by William Ng | August 10, 2010
Monster iClarity HD Precision Micro Bluetooth Speaker

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The iClarity HD speaker from Monster—the brand is perhaps best known for its aftermarket audio and video cables—does business as well as it does entertainment by serving as a wireless speakerphone for hands-free calls on Skype or iChat from a Bluetooth-equipped Mac, iPad, and iPod touch. When not on a conference call, the user can take the iClarity HD with her as a companion portable speaker for an iPod, iPhone, or iPad. 
The Bluetooth speaker has a wireless range of 33 feet, delivering full-range stereo sound. But it also connects, wired, to non-Bluetooth devices through a standard 3.5-millimeter audio jack. It has a built-in microphone with noise cancellation technology to help make conference calls clearer. The unit runs on five-hour lithium-ion batteries. Rymax Marketing, www.rymaxinc.com.

Wisair Wireless USB Audio/Video Adapter 
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This neat device streams movies, photos, online content, and presentations from a computer to an HDTV or a projector without wires. A mini transmitter module, connected to a PC via USB, sends signals to a small transmitter pod connected to a TV via HDMI or to a projector via VGA. It supports 1400-by-1500-pixel projector resolution and 720p HD video. $149.99. www.wisair.com


Bose Companion 5 Multimedia Speaker System
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Nowadays, many folks fulfill their entertainment needs on their computers, whether it’s playing video games, watching movies, or listening to music. The Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system is the company’s best package for computer-based 5.1 surround sound, consisting of two speakers and a bass-producing Acoustimass module. Bose uses its TrueSpace digital processing to create enveloping 5.1 surround sound out of the three-piece speaker system.

The system is designed for plug and play, connecting to a computer through the supplied USB cable. It comes with a novel control pod; its outer rotating ring controls volume up or down with clockwise or counterclockwise turns, while a tap on the top pad mutes or unmutes the speaker system. An auxiliary input jack on the pod lets the user connect an iPod or a CD player.

Each speaker weighs 2 pounds and measures about 9 inches high by 5 inches wide by 4 inches deep. The Acoustimass module, at 8.5 inches high by 7 inches wide by 17 inches deep, can be tucked under a desk. The two speakers can be perched on supplied stands. $399, Incentive Concepts, www.incentiveconcepts.com.


Denon S-5BD Integrated Blu-Ray Player/5.1 Surround Sound Receiver
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Home audio and video buffs are familiar with the Denon brand, which makes upscale, performance-focused electronics including Blu-ray players and surround sound AV receivers. Its S-5BD manages to combine both a high-quality Blu-player and surround sound receiver in a sleek, eye-catching unit. 
The S-5BD should be right at home with any home theater enthusiast, featuring high-quality Blu-ray playback and video processing and 75 watts of amplification power for all five channels in a surround sound speaker setup. The unit decodes and outputs the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound formats embedded in most Blu-ray releases, as well as the older Dolby Digital and DTS formats in DVDs. The Denon also has a sophisticated room acoustical correction system; an included microphone can be placed in a room and playback of test tones helps the S-5BD automatically calibrate a home theater setup’s speakers for optimum sound based on the room’s characteristics. 
The unit features retractable side covers that open to reveal an HDMI input, an SD memory card slot for digital camera photos, a USB port for an iPod connection, and two mini-jacks (one for headphones and one for the calibration microphone). The front panel sports a large, convenient volume knob and pushbutton controls for the Blu-ray player. $1,799, Rymax Marketing, www.rymaxinc.com.
 
Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-Ray Player
sony blu-ray
As the Blu-ray Disc high-definition home video format continues to grow, Sony is already setting up Blu-ray’s next breakthrough: 3D. When its BDP-S570 disc player is connected to a 3D-ready HDTV, loaded with a 3D Blu-ray disc, and viewed with 3D glasses (sold separately), incentive winners and their families can replicate the popular 3D movie theater experience at home. 
The BDP-S570 is a slim home player that plays standard Blu-ray discs and DVDs, as well. Video resolution reaches up to 1080p (full HD) with both Blu-rays and DVDs (via upscaling). The BDP-S570 has built-in Wi-Fi, which allows the unit to connect to a home’s broadband Internet nework and stream movies, TV shows, and other content from a computer equipped with the DLNA interoperability standard.

Only a handful of 3D Blu-ray movies will come to market this year, but incentive winners can enjoy standard movies with the Sony player and be future-ready when 3D Blu-ray takes off. The player decodes the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound formats embedded in most Blu-ray discs. Sony Motivation/Power Sales and Advertising (PSA), www.sony.com/motivation and www.psakc.com.