Ever play with those fuzzy, bendable pipe cleaners when you were a kid? If so, you'll get the appeal of Ziotek’s Flexicord iPod 30-pin Charge and Sync Cable. The 1-foot Flexicord can be twisted and bent into nearly any shape you like. But unlike pipe cleaners, this cable can sync and charge your iPod, iPhone, or iPad via its USB and dock connectors, all while steadfastly maintaining its shape. It’s so steadfast, in fact, that you can use it as a stand for your iPhone or iPod touch—making it a handy companion for your next flight.
Sound in the Round
OrigAudio’s Sphear is a set of speakers shaped like a ball, as the name implies. Split them apart and you’ve got stereo sound coming out of two upward-facing speakers. You can connect any device with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack (iPod, iPhone, Mac, and so on) and play music off three AAA batteries, or connect the Sphear to your computer and power it via USB.
Shake It Up
Know a teenager who’d sleep through World War III? Gift her with this little number, and she’ll hit the floor at the crack of dawn. iLuv’s iMM178 Vibe Plus is a nightstand radio, stereo system, and iPod (or iPhone) dock charger. It’s also an alarm clock with a devilish assortment of wake-up tricks. You can select from among seven buzzer sounds, including Cuckoo Clock and Train Horn. You can also set the device to turn on the radio or an iPhone in the morning. The best part: It has a bed-shaker attachment that, when slipped under a pillow, is sure to open the most firmly shut eyes.
Old-School Disk Spinning
Know someone who still believes in vinyl? There are plenty of new, portable turntables that’d let him (and, let's face it, it's probably a "him") play those old records, but Crosley’s Revolution CR6002A is particularly nice. It can run on AA batteries, has a handle for easy portability, and plays both 45 and 33 1/3 rpm records. It also has a built-in speaker, a headphone jack, passive audio out, and an integrated FM wireless transmitter for easy listening (and we aren't talking England Dan and John Ford Coley).
Turn It Up
Hate having to turn down the volume on your TV whenever a loud commercial comes on or when whispery dialog is drowned out by special effects or music? The GefenTV Auto Volume Stabilizer gets rid of that annoyance by automatically stabilizing and leveling the volumn of whatever you're watching.
A novel approach to portable sound, the Soulra, from Eton, is an iPod and iPhone docking-speaker that’s powered by the sun. Flip open the front cover and it becomes a solar panel; Eton says that the
internal battery needs about ten hours of direct sunlight to fully recharge. (In a pinch you can use the included AC adapter to charge the battery as well.) The Soulra itself—which Eton says is splash-proof—has a rubberized case and an aluminum body, so it should be sturdy enough for your next tailgate party.
Little Big Screen
At first, Vuzix’s Wrap 920 looks like a pair of sleek sunglasses. Jack them into your iPod touch or iPhone, however, and they become personal video screens that replicate the experience of viewing a 67-inch display. The Wrap 920 supports both 2D and 3D video at a resolution of 640 by 480. (How you get 3D video on your iOS device is your problem.)
Not Another Speaker
Devised by French designer Philippe Starck, the Parrot Zikmu is a lot of form with a healthy dose of function. There's an iPod dock for a direct digital connection; built-in 802.11b/g wireless and Bluetooth for streaming from a Mac, iPhone, or other device; and an RCA input for analog audio. The Zikmu provides 100 watts of total power and a three-channel Class D digital amp. The elegant speaker set is available in pearl grey, sorbet lime, arctic white, or classic black, and comes with a matching remote.
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