Now that Apple has gone with Bluetooth Low Energy in their latest devices, the accessory industry has caught up. There were tons of Bluetooth LE wireless speakers at CES 2014, allowing these accessories to not have to rely on a proprietary port, and work with multiple device types, while also supporting AirPlay. The most intriguing Bluetooth LE wireless speakers came from Libratone, which offered up four different lines that break the mold of traditional speakers. The Libratone Loop is a circular disk speaker made for the home that offers stereo sound in a slim package that emits audio outwards 360 degrees.
There’s also the Zipp, which is a portable battery driven unit, while the Libratone Live has a handle to move through the house. Finally, there’s the Lounge, which is a speaker bar to offer TV home entertainment connectivity without the use of multiple speakers. The Libratone units come in multiple colored felt covers with the Zipp at $400, Loop at $500, Live at $550, and Lounge at $1300. Another intriguing new entry is the ClearView Clio Bluetooth wireless speaker, which offers a thin curved acrylic glass transducer. It’s billed as an invisible speaker, and it can emit audio in multiple directions from the curved glass design. It also has an all new speaker technology, that uses edge motion output, rather than the traditional push from behind of cone speakers. The Clio is set to launch in March for $349.
iHome is one of the most popular brands for iOS based speaker systems, and they had a few new products to show for this year to firm up their position. Their main new entry is the iBN6, which is a rugged waterproof Bluetooth wireless speaker with a 14 hour on board battery, and the unit retails for $100. There’s also iHome’s alarm clock speakers highlighted by the iBR28B, which offers a color changing option in addition to the Bluetooth wireless speaker system. iLuv is an accessory maker a bit similar to iHome, and their big new product for 2014 is the SyrenPro, which is a follow up to last year’s model. The SyrenPro is an outdoor capable Bluetooth wireless speaker unit that is made to withstand weather, and you can sync two units in an instant for true stereo sound, and it retails for $150. iLuv also makes every type of iOS accessory under the sun, but this is just a focus on Bluetooth wireless speakers.
One other interesting speaker system at CES was the SoundFlow by Voxx, which isn’t a Bluetooth wireless speaker, but it has its own interesting concept. It’s designed like a mini skateboard with two contact points to place your iPhone on, and from there it amplifies the sound from your iPhone through the SoundFlow’s speaker system. It’s a wireless option that doesn’t even need Bluetooth, and it’s as simple as just placing your device on the unit without NFC required either. It’s also worth noting that Griffin & Incipio had their own Bluetooth wireless speakers that we covered in separate posts in addition to their other new products.