Xtrememac Tango X

It looks great, but the Tango X2’s sound won’t make you feel like dancing.  At first blush, the Tango X2 iPod speaker dock gets plenty of points for design. The smooth, black box takes the space of a couple of encyclopedias, and its elegant silver trim works dressed up for a dining room or down for a bedroom. But the Tango X2 has two left feet where it really counts, blasting out shrill, distorted sound.

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Matias iRizer

The iRizer adjusts to four different angles. The MiniRizer has two angle options. Laptops make it possible to work almost anywhere, but if you do too much work in a space that isn’t ergonomic, you could wind up in pain from hunching your back or keeping your wrists bent at a bad angle. The iRizer from Matias is a light, sturdy, adjustable laptop stand that’s as portable as your notebook itself. The iRizer comes in two pieces. The base piece has a strip of rubber to grip the bottom edge of your notebook, and is set up with the Matias logo on the top and the iRizer name facing you. The upright piece has four angled slots labeled 20, 30, 40, and 50 degrees. With the numbers facing you, you feed the base piece through the upright piece, and the way the slots are cut creates the desired angle between the two pieces. You rest the bottom of your laptop on the upright piece, and the rubber strip on the base keeps it in place. The upright piece also has an oval cutout to vent the bottom of your laptop.

This is one bug that won’t spoil your picnic.  Standing out is important in the crowded iPod-speaker market, and Vestalife manages to do that with its first entry into the field, the Ladybug. At first glance, you might not even think it’s a sound system at all. It just looks like a 5.4-by-5.6-inch ball that resembles an overgrown ladybug with closed wings. When you open it up, the speakers fan out, exposing the docking area, and the device looks ready to fly off your shelf. Parents will appreciate the unique rubberized coat of paint that gives the sub-2-pound speaker an original feel and makes it simple for kids to grip without dropping.  

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Alpine ex-10

So close to being great.  In the last few years, the center console of a vehicle has become command central for climate control, navigation, and enormous stock stereos. The amalgamation of these items is great until you try to add an iPod or hands-free Bluetooth system to the mix, or you want to upgrade the audio system.  The Alpine eX-10 iPod integration and Bluetooth hands-free calling system hopes to alleviate your lack-of-an-iPod-kit-in-your-new-car blues. The eX-10’s LCD allows drivers to navigate their iPods and Bluetooth-equipped mobile phones. Users have the option of using an FM transmitter or auxiliary minijack audio output to bring the tunes to their stereo system. The FM transmitter pushed a better-than-normal audio signal to the stereo. But if it can be utilized, the auxiliary output is the way to go for cleaner sound, without the issues inherent in FM transmitters.  

Boynq iCube II

At just under 4 inches on all sides, the iCube fits nearly anywhere—as long as there’s AC power nearby.  Boynq offers the iCube II (and another iPod speaker, the Sabre) in both black-and-chrome “Pour Homme” and lavender-and-white “Pour Femme” versions. While “Pour Femme” is one glitter unicorn sticker away from being “Pour 9-Year-Old Girl,” the black-and-chrome version is attractive enough for a desktop, bedroom, or kitchen.

B&W Zeppelin

The mothership of iPod speakers , the Zeppelin won’t sink your music like a lead balloon.

XtremeMac Tango Studio

Sweet Studio System

iPod Shut Out?

 I just bought my new iPod classic a few weeks ago, but now it’s shut me out from using it. It doesn’t respond to anything I do, even when I try to force restart it. I tried restoring its software through iTunes but still it just shows me a little lock symbol in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

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 The latest iPod game, Pirates of the Caribbean: Aegir’s Fire, runs aground immediately. Like nearly every other licensed videogame, this sailing adventure feels like a cash-in, looting unsuspecting iPod fans. While the first few ship battles are briefly fun, Aegir’s Fire is mostly tedious, repetitive, and frustrating.