Gadget Spot: Speakal iPod buddies

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

For Disney, it all started with a mouse. For Speakal, it all started with a pig.

If you have an iPod and you're in search of a quality speaker system to listen to your music without earpods, Speakal ( has the products to fit the bill. The company blends quality speakers with creative designs for a trio of interesting gadgets - iPig ($120), iPanda ($120) and iBoo ($80).

At the core, each product is an iPod charging dock/speaker system. Each is styled to resemble a distinct and adorable creature. The first product in this lineup, as mentioned, is a rotund porker that stands 5.7 inches tall.

Most of the critter's facial features are speakers - two for eyes and two for ears. Add the subwoofer and this product creates 25 watts of sound delivered in a full 360 degrees. A patented feature of this gadget is the unique volume controls built into the pig's ears. Tap the left ear to decrease volume, tap the right to increase.

Each of Speakal's iPod buddies comes with a remote control that operates the speakers (volume, bass and treble controls) and all of the menu functions of your iPod. A set of six iPod cradles is included to accommodate all models except the iPod Shuffle. Even the iPhone 1G and 3G can be used with this gadget.

And your other electronic devices can make use of this speaker system, too. A 3.5 mm input jack lets you plug in other MP3 players, phones, computers or even gaming systems.

The iPig comes in four colors - white, pink, yellow and black (for an additional $10).

If a pig is just not your style, Speakal offers the same speaker configuration in a rotund iPanda. The iBoo, which resembles a ghost-like urchin, only has four speakers but retains the same functionality of its iPod dock/speaker brethren.

On the drawing board is an 18-watt, four-speaker configuration that resembles an apple with a pair of flowers growing out the top. Moving in another design direction, Speakal plans for the iCrystal, a more traditional desktop iPod dock/speaker system due out later this year.

The iExec is also due this year, and it includes a Bluetooth connection to your music player, a built-in FM receiver and an alarm clock.

Frankly, there are a number of companies offering iPod dock/speaker systems. Few do it with the flair and style of Speakal.

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