Bring your music on the Road!

Whether you’re stuck in a hotel room or need some quality music before heading out on a vacation, good quality travel speakers can make a big difference. There have been some significant improvements to portable speakers recently and you can now get some really impressive sound in a small box.

Most travel speakers have built-in batteries, some can be used with Bluetooth while others use AirPlay with smartphones and tablets. What they all have in common is a relatively low price and the fact that they are all wireless. Here’s a quick overview of some of the hot products available today:

Beats has unveiled a portable speaker called Pill®. The Pill is a small Bluetooth speaker that works with NFC technology (Near Field Communication). So if you have an NFC-equipped smartphone you can simply tap it on the device to pair it up easily with your speaker. Despite its small format, the Pill can deliver powerful sound and includes a battery that gives you up to seven hours of continuous use. If it loses its Bluetooth signal, it can be set to automatically shut down after 30 minutes. The Pill also doubles as a Bluetooth speakerphone, with a built-in microphone allowing it to be used for conference calls.

The Libratone® Zipp are the first AirPlay speakers that do not require an internet connection to work. Libratone produces stylish, high quality speakers, covered in felt of various colours. Libratone’s PlayDirect makes AirPlay much more useful, letting you use the Zipp speakers wherever you are, rather than being tethered to your home Wi-Fi network. It features an internal battery that offers up to eight hours of playback off a full charge. This is the ultimate sound solution for those with i-Phone and i-Pads – the critics love Libratone!

Braven portable speakers offer an integrated power reserve that can be charged and then used for emergency smartphone charging, and can be paired with any smartphone that supports Bluetooth, including the iPhone and your favorite Android handset. The Braven 600 series offers 12 hour of playback, and has a connectivity range of about 33-feet. Braven speakers are encased in a polymer chassis that is impact-resistant, making it ideal for camping trips or rugged environments. For those that like even more sound, the Braven speakers can be daisy-chained (linked) to increase overall sound output.

JAMBOX delivers stunning hi-fi audio in a portable wireless speaker so compact you won’t believe it when you hear it. Unlike other portable speakers, JAMBOX is powered by a pair of proprietary, highly sophisticated acoustic drivers, unmatched in their ability to produce extreme high (tweeter) and low (woofer) frequencies from a single, ultra-small dome speaker. They work in concert with an innovative moving-wall passive bass radiator and airtight enclosure to deliver shimmering highs and thumping lows that you can literally feel – the richest sound all in the palm of your hand.

The Gear 4 StreetParty is designed for ultimate portability and superb sound. At only 16mm and weighing just 300g the StreetParty is extremely lightweight, includes a stylish carrying case and is powered by batteries. This portability is combined with exceptional audio performance and superb bass tones. With its well designed adjustable dock, the speaker system fits both iPod Nano and iPhone snugly and is also compatible with other music players via its line-in port.

The JBL OnBeat Venue Lightning aloows you to take your iPhone 5 or iPad mini into a new realm. It’s an amazing, wireless, Bluetooth®-equipped loudspeaker dock for the latest Apple devices. Equipped with the Lightning connector, the JBL OnBeat Venue LT lets you experience true high-definition sound for music, movies, videos and games on your iPad mini, iPad (4th generation), iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th generation) or iPod nano (7th generation). It also wirelessly streams music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. And don’t worry about signal strength; HARMAN TrueStream® technology guarantees the best possible wireless performance.

First A/V receiver with built-in home automation

Indianapolis, IN – CEDIA Expo Booth 4949 – September 5, 2012 at 5:00PM ET – Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems, announced that Sony has integrated Control4® automation technology into its new ES receivers (introduced at CEDIA Expo) – delivering best-in-class AV performance and home automation within one easy-to-install and easy-to-use product. The ES receivers with Control4 automation are available for order now through authorized Control4 and Sony ES dealers. Continue reading “First A/V receiver with built-in home automation”