iPod Speaker Makers Battle it Out With New Models

PARIS, FRANCE - The battle for business between iPod speaker makers moved to Paris this week at Apple Expo, as Altec Lansing Technologies, Inc. and Bose Corp. announced new products aimed at portable music lovers.

Altec Lansing announced the iM3 for iPod and iPod mini at US$180 and the iMmini for Appleis smallest handheld music player for $130. Bose announced the SoundDock for $299.

Bose used the Paris show to debut the SoundDock (photo below) even before it is to officially be announced in the US later this month. The SoundDock has a docking port for any iPod model. With an infrared remote to control the iPod from a distance, the SoundDock features active electronic equalization and ramping volume to slowly increase the sound level when the unit is first turned on.

The Bose SoundDock
(Click the thumbnail for a large image)

The SoundDock has a white finish, much like the white iPod, and is almost 12 inches wide by 6 inches high and 6.5 inches deep.

"The SoundDock continues a legacy of high-quality sound products in a small enclosure," said John Roselli, category business manager of the Home Entertainment Division of Bose. "There was an opportunity in the industry to create a sound system that leveraged the iPodis capability by doing more than adding features. We decided to combine functionality with a level of audio performance previously unavailable."

The two new iPod speaker systems from Altec Lansing are updates to its original and popular inMotion product, which was announced last year. "Weive listened to our customers and added some requested features to these two new products," Pamela Roccabruna, Altec Lansing media specialist told The Mac Observer. "We think theyill be just as popular."

Ms. Roccabruna said the products will be sold through Appleis online store exclusively through the end of 2004. "We have worked closely with Apple on these products and we thought it was important to allow Apple to have exclusive selling rights to this product for a period of time. Weire happy with the response to sales from the Apple Store," she said.

The iM3 (see photo below) has the same size speakers as the inMotion model, but is shorter and has an easier-to-use enclosure system, Ms. Roccabruna said. The iMmini has a sleek design as well, but smaller speakers. All models operate on four AA batteries.

Altec Lansingis iM3
(Click the thumbnail for a large image)

Portable speaker systems for iPods are fast becoming a popular product line. As the iPod and iPod mini grow in popularity, so to are the speaker systems to share music with others. While they do not have the same range as bigger speaker systems, they offer reasonable sound quality at an economical price.

"Weire happy with the response and popularity of the iPod products," said Ms. Roccabruna. "We see sales going forward as positive and we feel this will be a popular product line."