There are a lot of dubious claims in the world of consumer electronics. Some of my favorites are "DVD-quality video" and "CD-quality sound" (for digital media that is often anything but) and the always classic "installs in just minutes." But one of the biggest truth-benders in recent years has been "wireless speakers." As resident blogger Steve "The Audiophiliac" Guttenberg recently pointed out, many so-called wireless speaker systems actually introduce more wires into the equation. That's exactly why Griffin Technology's new Evolve Wireless Sound System looks so promising: The $300 iPod speaker system includes two speakers that look to be completely and totally free of cables.
How'd Griffin do it? By including rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in the speakers themselves. Once they're fully charged (just sit them on the base station's cradle), Griffin says they can be placed anywhere within 150 feet. And because they communicate via RF, walls and obstructions shouldn't pose a problem--adjoining rooms and nearby outdoor spaces (patios, decks) are fair game. Griffin says the fully charged speakers should deliver 10 hours of playing time before needing another juice-up. And the detached speakers aren't limited to what your iPod can play; the base station's line-in cradle accepts a stereo input from virtually any source. (Yes, the base station still needs a power cord--but that's the only wire that the system should require if you're listening to your iPod.)
Of course, there can often be a big chasm between concept and execution. Griffin's sending us a review sample, so we should know if the Evolve measures up in just a few days. (It begins shipping today, and will be available at Best Buy's online and brick-and-mortar stores.) In the meantime, you can find more detailed info at the product's dedicated Web site at evolvespeakers.com.