Oregon Scientific's iBall

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Oregon Scientific recently released the iBall, a bowling-ball shaped wireless speaker for the iPod. It's a lot like the StyleFi Music Sphere, but re-engineered with the iPod in mind. I got a chance to have a hands-on look at it a few weeks ago when Oregon Scientific was in town showing it off, and I have to say I was pretty impressed. It features advanced 2.4 Ghz wireless technology, with adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum, and will broadcast up to a 100 feet. We did a little mini-experiment, and brought the speaker a flight of stairs down to the lobby, and the only time it broke signal was when we went outside.


The iBall has a three-speaker array with a ported bass cavity, which allowed the sound to project through the room. There's also a built-in iPod remote on it so that you can control your iPod from afar. The round LCD display to the front illuminates the time, volume, play/pause status, battery power, as well as the wireless signal strength. Auxiliary stereo line-in mini plugs as well as S-video a/v stereo line out are integrated, for use with additional audio sources as well as the stereo or television. It'll run for about 6 to 8 hours on a single charge, or you could use an AC adaptor as well.

My one complaint was that it seemed a little cumbersome to carry; one, because it's a just a tad hefty, and two, it just seems silly to be bringing a bowling-ball shaped speaker around with you. But if you want a conversation piece for your next party, this could definitely work. It'll be out later this year, and will go for about $300.

iBall [Oregon Scientific]