Upgrade your music-listening experience by extending your iPod bubble.
-By Jonathan Ages, Photographs by Nicholas Eveleigh
The iPod has finally hit the ceiling. Basically, it ain’t getting much better. And let’s face it, none of the iPod wannabes have made a ripple in the MP3-player market. The big innovations these days are in accessories, so pick up these add-ons and take your iPod to a whole new level.
Feedback works in a lot of great songs, but don’t let your cellphone signal arbitrarily add static. The T612 eliminates interference, so you can plug in your iPod or iPhone and hear clear music that’s free of white noise and Star Trek beeps. This small speaker produces crisp highs and big bass, as if there’s a subwoofer tucked behind the grille. The bass gets a little muddy at times, but only when the volume is jacked up to Spinal Tap–inspired levels.
Those freebie earbuds make better fashion accessories than head phones. To hear your music, try these sleek, armature driver buds, which fit all iPods and iPhones. The sound is ba lanced and rich, and six sound-isolating sleeves provide a comfortable, customized fit. The cord is relatively tanglefree and unlikely to fray, but the phone adapter is a little cumbersome, and the caller sounds like a postpubescent C-3PO.
This palmsize boom box and protective case is a serious contender in the Mini-Me weight class. It can be adjusted to fit almost any MP3 player, and its velvet-like lining will keep the unit scratch-free. The speakers are sturdy and pack surprising punch, so it works great in small spaces. The bass is sloppy, but considerable for an affordable, portable system. Just don’t throw it over your shoulder like Radio Raheem.
Toss that tangled web of USB cords. Got a stash of memory-card readers, too? Chuck ’em. Griffin’s new Simplifi—with its USB port and major memory-card format readers—will clear the clutter from your desk and allow you to directly upload or download iPod
and iPhone files, so you don’t always need your computer. Plus, the brushed aluminum casing and glossy white plastic front make for good desk candy.
Dr. Dre’s signature Beats are designed for unadulterated listening satisfaction. The speaker drivers thump with lush bass on hip-hop tracks and shiver with treble during piercing guitar solos. The phone adapter fits all iPhones and is compact and convenient. The sound isolation system must be on to hear music, so you’ll have to get used to the depressurized-air feeling. But who cares? These headphones are like a happy-ending massage for your ears.
DUAL DOCK ALARM CLOCK
This iPod/iPhone–ready alarm clock isn’t your average wake-up call. It plays music from either iPod while charging both. The remote controls the clock and the iPod menu, and stows on the unit’s back. The bass is a little anorexic, but the overall levels are clear and beefy enough to fill a large bedroom. Also, the snooze button is huge, so the late sleeper can slap it without lifting an eyelid, ’cause being on time is overrated.