ION Stories January 5, 2015

ION Audio introduces new hybrid smart LED light bulb speakers and the Air LP Bluetooth turntable audio interface


As the new gear rolls in from our team on the show floor of CES 2015, consumer audio and electronics lifestyle company ION has a few announcements of its own. Makers of everything from Bluetooth speakers to headphones and DJ gear (among other things), ION Audio is introducing new hybrid light bulb speakers and a new Bluetooth turntable/audio interface…

The Sound Shine system consists of a pair of wireless LED light bulbs, that double as typical streaming speakers. The new product brings together the popularity of wireless Bluetooth audio and LED light bulbs to create a single unified experience. The pair of light bulb/speakers can be used in tandem for 2-channel stereo sound (if installed in light sockets within 30-feet of each other) or independently in different areas of your home or office. As for the light portion, this is your typical LED bulb with a 25,000 hour lifespan (“more than 20 years in normal use!”), that can be installed and powered in any normal light socket. ION says the bulbs are equalivalent to a soft white, traditional 60-watt light bulb.

Users can use the free iOS and Android smartphone/tablet apps to control the system in various ways: dim the lights, turn them on or off and control music playback all from the same hub. The Sound Shine system will begin shipping in March of this year with a suggested retail price of $129.99 (includes the pair). We are seeing an early listing on Amazon, but it is not yet available.

Not unlike its previous offerings, the new Air LP turntable offers vinyl enthusiasts a quick and easy way to digitize their collections. It also offers the ability to wirelessly stream vinyl directly from the needle to any standard Bluetooth speakers. While certainly possible previously with add-on analog to Bluetooth adapters and not likely an option for analog purists (simply because you are defeating the purpose running the audio over Bluetooth, in most cases), ION is offering a complete AD/DA solution in one singular unit that will certainly be helpful to some. The recent tear-jerker of an Apple ad shows one amazing way creative people can put this older tech to good use.

Using the included USB cable and EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software, records (33 1/3, 45, and 78) can be transferred onto Mac or PC without the need for any working experience or advanced digital audio knowledge. There is also additional analog I/O available (1/8 inch input, RCA outs) for hooking up external gear (cassette, CD players, stereos) in order to take advantage of the built-in audio interface with other audio sources and destinations.

Air LP features a “sleek” black piano finish and is also expected to start shipping come March 2015. It will be available for $149 or $179.99 with a pair a Bluetooth speakers included.

Keep an eye on 9to5 all week long for all the best announcements from CES 2015.

9to5Mac’s CES 2015 coverage brought to you by:

ION Stories November 7, 2013

9to5Toys Last Call: Black Friday giveaways, Pioneer AirPlay speaker $40, StorEDGE MacBook storage, Party Bluetooth speakers, more

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: Twitter, RSS Feed, Facebook, Google+.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

The holiday season is quickly approaching and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Simply put, Black Friday is our Super Bowl. It’s the one day of the year when all eyes are on the deal world. We typically see historical lows on the hottest products. Once again, 9to5Toys will be providing wall to wall coverage throughout the holiday season.

To help us pass the time until Black Friday, we’re raiding our review closet and bringing our readers dozens of giveaways until we reach Thanksgiving Eve. It all gets started tomorrow with a giveaway that ANY Apple fan would love to win. It’s going to be HUGE. Be sure to check back tomorrow as we will unveil all the details for the giveaway. In the meantime check out our coverage of Black Friday ads that have already leaked.

Pioneer A1 Wi-Fi Speaker featuring AirPlay for Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad $40 shipped

PNY StorEDGE flash memory expansion for MacBooks: 128GB $98, 64GB $52

ION big portable Bluetooth party speakers: $90-$120 shipped

Other great deals from today:

The best deals that are still alive:

Mac software bundles:

New product announcements & reviews:

ION Stories December 20, 2012


It’s Thursday and you have four days to get the perfect Christmas gift, but have no fear…9to5Mac is here. O.K., enough with the cheese, let’s talk app-enabled accessories. Oh, man, I need to stop.

But, seriously, app-enabled accessories are the perfect gifts: they come in a variety of price ranges and work with a variety of iOS apps. So, we looked at a few popular, unknown, pricey, and not-so pricey ones and rounded them up below. Hopefully, this guide will give you a few ideas and inspire you to go shopping A.S.A.P.

Note: If you buy through Amazon, and are an Amazon Prime member, you could get many of these products shipped overnight for just $3.99 each.

Scroll to the bottom for details on the giveaway.

1. Ion All Star Guitar | Amazon sale: $93.15 (reg. $129.99)

Ion launched this nifty toy in the fall, and it is really, really cool. Think Guitar Hero…but for jammers and free-stylers. Like Ion’s popular iCade line, it charges with AA batteries. So, no wires and no fuss. It also fits any iOS device. A padded storage compartment adjusts to fit the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, and there is room to plug in a Lightening adapter (not included).

The built-in speakers pump out great volume, but there is also a headphone output for silent practice, and it has electric, acoustic, and bass guitar effects. The guitar, which is useable by both left-handed and right-handed folks, works best with the All-Star Guitar app that comes with 10 free songs pre-loaded, with access to additional songs for download, but it also works well with Garage Band and WI Guitar.

It’s packed with features, feels sturdy, and is definitely a cool gift for the musically inclined. Oh, and it seems like a neat way to learn guitar.

More accessories are below.

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ION Stories February 13, 2012

ThinkGeek gave us a glimpse at an upcoming iCADE controller mimicking the classic Nintendo controller layout and decorated with a retro 8-bit themed graphics. The “8-Bitty” is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, connects over Bluetooth (two AAA batteries required), and is compatible with all iCADE supported games, including the Atari Classics collection. Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait until later this year when ThinkGeek starts selling them for $25. You can sign up now to be notified by email when it does become available.

You will also want to keep your eyes out for three new iCade models we recently told you about during CES 2012. One of which is the iCade Mobile ($79.99) that is iPhone and iPod touch compatible, and it allows you to dock your device for a PSP-like handheld experience. That model and updated iPad arcade cabinets are expected to launch in the coming months.

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ION Stories January 11, 2012

We brought you some of the hottest accessories launched at CES 2012 yesterday, such as the vertical MacBook Air Dock from Henge and a new lineup of cloud products from D-link. That list also included one audio product, Griffin’s Twenty amp enabling Airplay playback on non-powered speakers, but today we bring you the rest of the most intriguing audio accessories and peripherals launched at the show.

Among them: A new audio interface for iPad from Griffin, new iRig accessories from IK Multimedia, and controllers from Line 6 and ION. expand full story

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