 3.0 and DisplayPort. The later, re-branded Thunderbolt by Apple and Intel recently, is the duos run against USB 3.0 which they have not released any hardware support for in any of its products.

Apple’s inclusion of the USB 3.0 protocol in the dock connector is most likely for support for many PCs that have been shipping with newest USB port for nearly a year while Thunderbolt will be an Apple exclusive of sorts for the rest of this year. Users of older Apple hardware, essentially anyone not owning the newest MacBook Pro, will have to opt for a USB 3.0 card for Mac Pros or upgrade to a newer Mac with the Thunderbolt port when available.

With support of the faster connectors, this could mean sync times will be reduced by half if not more in upcoming iPhones, iPods, and iPads. It is also possible that current iDevices will support the new high-speed traffic with a simple purchase of a new cable.



Tekkeon’s New Dual Port Power Pack, Certified by Apple for iPod, iPhone and iPad, Charges Two Devices at Once

Tekkeon today introduced the newest member of its mobile power product family TekCharge™ MP1860A, a dual port power pack with two USB outputs, to simultaneously charge and power iPad™, iPhone®, iPod® nano or iPod® touch, and a second small portable device. With mobile power at a user’s fingertips, this high-capacity, lightweight battery lets users enjoy hours of extended play time on many small portable electronic products, including mobile phones, smartphones, and MP3 players, portable routers, pocket video cameras, and e-readers.
Several Charging Options
TekCharge MP1860A connects to devices in three ways: to iPad, iPhone, iPod nano or iPod touch using the included Dock Connector/USB cable, or to any compatible device using the USB device cable or an adapter tip.
An Apple Dock Connector to USB cable is included for charging and syncing iPad, iPhone, or iPod, with Mini USB and Micro USB adapter tips included for connection to current models of BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson mobile phones. The included USB adapter tips can be used to charge Kindle2, Nook, MP3 players, PDAs, portable media players, pocket video cameras, portable routers, GPS, MP3 players, and other 5V devices that use a Micro or Mini USB cable to charge. Additional adapter tips are available from Tekkeon for a nominal fee.
Intelligent Design
Its intelligent design enables TekCharge MP1860A to identify and provide exactly the right output power for the connected device, from less than 100mA to a whopping 2.1A¾the precise output to fast charge iPad.
High-Capacity Rechargeable Battery
TekCharge MP1860A features a high-capacity rechargeable lithium ion battery. Designed the highest degree of safety in mind, it features multi-layer protection circuitry to help prevent over-charging, over-discharging, over-current, or short circuit, and flame-retardant plastics that exceed industry requirements.
Charge Battery and Device Together
To optimize charging time and luggage space, users can leave extra power adapters at home and use a single USB power adapter to charge the battery along with two connected devices overnight.
Battery Capacity at a Glance
A bright, color-coded LED on top of the battery quickly indicates the remaining capacity of the rechargeable battery.
Emergency Flashlight
As an added bonus, TekCharge MP1860A includes a flashlight to provide emergency light at a user’s fingertips.
“Made for iPod, iPhone, iPad” Certification
TekCharge MP1860A has been officially certified by Apple Inc. as a “Made for iPod, iPhone, and iPad” product. A certified Apple dock connector to USB cable is included in the TekCharge MP1860A box to ensure 100% compatibility with Apple products.
“While TekCharge MP1860A is certified by Apple for use with iPod, iPhone and iPad, this compact, high-capacity battery is universal to work with hundreds of popular mobile devices, including new tablets that are beginning to hit the market,” says Jerry Yang, president of Tekkeon, Inc. “And its unusually high 2.1 Amp output is ideal for fast charging most of these devices.”
TekCharge MP1860A includes:
TekCharge MP1860A Dual Port Power Pack
Retractable USB input/output cable (power only)
Dock Connector Cable for connection to iPad, iPhone or iPod (power and data)
myCharger™ USB power adapter
Mini USB adapter tip
Micro USB adapter tip
Adapter tip tote
User guide
The MSRP for TekCharge MP1860A is $69.95. The battery is available through retail and major on-line stores, including 3GStore.com, Adorama, Amazon.com, B&H Photos, CircuitCity.com, CompUSA.com, Newegg.com, and TigerDirect, and from the Tekkeon store at www.tekkeon.com. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Tekkeon offers a complete line of mobile power products for the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and other mobile devices. To learn more, please visit http://tekkeon.com.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Panasonic Logo

Panasonic is going crazy with announcements today. From TVs to portable stereos to Blu-ray, Panasonic drenched the AV market with news today. More 3D, more sound, more Skype, more iPhone, but less CO2 emissions are some of the highlights of the various press releases we’ve provided for your viewing pleasure. Take a look at what’s coming from one of the worlds leader in sound – a long favorite of mine – in the coming months.

Read more at the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »



Beverly Hills Manners for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad on the iTunes App Store

I often marvel at people today. What happened to my generation? I won’t even ask about the younger ones from Gen X and down. Where did manners go to? I can’t believe how many people yawn without covering their mouth. Dude, major rude! Forget elbows on the table, we have people talking with food in their mouth! How about opening a door for a lady? I know I live in California where the liberals live heavy and some women can be confused for men by their look, but still, manners people.

Well, if you’re curious or just needing help yourself, then I would suggest you head over to the App Store now for your free download. Yes, there’s an app for that. Thankfully Lisa Gaché, CEO of Beverly Hills Manners (BHM), has released a free application that will help you with social graces, dining (forks AND knives please!), business, and even childrens etiquette. There’s even a spot for first impressions. Etiquette Tips fills brings news bits to the app keeping it fresh and fun to use.

Take a read of the Press Release for more deets.

Press Release
Leading etiquette expert Lisa Gaché, CEO of Beverly Hills Manners (BHM), announces the launch of the first “BH Manners” application for the iPhone and Android phones, currently available as a free download.

Gaché says, “Good manners are on the rise. People seem to be realizing that good manners and behavior are becoming a lost art, as ill-mannered celebrities are so frequently glamorized in the media. Releasing this manners app is our contribution to the many people seeking guidance for healthy personal interactions in the world.”

Having quickly established herself as the go-to-gal for all things manners—especially for parenting—Gaché’s straightforward and insightful commentary offers not only enjoyable entertainment, but also helpful tips and suggestions to improve one’s own presence and behavior.

The Beverly Hills Manners app is the ultimate etiquette coach for people who demand on-the-go expert advice. Chock-full of information for both personal and professional use, app topics include: first impressions, social graces, dining, party, business and children’s etiquette.

Gaché adds, “This app provides users with timeless education on a modern device. It’s perfect for someone in a pinch that needs that last minute coaching before a job interview or a hot date!”

Gaché’s guidance covers everything from dating do’s and don’ts, to email etiquette, interviewing skills, the art of apologizing and the rules of re-gifting. She also frequently offers new advice on her popular blog, Protocallout (http://protocallout.blogspot.com/) and on her Twitter (@Protocallout) and Facebook(http://tinyurl.com/bhmanners) pages.

For more information, please visit www.beverlyhillsmanners.com.



Thursday, January 20, 2011

iChair Debuts Sleek, Protective Cases with Integrated Stands for iDevices

iChair, maker of stylish iDevice cases with built-in stands that accommodate use in portrait and landscape modes, is continuing to make waves with its simplistic yet durable designs that come with an array of value-added perks.

“Our goal was to make a multi-functional case that didn’t sacrifice protection or the slim, sleek design of iDevices,” said Shefali Sedey, Director of Marketing & PR. “The iChair blends form with function making it easy to use and carry, so users can browse the web, type messages more comfortably or prop up their device to view movies or presentations no matter where they are.”

Debuted at CES, iChair cases are made of the highest-quality materials, featuring a rubber coated, matte-finish with integrated pull-out stands that contribute to the ultra slim profile design. The iPad version is lined with microfiber and has twin stands – one capable of rotation providing three different angles for optimal viewing, along with a small stand that positions the iPad at an ideal angle for typing. Available in black with your choice of an extra top slider case in either blue or white, all cases come equipped with a screen protector, cleaning cloth and squeegee board making iChair’s value unbeatable. The iPhone 4 case includes both a front and rear screen protector for ultimate protection.

The iPad case retails at $49.00 and the iPhone 4, iPhone 3G/S and iPod Touch cases at $34.00. Continental U.S. customers also receive free standard shipping when they purchase the iChair at goiChair.com.



XtremeMac™ Unveils InCharge™ Series of Charging Solutions  for iPad, iPod and iPhone

XtremeMac, a leading designer and manufacturer of accessories and audio solutions for Apple devices, is pleased to announce four new additions to its popular InCharge™ series during CES. The InCharge series are designed to keep your iPod, iPhone and iPad charged and playing at home and on the go. The new introductions are the InCharge Mobile, Auto USB, Auto Plus and Auto AUX.

InCharge Mobile is a low profile, sleek rechargeable battery pack and protective case. It boasts one of the largest battery capacities for iPhone 4 chargers on the market at 2300 mAh, the equivalent of one full charge. Features include an integrated stand for landscape viewing and FaceTime chatting, LED battery status indicator, on/off switch for battery conservation and a micro USB cable for charging and syncing.

The three new InCharge Auto solutions for the car each offer a compact design, deliver 10 watts of power, and provide a distinguishing feature for added functionality. The InCharge Auto USB is equipped with a detachable USB to 30 Pin cable for charging and syncing Apple products. The InCharge Auto Plus provides users with a second USB port to simultaneously charge an iPhone, iPod or iPad and another USB powered device. Finally, the InCharge Auto AUX features a 3.5mm auxiliary jack and cable allowing users to play music through their car stereo line input while charging an iPhone, iPod or iPad, replacing the need for an FM transmitter.

InCharge Mobile, Auto USB, Auto Plus and Auto AUX are available now for US$79.99, US$24.99, US$29.99 and US$49.99 MSRP respectively. These new chargers are available at www.XtremeMac.com.



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Speakal, a company driven by its passion for sound, intelligent technology and innovative designs, is proud to debut its new lineup of vibrant and colorful sound docks for 2011. With this new line, music enthusiasts now have a collection of uniquely designed sound solutions to match their individual lifestyles.

SBPKX-100 – SBPKX-100 is a portable docking sound system that comes in an array of stunning colors complemented by a soft colorable LED light. It features high quality audio with an acoustic accelerator and DSP audio processing and an AM/FM alarm clock with 20 pre set stations. The LCD clock automatically syncs up with your iPhone/iPod to ensure the time is always accurate. You can plug it into the wall or power it up with AA batteries making it a great solution for around the campfire or trips to the beach.

Speakal Unveils 2011 Line of Advanced iPhone/iPod Docking Sound Systems

Speakal Unveils 2011 Line of Advanced iPhone/iPod Docking Sound Systems

SB 12 – This premium speaker system surrounds your iDevice with a colorful halo of powerful sound. Its modern, industrial design superbly complements the modern home with a thin disc of superb fidelity featuring touch controls.

iExecutive – This luxury docking sound system boasts a wide array of playback options with iPod/iPhone/USB/SD/Bluetooth compatibility. It’s sleek, aerodynamic design coupled with a powerful 20W subwoofer make this the ultimate centerpiece for the modern office. Additional functionality includes a radio, alarm clock, 20 pre-set channels, and video output.

Speakal Unveils 2011 Line of Advanced iPhone/iPod Docking Sound Systems

Speakal Unveils 2011 Line of Advanced iPhone/iPod Docking Sound Systems

Kurve – This compact, tubular sound dock blends 20 watts of clear and powerful sound with a colorful, clean form that accents your tunes with style. An integrated LED with 4 levels of brightness helps customize the atmosphere of any room.

Speakal Unveils 2011 Line of Advanced iPhone/iPod Docking Sound Systems

B5 – This fashionably designed oval speaker cranks out powerful bass with over 27W of total output. Bluetooth capabilities allow you to control your playlist from the comfort of your couch.

“Our lineup of speaker solutions offers something for every type music enthusiast” said CEO David Solomon. “With a variety of vibrant color options we have a design that will perfectly match your personality” added Solomon.

For more information about Speakal visit www.speakal.com