updated 01:00 pm EST, Sat January 10, 2009
Sony iPod Speakers 2009
As part of its larger CES campaign, Sony has upgraded its iPhone and iPod audio line with several new audio systems. The LBT-ZX99i and LBT-ZX66i (shown) Muteki systems upgrade older models and are geared to playing iPhone or iPod music loud and for gaming thanks to higher-powered speakers and a new Game Sync Mixing mode. As the starter model, the ZX66i still outputs 560W with four hybrid mid-range/subwoofer units and dual tweeters; the ZX99i expands to 720W with larger woofers and tweeters.
Either model carries a 5-disc CD changer and will ship in March, with prices of $450 for the ZX66i and $650 for the ZX99i.
A new MHC-EC99i is the company's mini bookshelf system for Apple devices and puts out 530W of sound in a relatively small footprint with a single-disc CD player as well as an AM/FM radio with 30 presets. It comes in March for $200.
Among smaller units, the CMT-LX20i is pitched as Sony's first iPhone- and iPod-specific stereo with a consciously shallow, tall design that fits in tighter spaces. The device is a more advanced version of its classic ICF-C1iP clock radio and puts similar controls on the front rather than the top in addition to adding larger (but currently unrated) speakers; it also reads the ID3 tags of songs on its display. The device supports the same 30 AM/FM radio presets as the EC99i and also fits a single-disc CD player. Sony launches it at the same time for $100.
An upgrade to the company's most compact iPhone/iPod clock radio, the ICF-C7iP, is also available. Sony doesn't outline changes but notes the new model carries dual alarms for weekdays and weekends and automatic DST adjustment throughout the year. The refresh arrives in April for $70.