Tunebug Turns Tabletops Into Boom Boxes

A little smaller than a hockey puck and triangular in shape, a Tunebug turns pretty much any hard surface into a decent speaker for digital music from any device it can connect to via a standard audio jack or, depending on the model, Bluetooth.

While David Pogue at the Times recently took a look at Bluetooth speakers, they were (as I understood it) conventional speakers. Tunebug's SurfaceSound technology makes the surface part of the speaker.

The company offers a wired version, the $70 Tunebug Vibe, that connects to a digital audio source (e.g. iPod, laptop, MP3 player) with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Tunebug says the Vibe's internal rechargeable battery can power the device for up to 5 hours.

The $100 Tunebug Shake adds Bluetooth and is actually designed for use while ridig a motorcycle or bike: It comes with a helmet adapter/cradle: Tunebug says this is a better way to listen to music while riding than earphones, which can completely lock out traffic and other potentially important environmental sounds.

The latest addition to the Tunebug family, launched at CTIA, is the $150 Rumble, which includes everything in the Shake plus a TunePad base unit for using the Tunebug (redubbed here the TuneRing) for conference calls. The TuneRing sits on the TunePad, which isn't too much larger, but has an integrated microphone.

The audio souned good in the demo at the Showstoppers press event at CTIA last week, and the small size make it an appealing option for travelers. If you're on the market for something to pump up the volume on anything from a notebook to a smartphone, check it out.

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