We take our gadgets pretty seriously, but that doesn't mean our tech accessories need to maintain that same stiff upper lip. When enjoying music, videos, and digital entertainment fun, add a dash of whimsy to your set-up by adopting a hassle-free pet in the form of animal-shaped docking stations and speakers.
Forget your portable speakers at home? No problem. If you have a common household item, that is. The geniuses at Real Simple know a thing or two about DIYing and repurposing an old item as something new, but this tip is just too easy.
Use a regular kitchen bowl as a smartphone speaker if you're without a plug-and-play version of your own. The concave shape of the bowl amplifies sound, helping your tunes reach more ears.
Do you have any "so-easy-why-didn't-I-think-of-that" geek tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments!
Taking your tunes with you wherever you roam is easy with an MP3 player and some solid headphones, but what if you're riding a bike, hanging at the lake with some friends, or camping? Enter the Turtle Shell by Outdoor Technology. This small speaker was made to hit the road (or trail) with you. The geometric-shaped speaker fits in the palm of your hand, is water-resistant, comes with a built-in microphone for connecting to your Bluetooth devices (like an iPhone perhaps), and even connects to a Gorillapod for clamping down on the nearest tree or a specialized rig to attach to the front end of your bike. A bike trail sing-along? I'll take it.
The Turtle Shell won't be out until May of this year, and Outdoor Technology also has some sweet wireless Bluetooth headphones with the same geometric flair going on sale in June, most likely through Urban Outfitters. See more of both products in the gallery!
CES is a place to find expensive gadgets and fine leather tech goods, but you may also stumble upon speakers made of diamonds and simulated wood grain products.
These $68,000 speakers were inspired by a flower in a wine bottle (you can see it now, can't you?), and were carefully crafted only after 3D mock-ups were perfected in a studio. Metal, leather, gold accents, and Russian diamonds cover the entirety of the speaker and accompanying subwoofer, while a brushed aluminum with floral accents keeps it standing upright.
You'll have to wait in line to get one of your own though, as the manufacturer, All Jack, hasn't released an availability date.
These speakers might look familiar (we've been coveting them for years now), and while the usual price tag of $495 may make your wallet shiver, there's good news on the horizon — Fab.com is hosting an exclusive sale tomorrow starting at 11 a.m. EST where you can get a set of these black Joey Roth ceramic speakers at a discount.
The price for these speakers will come at a more digestible $360, so if you do happen to scoop them up (move quick — they will sell out!), you can rest assured that any music or design nerd would be happy to receive them. Or, you know, you could always keep them for your own desk. Treat yourself, 2011.
We've gotten giddy over Libratone's sleek speakers before, but since the goods were only available in the UK, we could only dream of a Scandinavian-influenced home stereo experience. Design geeks will be happy to hear Libratone has officially brought its minimalist look to the US with the launch of the wireless Live and Lounge speakers. They use Apple AirPlay technology to stream music from their Mac or PC iTunes libraries as well as songs stored on an iOS device through their WiFi networks.
Each speaker incorporates what is called FullRoom technology to ensure the full acoustic, clear sound is heard throughout the room via a single (and supremely stylish) speaker. The focus on design is reflected in the speakers' materials, which are crafted from luxe Italian cashmere, chrome, and wood.
At 40 inches long the Lounge was created with larger living room spaces in mind, and is available in gray, black, and beige for $1,300 or red and green for $1,400. Intended for smaller spaces, the Live also comes in gray, black, and beige cashmere for $700 or red and green cashmere for $800. Both Libratone speakers are available in the Apple Store.
With the Fall chill in the air you may be finding yourself retreating to the warmth of the great indoors, spending more time with heated beverages, and listening to favorite music while cozied up to the fireplace. Bring a piece of the season inside without worrying about layering up by plugging a music device of choice into these speakers and docks that bring the best of autumnal nature — think tiny acorns, ancient tree logs, and rustic wooden boxes — straight to your living room.
The new iPad comes with a pretty powerful speaker, but you can still blast your tunes to the rooftops with the assistance of a speaker dock. Here are five of them to get you started, fit for both iPad models.
Remember the old-school boom boxes of yesteryear? All of the awesomeness that once was will soon be available in updated form. TDK is putting a modern spin on the classic design, releasing two new boom box models: a two-speaker model, and a three-speaker model.
The three-speaker model, which is the largest of the two, also features a center subwoofer that creates a classic vibration with your music's bass. And the two-speaker model features a shoulder strap for easy transport (which I'm sure will be a big hit among commuters). Both models feature a power and volume knob on the left and one on the right for navigating radio stations and adjusting settings. Both feature USB, 3.5mm, and RCA auxiliary ports to connect to any music source. You can even connect a microphone or guitar to the speakers, and they'll operate with batteries or plugged into the wall.
The TDK Boom Boxes will be available in January; the two-speaker model for $399, the three-speaker model for $499.
Remember those sound-activated, plastic, sunglasses-wearing flowers that used to dance around to the sound of your radio? Check out these hilarious, furry updated versions from Urban Outfitters. The Dancing Pet Speakers ($40) come in four different options: tabby cat, cat, golden retriever, and collie.
The nearly foot-high speakers plug into your mp3 player and dance along as they play music. Each pet requires two AA batteries.
These are a perfect gift for an animal-loving friend with a sense of humor or a co-worker with a little extra space on her desk for a kooky, whimsical item.