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iPod Accessories   - 02/04/2008

Bluetooth speakers liberate the iPod

A pair of wireless speakers is wonderfully convenient.

Imagine sitting in your home office, picking up your iPod and hitting play. Sound fills the room from stereo speakers placed for the best possible listening experience, not from a boom box that doubles as an iPod dock.

This promises to be an excellent year for the emerging category of Bluetooth wireless speakers. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, I must have seen a dozen such products, including interesting new offerings from Griffin and Motorola.

So just as stereo Bluetooth wireless headphones have started to emerge over the past few years with good choices for consumers, look for the same to happen with speakers that can fill a room with sound.

The convenience is significant because users don't need a proper home stereo setup to make this work. Skip the receiver, for instance. But keep this in mind: If you are a fan of high fidelity, this does not replace that more traditional setup.

Rather, these speakers are ideal for a bedroom, home office, basement or dorm -- places where good sound would be an improvement but top-quality audio reproduction is not the priority.

Nonetheless, I've been impressed with the Blue Raven Maestro 2040 Bluetooth speakers I've been listening to in my family room. I'm not an audiophile, but I like the sound with the Maestro speakers. The sound is not as rich as when I play a CD on my home stereo in that same room, yet it does a nice job making the iPod's compressed music files respectable when played aloud.

The price is respectable too. The Blue Raven Maestro 2040 Bluetooth speakers pair I've been testing sells for $300, while another pair, the Maestro 2020 Bluetooth Speakers, sells for $200.
The 2040 speakers model has 40 watts of power, and the Maestro 2020's Bluetooth Speakers have 20 watts. Both come with remotes, but that's almost unnecessary because you can control the speakers with your iPod.

Also, both models can be wired to other components, such as a DVD player, a video game console and a TV. There's an auxiliary jack for a portable CD player or another audio device. They come in white, black and red.

But the real reason for getting these would be the wireless Bluetooth connection.

Source: The Oregonian    
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