TDK launches new Life on Record premium audio range
By Paul Ridden
February 17, 2011
TDK has announced the release of its Life on Record range. The new line of premium audio gear includes two- and three-speaker Boomboxes and a 360-degree Sound Cube. Each member of the line-up mixes retro styling with modern functionality, and even allows users to plug in an electric guitar or microphone for some play/sing-along fun.
Arguably the most noticeable of the forthcoming releases is the three speaker version of the Boombox. A modern take on the kind of audio blaster which sat on the shoulders of folks compelled to share the latest hip hop grooves with everyone in a three block radius during the 1980s, TDK's flavor sports a 6-inch subwoofer and a couple of 6-inch coaxial drivers which knock out 35 Watts of full range power.
In addition to the built-in AM/FM radio, music can be sourced from media players like the iPod via the included 30-pin to USB cable or 3.5mm line-in jack. A guitar or microphone input jack also joins the party, which can be mixed in with other audio sources for impromptu performances. The retro rotary dials are joined by touch-sensitive controls, which can be used to access and play audio files on a connected external flash or hard drive, and there's an innovative equalizer which "gives your music a visual heartbeat."
The two-speaker Boombox enjoys similar good looks and operation, but loses the subwoofer. Consequently, the full range output is rated at 20 Watts RMS.
Both devices run on either AC power (adapter supplied) or battery power – not the rechargeable Li-ion kind as you might expect these days, but weighty D-class ones. Perhaps taking the retro design a little too far, the three-speaker system needs a dozen batteries and the two-speaker unit requires ten.
If room-filling, multidirectional sound is more your cup of tea then the 9.8 x 9.8 x 9.8-inch (250 x 250 x 250mm) Sound Cube could tick all of your requirement boxes. There are two 5.25-inch, high dynamic range drivers and two 5.25-inch tuned, passive radiators facing outwards from this neat little sound box.
The active left and right coaxial drivers are set 180 degrees to each other, and the same goes for the passive radiators, which results in sound coming from front, back, left and right. This unusual configuration is said to result in fairly wide sound stage possibilities, without the user having to give much thought to positioning.
It benefits from the same AM/FM radio setup, audio source connectivity and similar retro styling of the Boomboxes, but has a more compact design. It pumps out 20 Watts RMS and also runs on either AC power or 12 D-class batteries.
The Life on Record range will be available in the U.S. shortly. The three-speaker Boombox is priced at US$499, the two-speaker Boombox will cost US$399, and the Sound Cube comes in at US$299.