New iPod Speaker System Has An Outie

Those in the market for a higher-end iPod sound system will want to check out the $549 George, the first product to roll out from digital-audio manufacturer Chestnut Hill Sound. One of the edges it has on other systems is its unique wireless remote, which has a full-on knob for navigating your iPod’s menus on its high-resolution, backlit graphic display. You can use it to select music from your device’s library, raise and lower volume and to rifle through the presets you’ve entered for the built-in AM/FM tuner. And when it’s stowed in the face of the speaker system, it doubles as the unit’s control panel.

George’s tuner is bandless, removing the need to switch between AM and FM when going from news and sports to your favorite music stations. You also get four pages of presets on the remote, so you can completely organize your presets depending on what you want to listen to, again with no need to worry about jumping from AM to FM.

I can’t speak to sound quality, ’cause I haven’t heard it, but the company says it “emulates the multi-amped 2.1 systems which are now used to make professional recordings” and CNET got a little demo of it and says it “delivered a weighty, full-bodied sound that belied George’s small size.” It is a five-speaker setup including a 4-inch downfiring subwoofer and it’s bi-amped, which is pretty upscale for an iPod dock.

One final thing to mention, other than you can choose from different wood shells and matching grill covers, is that Chestnut Hill Sound built in a USB port on the back panel allowing for software updates and upgrades and hardware modules, such as an HD radio receiver can be added down the road as well.

Chestnut Hill Sound [company site]