CNET First Look
Pioneer's Lightning-powered mini speaker is weird but kind of coolThe Rayz Rally, a tiny batteryless, business-grade speakerphone, plugs into your iPhone or iPad and is ready for duty.
This is the Pioneer Rayz Rally which is being billed as the first lightning powered speaker. Aimed at digital nomads, the speaker plugs directly into the lightning port of your iPhone or iOS device. And it's instantly powered on, no battery required. It's designed to be a mini business grade speakerphone. It also plays music and outputs the sound from video content. The single button serves as a mute button during phone calls or a pause/play button while listening to music or videos. There's also a pass-through lightening port that allows you to charge your phone while the speaker is on. The speaker software can be upgraded through a free companion app and is a noise-reduction feature that filters out background noise while you're making calls. The speaker does use some battery from your phone to power itself, but it's not a huge drain on your battery. The speaker does sound louder and fuller than your phone speakers, and while it doesn't sound terrible for music listening, it's really tuned for people's voices, so it's strongest in the midrange and has little in the way of bass. It does excel as a speakerphone for making voice and video calls, and that's where its value lays. However, the only issue I have with it is its $100 price point. It's pretty steep. Makes more sense at around $50, but it's new to the market so we'll see how things shake out. I'm David Carnoy for CNET.com. Thanks for watching.