updated 02:50 pm EDT, Thu May 8, 2008
British gear maker Gear4 today unveiled the DUO iPod speaker dock. Its design is built uniquely to double both as a portable system and as a higher-quality bookshelf stereo. While normally a full 2.1-channel system with a 20-watt subwoofer, the front satellite panel (18 watts) detaches completely from the bass unit to operate independently as a thinner, portable speaker unit with swivel-out stand. Gear4 also does away with the typical reliance on disposable batteries in favor of a lithium-ion pack that recharges whenever the front is reattached. The iPod cradle itself also folds into the center for carrying in a bag.
The DUO is said to work with all modern iPods, including the touch. A lone black-and-silver model ships as of Friday for Europe at a price of 200€ and the UK for £150. An Americanized version of Gear4's dock is also planned for later this year and hasn't received its official price, though these initial targets place the US cost at $300 or less.