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New iPod Boombox

New iPod Boombox

Well, first Steve showed off some iPod leather cases, including a high-end case, for the 5G and the Nano, for $99, out on March 2. The focus is "in the home," so Apple is looking to offer home stereo quality. That led to the idea that the current iPod speakers and stereos aren't great. Introducing the iPod Hi-Fi home stereo, an iPod-based stereo that's just a plain white box with a black grille; a universal connector (with Dock), an auxiliary connector, and volume control on top; and handles on the side for moving it about.

The Hi-Fi plugs into the wall directly (no brick) or can use six D batteries (portable). It has three drivers, great bass, no distortion, and a sealed enclosure for no vibration. It also has iPod integration, giving you speaker menu items for equalizer controls. The software update is out now. It comes with the same Apple remote that comes with computers. It'll sell for $349.

The Hi-Fi goes on sale today, and Apple invited me to an upstairs room to hear it. (OK, they invited everybody else, too.)