updated 02:10 pm EDT, Fri May 11, 2007
Gear4 HouseParty Blu
Gear4 today marked the release of the HouseParty Blu, an iPod speaker dock with the important addition of an onboard Bluetooth receiver. The technology lets the 30-watt stereo play music from A2DP-supporting cellphones or any other source using the wireless standard while still freeing up ports on the main system. Gear4 also includes a minimalist touchscreen for controlling playback as well as a remote that can separately navigate the speakers as well as the iPod itself. A line-in jack provides a hook for the iPod shuffle or other wired-only music players without Apple's Dock Connector.
The firm says the HouseParty Blu wiil work with all fourth-generation iPods, iPod minis, and newer models, and includes adapters to fit each model. It ships today in Britain for £80 ($158) but may be made available to North America and other regions soon.