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CES 2011, Las Vegas - Last month iWatchz unveiled its first new watchband for the new iPod nano called the Q Collection and the bands were pretty cool. You could buy them online or at Apple retail stores. At CES last week, the company pulled the wraps off two new watchband lines for the nano including the Jelly Collection and the Carbon Collection.
The Jelly Collection is a line of translucent bands made from silicone with bright colors. The bands come in pink, orange, red, green, blue, white, and gray. The Jelly Collection will ship starting in January and will be offered at retail locations as well for $24.95. The cooler of the new offerings to me is the Carbon Collection.
The Carbon Collection has a watchband that looks like carbon fiber pattern. The bands are decorated with brightly colored stitching in six different colors. These bands have a matte black clip for securing the Nano to the band. The Carbon Series will be offered in February at Apple retail stores and directly from iWatchz for $49.95.
Logitech's Squeezebox line of WiFi music players have been around for longer than the devices have been part of the Logitech company. These wireless music players use the WiFi network in your home to shoot music to just about any room without having to run wires or buy lots of hardware. Logitech has announced that it has a new update to the Squeezebox that users will like.
On the Squeezebox Touch and Radio devices, users can now get access to a library of over 10 million tracks including any playlists that the Spotify user has set up using the service anywhere in the home. Spotify is offered in free and paid versions. However, a subscription is needed to use Spotify on the Squeezebox hardware.
The premium subscription gives users access to CD quality 320 kbps digital tracks and more. The Spotify service is beta right now and the full release will be rolled out "in the very near future" according to Logitech. The bad news for US geeks is that Spotify is still only in Europe.
CES 2011, Las Vegas - Wicked Audio had some very interesting and unique audio solutions on display at CES 2011, and we spent a few minutes with them to take a look at what they've got coming around the bend.
More and more people have smartphones that are doubling as their mp3 players, and the Tour lineup of headphones is a solution for them. The in-line mic and answer/hang up button allow you to receive calls without having to pull your phone from your pocket or armband if you're on a run or working out. The Helix sets below have a wraparound, in ear setup for those that have problems keeping regular in ear headphones in.
Wicked also has a "3D Headphone" lineup for surround sound listening. With their three designer options, these will make a statement as you walk down the street. Keep an eye out for this lineup coming soon.
CES 2011, Las Vegas - When it comes to DJ gear that we see from some companies like Hercules and Pioneer the gear can get to be very expensive. The gear is also very complicated making entry into the world of spinning your own tunes costly in time and money. Hercules has unveiled a new DJ device for the home user that is cheap and promises to be easy for the user to pick up in a few hours rather than days.
The device is called the DJ 4set and it has a pair of large backlit 12cm jog wheels that can be used to scratch and for other things. The backlighting can be changed between green or red depending on what you want. The buttons are backlit as well.
The device has 4-channels including two for mixing and a stereo headphone output for previewing tracks. The four virtual decks allow loops and all sorts of other features. The device has 60-controls in dual deck mode and 112 controls in 4-deck mode. It comes with VirtualDJ LE DJC Edition software. The DJ 4Set will ship in April for $249.99.
CES 2011, Las Vegas - SteelSeries wasn't finished when they announced the Siberia neckband. They've also got a wireless gaming headset on the horizon. Take a look at the upcoming SteelSeries 7XB. This headset is geared towards both the PC and Xbox 360 gamer with its 360-friendly wireless controller plugin.
This wireless headset has a ton of bells and whistles, including 50mm drivers, exchangeable earcups, intelligent wireless which automatically switches frequencies if it detects too much interference, and a sleep mode which automatically shuts down the headset if you lay it down too long. There are three different settings depending on your game: Performance, which focuses on things like gunfire and steps for FPS fans, Immersion for background music, and Entertainment for use during things like TV and movie watching.
The headset takes two AAA batteries that last about 20 hours. Expect it in Q2 of 2011 for $149.99
CES 2011, Las Vegas - SteelSeries has some really cool gaming peripherals and accessories that include speakers and headphones as well as mice and keyboards. The company makes quality gear that gamers around the world use on a daily basis. SteelSeries has added a new headset to its line at CES called the Siberia Neckband that will work with any 3.5mm input device.
The Siberia Neckband is designed to fit behind the user's neck rather than over the head for comfort. If you hate getting your hair smashed, this might be the perfect headset for you. The headphones are aimed directly at Apple users with support for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. The inline controller gives control over the track and volume of your music and phone calls.
A retractable mic on one side of the headset allows the user to make and receive phone calls as well. The headset is adjustable to fit a wide range of users and the sound is optimized for bass that is deep and balanced according to SteelSeries. The headset will sell for $79.99 and availability is unknown at this time.
CES 2011, Las Vegas - One of Corsair's big announcements at CES this year is the introduction of their very first PC speakers.
You may know Corsair has a newish audio group within its company that has a range of headsets and now Corsair continues its long lasting transition from being just a memory company, to one who I reckon wants to eventually buildup a big enough product portfolio that it can make its own high-end gaming PC systems from its own parts. Alright, so I might be getting ahead of myself here, but this is happening bit by bit.
Back on track, we hooked up with Dylan who is in charge of Corsair audio and he gave us a look at the SP2500 2.1 speaker system. It comes with plenty of neat features I won't begin to pretend I know about, but if you are an audio enthusiast and want a solid set of new PC speakers for your desk, it seems like Corsair is right on the money here.
Dylan from Corsair told us we couldn't turn up the volume, but after just getting done telling us that even at 100% volume there is little to no distortion, he didn't need much arm twisting when we told him we had to crank it up. It sure did get the attention of everyone in the hall. Watch above.
Quirky is infamous for offering up gear that really lives up to the company name. Most of the gear isn't stuff you can just order and have show up at your house in a few days. Typically, stuff from Quirky is in the concept stage and the company takes pre-orders until the interest is high enough that the product gets built. The most recent of the products from the company is called the Perch.
The Perch is a docking station for charging your iPhone or other gadgets that also has an integrated wireless speaker. The speaker has Bluetooth connectivity for wirelessly streaming music from any compatible device. The base of the speaker has an alarm clock and can charge just about any USB device there is.
The Perch will work with the iPhone, Android devices, and anything else. The speaker even has a mic built-in to allow for hands free calls. You can pre-order the Perch right now for $179.99 and before the thing goes into production 1600 of them have to sell. So far, only 12 have been spoken for so it may be a long time coming.
CES 2011, Las Vegas - If you need any proof that Android is going into all sorts of products, this one is the proof you need. The OS is finding its way into all sorts of gadgets and tech for cars and lots more. The latest product to surface from Parrot has Android inside and is one place that I never considered seeing Android land. The product is called the Asteroid and it is a car stereo or head unit.
The device runs the Android OS and comes with a GPS dongle. When you connect the head unit with your own 3G dongle, you can get access to Parrot Maps for navigation, those maps can get traffic, and construction alerts on them. Parrot says that it will also be offering more apps for the Asteroid device later.
The head unit can play music and files from all sorts of inputs included SD cards, USB, iPhone, iPods, and Bluetooth devices. The radio also works as a hands free device for calls on the road. The coolest feature is voice search for music while you drive and if you have the Asteroid on a 3G network it will search the web for you as well. It has integrated AM and FM tuners with RDS support. Pricing is unknown and the device will hit the US in Q2 2011.
I don't listen to the radio much in my home because there aren't that many stations in my area and the ones we have tend to play music I don't like. In the car, I listen to CDs and digital tracks mostly. If you have the same issue and you don't want to move your CDs in and out of the car one of the internet radio devices from Grace Digital Audio would be perfect. The company will be unveiling three new devices at CES next week that all have color screens.
One of the devices is the Solo Touch that is a compact tuner with a big 4.3-inch touchscreen color display. The device also ships with a remote control and has an Ethernet connection in addition to the WiFi connectivity built-in. It also has headphone port and RCA outputs with a MSRP of $249.99. The Bravado X is a WiFi enabled tablet top radio with a 2.7-inch color screen.
It packs stereo speakers, RCA inputs and outputs, USB port, and a headphone port. It will sell for $179.99. The final new device is called the Mondo with a 3.5-inch screen and full alarm clock functionality. The device has snooze and a remote control. It sports WiFi, Ethernet port, RCA outputs, and a USB connection. The MSRP is $169.99. Exactly when the three new products will be available to purchase is unknown.