Ion Audio was one of the more exciting booths we got a chance to visit at CES. It was filled with all sorts of fun speakers and accessories for iPhones, iPods, iPads and other audio devices. We got to try our hand at DJing, we rocked out to some very loud tunes, and even got to play Asteroids on the highly anticipated iCade iPad Arcade.
The Block Rocker HD is an all-in-one portable sound system for the iPad. It looks extremely similar to a guitar amp, but has a dock on the top which mounts iPad. It has an internal rechargeable battery that can play up to 12 hours of powerful sounding music. Block Rocker HD is designed for rugged, durable use indoors and out. It has four inputs for connecting microphones, guitars, keyboards, or CD/MP3 players. The speaker has recessed wheels and a retractable handle for easy portability. It comes with a microphone and cable bag.
The iCade first began as an April Fools joke from ThinkGeek.com. Ion Audio loved it so much they called up ThinkGeek with plans to bring the prank to life. The retro-design iCade Arcade Cabinet mounts iPad as the screen and includes a joystick and 6 buttons. iCade has also teamed up with Atari to deliver some classic arcade games. The Asteroids demo at the Ion booth was indeed ‘classic’ and utilized the joystick and two of the buttons. iCade is targeted for Spring 2011 release with a retail price of $99.99.
Sound Station HD for iPad
The Sound Station HD for iPad is a speaker dock that mounts your iPad in landscape-orientation. It has the ability to tilt iPad at an upright angle perfect for browsing or watching movies, or a slanted angle perfect for reading and writing. Sound Station HD has 3″ speakers which run vertically along each side of the dock. It is powered by the included rechargeable battery or by the AC adapter.
The Mobile DJ is similar to the Block Reader HD in that it’s a big portable speaker that looks like a guitar amp. Instead of mounting an iPad, it mounts two iPhones or iPods. It allows you to mix between devices with a DJ-style crossfader. There are two mic inputs for singing along and one microphone included. It has selectable effects for adding echo and ambience to the vocals. The speaker has recessed wheels and a telescoping handle for portability. The Mobile DJ has a heavy-duty construction great for indoor or outdoor use. It comes also comes with a cable bag.
Quick Play LP is a stereo turntable that allows you to simply turn your records into MP3s with just one cable. There’s no power adapter required, it just uses a USB cable that plugs into the computer. Ion’s exclusive EZ Converter software guides you through the step-by-step process of converting your records to MP3s and record them onto CD.
The iTYPE is a portable bluetooth keyboard compatible with Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch (iOS 2.0+), Playstation 3, Windows Mobile (5.0+), and all bluetooth compatable computers. It’s sized similarly to an iPhone and can hold an 80 hour charge. It features a full 49-key QWERTY keyboard and comes with a kickstand for your phone and a leather case that holds the kickstand (not pictured) and keyboard. It should be available by Spring 2010.
The ION Gopad is a folding game controller with a two-axis directional pad, four action buttons, four trigger buttons, turbo on/off buttons and an included retractable USB cable. Gopad works for games of all types on Mac and PC computers and includes Astroids by Atari. GOpad should be available by Spring 2011.
The iDJ live is a mixing board for your iPad that has two turntables. It gives any novice the power to become a DJ. It uses the djay app for iPad which give you a plethora of tools to turn you into a real mixmaster. We’re waiting to get some more info on pricing and availability, but it will likely be out by Spring.
The Piano Master is a full-sized 49-key music keyboard that docks your iPad and lets you play along. It comes with a free music teaching app for learning how to play the piano. Using the app, you can synthesize different instruments and effects. It even works with any MIDI-compliant music app. The piano has large integrated speakers that allow you to listen to your music aloud, and it also comes with a port to plug your headphones into. It also has USB MIDI-out for use as a keyboard controller with your computer.
We are still waiting on pricing and availability for most of these new products. It seems that most all of them will be out by the Spring. Ion Audio’s prices are pretty affordable, so we’re excited to see all this gear hit the market. We’ll be sure to keep you posted!