One of Vestalife's array of winged speakers is the $130 Firefly, an iPod and iPhone dock with a solid feel, compact design, and pleasing audio quality. For those who are after a different-looking portable speaker with a reasonable smattering of extras, this unit could fit the bill.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Despite the obvious fact that the Vestalife Ladybug is modeled after a cutesy insect, the speaker is not overtly adorable. When the wings containing the speaker modules are folded in, the unit forms a compact ball (roughly 6 inches in diameter) that nonetheless retains an insect-like and vaguely alien look.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
That is, if a technologically-advanced, insectan species of extraterrestrials sent exploratory pods to Earth, you could imagine them looking something like this speaker. Naturally, such a creature would offer its pods in an array of metallic colors: red, silver, or black.
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Unfolding the wings of the Firefly reveals a central iPod dock, for which Vestalife includes five snap-on adapters for the various iPods.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Just in front of the cradle, you'll find a pair of tactile volume buttons along with a row of LEDs that indicate the current level; these all glow purple when the unit is powered on. A power key located on the front bottom edge is the only other button on the speaker.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Playback controls are found on the included remote, which can play/pause, shuttle through tracks, adjust volume, switch between shuffle and repeat modes, and navigate among menus. Vestalife also includes a cable for attaching non-iPod audio sources (or the Shuffle).
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Flipping the Firefly around and checking out the backside reveals the majority of its features, as well as a 3-inch subwoofer concealed beneath a plastic speaker grille and circled by a shiny accent ring. A variety of ports line the bottom edge of the subwoofer, including the standard AC power jack. In addition, there's a Mini-USB port for pass-through syncing, an AV out jack, and an auxiliary line input for using the speaker with the iPod Shuffle and non-iPod MP3 players.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The bottom of the unit conceals a battery compartment that takes four AA batteries for true portable use. The Firefly does not offer an alarm function or an FM tuner.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The sound quality offered by the Firefly speaker is surprisingly good for a unit of its size, though it must be said that positioning has a lot to do with one's listening experience--it's best to have the speaker pointing directly at you.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
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