By George, It’s An iPod Boombox

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Chestnut Hill Sound has announced its George table-top speaker system for Apple’s iPod portable music player, Designed to appear to quality-conscious iPod listeners, the George system offers a tabletop speaker setup with AM/FM radio, alarm functions, and a wireless remote. And, of course, you can plug other audio sources into George, run audio from George to your audiophile speaker setup, and—coming soon—even tune into HD radio.

“George is the first home system that gives consumers the same acclaimed ease of use as Apple’s iPod,” said Steve Krampf, CEO of Chestnut Hill Sound. “We realized the iPod had set new standards for customer satisfaction and that all the existing home playback products did not offer acceptable remote control or extensibility. George also represents a significant change from the ‘disposable’ mentality of many contemporary consumer products. By building field updateable products, CHS is breaking new ground by giving customers a tangible way to maximize their consumer audio dollars.”

George features a front panel which remotes to serve as a remote for the iPod-enabled system. The wireless remote interface supports full iPod navigation, “jump buttons” which navigate the user’s music database, and also offer access to George’s bandless AM/FM radio receiver. The remote operates between four and six hours, and recharges when it’s re-attached to George’s front panel, or in an optional separate charging stand.

George’s multi-alarm system offers independent volume control so, for instance, alarms can still be head-shatteringly loud enough to wake you up, even if music or radio volume is low. The alarms offer standard mute and snooze functions.

George supports 4G and later iPods, although older iPods, the shuffle, and other digital media players can ride real air through George using an aux input jack. George also has a rear-panel USB port to support future devices and upgrades—and Chestnut Hill has already announced an HD Radio option for George.

George’s default color is white, but user-installable mahogany, cherry, and maple finishes are also available. Chestnut Hill will demonstrate George at both CES and Macworld, and they’ll be available for sale starting January 9. But be prepared to shell out: George’s suggested price will be $549, or $599 with that separate charging stand.

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