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 Ł150. 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.