What with the iPhone being all the rage right now, we're just happy to see that accessories makers such as Griffin haven't decided to leave the iPod in the dust. The company is in the midst of launching three new sound systems for the omnipresent MP3 player: one , one wireless, and one portable. We got our hands on the portable unit, dubbed Journi, for this review. Right off the bat, we're digging this $130 speaker's fabulous design and wealth of features, but the audio quality isn't so fantastic. Still, if you're not superpicky about sound, this is one sweet system.
No doubt about it: The Griffin Journi's design is awesome. It's the most unique-looking portable speaker we've seen in a while. When fully closed, the unit looks like a datebook or a clutch. This is thanks to what Griffin calls the Wrapstand, a black, leatheresque casing decked out with silver dot detailing. The Wrapstand uses a magnetic closure to keep the speaker fully concealed when not in use--simply pull it out and around and insert its tabbed end into a slot at the bottom edge of the speaker to create a handy stand. Neat!
The front of the Journi features the standard central iPod dock, but Griffin forgoes the standard dock adapters in favor of an adjustable wheel that allows any docking iPod to sit flush with the speaker. The wheel can be turned from the back of the speaker unit, which also features a magnetic slot for the remote. Returning on the front of the Journi, you have the standard silver speaker grilles on either side of the dock. Hidden behind the grilles are two 50mm high- and midrange drivers and two 64mm passive radiators.