We expect a 2.0 product to be deep with features, but the radio SHARK 2 lives on the surface. Digital video recorders radically changed the way people watch TV, so why not apply those tricks to radio? Griffin’s radio SHARK 2 is a USB AM/FM radio tuner that lets you record and play radio content on your Mac. As DVRs do with video, the radio SHARK 2 buffers the audio so you can rewind and pause live shows. But it lacks other important features, such as solid Internet radio integration and dual tuners.
We preferred the miDock10’s audio over the miDock Studio’s. Best of all, the miDock10 is $50 cheaper. Polk Audio is a reputable maker of quality audio products, and the company finally jumped on the iPod bandwagon by releasing a pair of iPod speakers, the miDock Studio and the miDock10. Did Polk Audio miss the iPod party? Not really, since the party is still going on. Consider Polk Audio fashionably late, and fortunately, the miDock Studio and the miDock10 have the goods to stand out from the crowd.
You’ve just been served - by a dancing thingy that loosely resembles a rabbit. It’s not enough that you dance to your music - your speaker wants to get its groove on too. The dancing speakers we’ve seen are toy-quality dogs, cars, and even something called an iZ. And now there’s Wassup, a dancing speaker in the form of a…rabbit? Well, that’s the closest thing we could determine that it resembles.
The iMic can help you digitize your crates of vinyl records. What’s your excuse for not digitizing your vinyl copy of Dark Side of the Moon? Wait, let us guess - you haven’t figured out how to connect your turntable to your Mac, huh? The red and white jacks from the turntable don’t match any ports on your Mac. What you need is an iMic. The iMic is handy for connecting a turntable, tape player, or any other audio device to your computer.
The speaker on the right in this photo - the one with the iPod nano - is really the left speaker. We're just backwards like that. Sierra Sound named its iN Studio 5.0 speakers for their 5-inch woofers, but they also have a built-in 50-watt dynamic amp, making them more than just iPod speakers - they’re a compact, room-shaking stereo stand-in. Measuring 7.3 by 8 by 10.8 inches each, and weighing 23.3 pounds together, this is one hefty set - but so is the high-end sound it puts out.
Also available in black. The In-Line Remote has a 40-inch cable, connects to your iPod’s dock connector, and lets you keep your iPod safe and sound in your pocket or bag. The remote provides basic track controls (skipping tracks, fast-forward, rewind, pause/play, and volume) and has a clip so you can attach it to your lapel, bag strap, or sleeve. The remote also has a jack for your headphones; audio through the remote doesn’t seem affected.
Not as fancy as the bundled iPod shuffle dock, but just as effective. While we love our tiny li’l iPod shuffle, the way it connects to our Macs betrays its ultracompact design - you have to use a USB dock with a cable. The IncipioBud doesn’t do anything fancy, but that’s why we like it so much. It’s a basic USB connector for the iPod shuffle. No fancy iPod shuffle stand, no cables, no fuss, no muss. It’s a lot easier to carry around than the cable that comes with the shuffle. You’ll barely notice the IncipioBud in your pocket.
As I write this, I'm listening to 311's "Large in the Margin" using iSkin's Cerulean F1 Bluetooth earphones. The Cerulean F1 uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect between the (whoa, track change - now I'm listening to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Bellbottoms." Yup, shuffle's on) earphones and your audio device, which in this case, is an iPod. Since the iPod doesn't have Bluetooth, you need to connect a Bluetooth transmitter. I'm using iSkin's Cerulean TX, part of the Cerulean TX+RX package. (Track change: Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." Hey Apple, how 'bout getting Led Zeppelin in iTunes?)
The newest version of Wi-Gear’s iMuffs, model MB210, include an adapter that connects to your iPod’s dock port and lets you listen to your tunes wirelessly. The iMuffs resemble street-style headphones, with a curved piece of plastic that goes around the back of your head. The plastic is flexible, but those with large heads may find that the headband twists when you stretch it to fit around your melon. If that happens, it’s hard to get the earphones to lie flush against your ears, leading to lots of sound leaking out and annoying your fellow commuters. The headphones are light and easy to wear, though, if they fit your head right. It would have been nice to be able to adjust the headband.
The i-XPS 250 has a pair of 5-watt drivers and a 15-watt subwoofer. “What’s with the robot head?” a passerby asked, examining the i-XPS 250 sitting on the desk. It was time to whip out the iPod and place it into the i-XPS 250’s dock. “Ah, now I get it,” said the passerby, realizing that the i-XPS 250 is an iPod speaker, not the head of some grand experiment in the Mac|Life labs.