Philips plays the middle man with home audio lineup

The electronics maker will have Bluetooth-enabled stereo systems and a variety of iPod docking stations coming next month.

You have music, and you have a personal music player. You likely haven't purchased either from Philips, but the Dutch electronics maker wants to be the relay guy that passes music from your device to a home or office audio system.

Philips BTM630
The Philips BTM630. Click for a gallery of the other products shown off Thursday. James Martin/CNET News.com

The best example of Philips doing that is the BTM630, a Bluetooth-enabled desktop audio system with a lot going on. An iPod dock/charger is embedded in the top, along with an SD card slot and a USB port. The slot-loading CD drive on the front can be used--besides playing music--to rip audio files that can then be transferred to a USB drive using just the Philips system and no PC.

Any device equipped with stereo Bluetooth, like a cell phone, can play music from the phone over the BTM630. An LCD on the unit's face will show the song playing, so if someone calls mid-song, the system pauses the tunes, displays the caller's number and will allow hands-free Bluetooth calling right over the audio system itself. It's officially available in September for $199.

The iPod Remote is a lot less hardware for the same price, but it also takes up much less space. The dock plugs directly into any audio system or television and doesn't do anything fancy really. But the remote does--it's a regular universal remote, but on the top is an LCD screen that shows the iPod menu and can be navigated via the remote itself. It's also $199 and ships in September.

For more Philips audio products, click on the gallery.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur. E-mail Erica.

 

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