Saltzman Says - Sounding Off With Hot Music Gadgets


  • Marc Saltzman
  • House of Marley Bag of Rhythm
  • iPod nano

Feel the beat with these five recommended tech toys
Regardless of the kind of music you’re into -- be it light classical or heavy metal, or something in between – there's no shortage of high-tech gadgets created to enhance your listening pleasure.
Some products are designed for those on the go, including noise-cancelling headphones and satellite radios, while others are meant for home use, such as speaker docks and wireless Internet radios.
On that note, the following suggestions might be music to your ears.

House Marley Bag of Rhythm
House Marley Bag of RhythmEnlarge Enlarge

Beat box
Perfect for backyard barbeques and beach parties, the House of Marley Bag of Rhythm ($349.99) is a premium, portable and powerful audio system for your iPhone, iPod or other portable music player (via auxiliary jack). Built with FSC-certified Birch wood and durable canvas, this unique-looking and great-sounding boom box for the 21st century delivers some serious umph thanks to its powerful amplifier, twin 1-inch (25mm) tweeters and twin 4.5-inch (114mm) high-definition woofers – totalling 40 watts of power. The Bag of Rhythm uses batteries (not included) or AC power.

Bowers & Wilkins P3 Concert For One
Bowers & Wilkins P3 Concert For OneEnlarge Enlarge

Heavenly headphones
Easily the most comfortable and best-sounding on-the-ear headphones you’ll find this summer, the Bowers & Wilkins P3 Concert for One ($199.99) are high-performance headphones with specially designed padded pad fabric that feels like “butta” on your ears. Available in black or white, these foldable hi-fi headphones boast custom-made drive units for clear, natural and powerful sound. A hard-shell carrying case and a choice of cables are included: one with a remote/microphone attachment to take calls on your iPhone and another that’s compatible with all other smartphones, tablets, computers and MP3 players. If earbuds are more your thing, consider the stellar ClarityOne ($129.99) buds.

Pioneer Electronics AppRadio
Pioneer Electronics AppRadioEnlarge Enlarge

Hit the road, Jack
Is it time to replace your aging car stereo? The AppRadio 2 ($499.99) from Pioneer Electronics is an in-dash deck with a 7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen, integrated Bluetooth to sync with your smartphone and GPS navigation with live traffic updates. As the name suggests, AppRadio 2 also works with a number of free iPhone and Android smartphone apps, including AUPEO! Personal Radio (access to more than 120 Internet radio stations that can stream to your vehicle) and Pioneer CarMediaPlayer (flick through your smartphone's music library). On a related note, Future Shop can replace your existing deck with this bad boy at participating retail locations.

Swann MP3 DJ Doorbell
Swann MP3 DJ DoorbellEnlarge Enlarge

More for your door
What’s a doorbell doing in a music gadgets round-up? The Swann MP3 DJ Doorbell ($39.99) replaces that boring ‘ol “ding dong” with tunes from your MP3 library. That’s right, this clever product includes a wireless doorbell that can be mounted outside your front door – when pressed it wirelessly plays a song stored on the loud speaker placed somewhere in your home. To get music onto the device, use the bundled software to record a clip from your MP3s – such as the chorus to “Who can it be now?” – and then transfer it over to the speaker via the bundled USB cable. Better yet, load it up with hundreds of songs to change up the doorbell every day.

iPod Nano
iPod NanoEnlarge Enlarge

Clip to be square
While not the newest gadget in this round-up, it’s hard not to fall for the charm of the teeny iPad nano (from $129). Apple's small, square and touchscreen media player – capable of storing more than 2,000 songs for the entry-level 8GB model -- clamps onto your clothes for hands-free enjoyment. Along with the ability to show album artwork and photos, the nano also supports podcasts and audiobooks, and includes an FM radio (with station presets) and a built-in pedometer to count your steps – perfect for providing some incentive while exercising this summer. And because there are also 18 different watch face styles to choose from (including Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog), also consider one of the many iWatchz accessories that turn this 6th-generation iPod nano into a stylish wristwatch.

Sirius XM Edge
Sirius XM EdgeEnlarge Enlarge

Radio, evolved
It’s no secret satellite radio offers a number of advantages over terrestrial radio: CD-quality and commercial-free audio on music channels, coast-to-coast reception and a number of talk, news, comedy and sports broadcasts. The SiriusXM Edge ($149.99, plus subscription) supports all 120 specialty channels, plus you can take control over your audio by pausing, rewinding and replaying live radio like a PVR. The large knob beside the full-colour display lets you jump around to see what’s on, or you can program your faves as presets; when you need to know what’s happening locally, a “One-Touch Jump” button gives you immediate access to traffic and weather for your city.

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