Before today, the TDK brand meant only one thing to me: mixtapes. Just the mention of it makes me nostalgic for peeling the cellophane off a 5-pack of cassettes, like a fresh pack of cigarettes.
It's been at least 15 years since I dubbed a tape, and honestly, TDK has been off my radar ever since. That is, until today, when they dropped by CNET to show off the coolest-looking portable speaker I have ever seen in my life.
When I saw TDK's latest Three-Speaker Boombox (seriously, that's their name for it), I think I may have squealed a little. Priced at $499, set for unveiling at CES, and due out in January, this sonic beauty hits on all cylinders--combining sound, features, and design in a way makes my audio nerd heart swoon.
Under the hood, you have three drivers: a 15-watt woofer at the center, flanked by two 10-watt stereo speakers with edge-driven tweeters at their center. Because the speakers aren't covered by a grille, TDK utilized woven carbon fiber speaker cones that can stand up to the elements. All together it's 35 watts RMS, which doesn't sound like much--but you feel every watt. Turned up just halfway, it's a house party.
Feature-wise, you're looking at iPhone/iPod support (via USB), AM/FM radio, USB stick (MP3, AAC, WMA), and a slew of aux input options, including RCA, minijack, and a 1/4-inch instrument input that can be blended with the other audio for instant karaoke/block party high jinks. The unique audio support for iPhone and iPod takes the digital signal from the dock connection and decodes it to analog using TDK's own integrated converters. The company also throws in an EQ with 5dB of cut and boost, represented on an OLED display on the front and controlled using the system's oversized aluminum knobs.… Read more