I met with Soundcast Systems and took a look a two new iPod speakers they plan to release in the summer of this year. The SpeakerCast is a shelf-sized speaker set, while the OutCast is an outdoor speaker. Both use the iCast dock to transmitter an audio signal to the speaker (included with each product). Soundcast says both products have a indoor range of 150 feet and an outdoor range of 350 feet.

Polk Audio miDock 10: First Look

Polk Audio's miDock 10 fits all dockable 'Pods and will fill any room with potent, well-defined sound.  Polk Audio has been around for 35 years, and over that time they've learned how to do audio right. Now that they've released three entries in the iPod speaker-stand free-for-all, I jumped at the chance to take a first look at their middle-range model, the miDock 10. Roman will put together a thoroughly researched, full-scale review of this compact, lightweight boombox in the next month or so, but after one Sunday morning playing with it, I can wholeheartedly give it my own personal one-word review: "DAMN!"

iLuv i199 and XtremeMac Luna

 The iPod has become more than just a music player: With systems such as iLuv's i199 and XtremeMac's Luna, the iPod becomes the heart of home entertainment. And the i199 and Luna both let you get the most from your iPod.  

The Podcasting Pak includes a good-looking USB-powered microphone, a mini mic stand, and a foam-lined industrial-strength case to carry it all. Every podcast recording begins with a microphone. The only reason that most Mac users haven't worried too much about the mic is because the built-in mics on iMacs, MacBooks, and MacBook Pros have worked just fine for most off-board uses. If you tried to record on a Mac notebook, however, you've no doubt noticed a few irksome issues: fan noise, primarily (unless you're recording MIDI, in which case no harm, no foul). While it's fully possible to make this flaw seem like a feature by packaging your podcast as some sort of staged neoindustrial set piece complete with whirring machinery in the background, in actual fact, fan noise is not a desirable trait. Moreover, if what you're doing involves live music, instruments, or any other nuanced acoustic audio source, using the built-in mic is less than ideal.

TuneStage 2 for iPod

The TuneStage 2 has a surprisingly good range. Mention Bluetooth with an iPod device, and you might find us shaking our heads in doubt. That's because our experience with Bluetooth devices has been mixed - Bluetooth isn't bad, if you don't mind a limited range. But sound quality? Forget it. But then Bluetooth 2.0+EDR was released, offering better data rates and reliability than its predecessors. And as it turns out, the TuneStage 2 for iPod, which uses Bluetooth 2.0+EDR to provide wireless connectivity between an iPod and a stereo-connected base station, is a great example of how far Bluetooth technology has come.

LightSnake Microphone-to-USB Cable

The LightSnake takes the frustration out of XLR mic connectivity. Podcasters hoping to record pro-level audio usually have to dish out pro-level dollars - a good XLR microphone requires an interface box to connect to your Mac, and that'll set you back at least $200. But with the LightSnake Microphone-to-USB Cable, you can spend a fraction of that and still be able to connect XLR mics directly to your Mac.

Tango

Decent looks, decent sound, decent connectivity - but, unfortunately, "decent" doesn't mean "great." With a name like Tango, you might expect dramatic, luscious sound quality from this iPod speaker. What we got from the Tango, however, was a mixed bag of audio results. The Tango has a pair of 2.5-inch midrange speakers, two 1-inch tweeters, and a 4-inch woofer at the bottom of the unit that faces down toward the surface that the speaker sits on. As you'd expect from a speaker with a sizable woofer, the bass from the Tango booms—but with cringe-inducing distortion, even after we turned down the bass. On rock tracks where the bass wasn't as prominent, the Tango did a decent job with midrange sounds, but opera songs lacked clarity.

 The m100 earbuds are good for music. We like the m250 over-ear clip-ons for games. Music producers routinely sit around and bemoan the fact that as a result of the 44.1kHz sampling rate of CDs—and the rise of iPods and earbuds—a producer's efforts are wasted on sonically inept listeners. While this is not nearly as true as they'd like to believe, there are complicating factors: The places where we listen, and how and what we listen to, change almost from song to song, leaving manufacturers scrambling to be as many things to as many people as possible. Which brings us to the Pro|Tone m100 earbuds and the Pro|Tone m250 headphones, Razer's two lower-end offerings.

Torq MixLab

A good beginner’s mixer, with some room to grow. With an incredibly cheap entrance fee of $130, M-Audio’s Torq MixLab gives you the core tools you need to make mixes, sans vinyl records and turntables. The package includes the X-Session Pro USB MIDI hardware mixer and Torq LE, a paired-down version of M-Audio’s Torq DJ software.

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doPi Karaoke and iKaraoke

The iKaraoke can connect to your stereo via cable, or transmit your voice to your FM radio over the airwaves. When you've been dumped, there's nothing quite as cathartic as belting out a rendition of "Love Hurts." In fact, we're pretty sure that's how some of the first-round contestants on American Idol got their start.