Companies are also broadening product compatibility by ensuring releases work with several devices.
China suppliers of USB speakers are underscoring multifunction models that are compatible with a host of other devices to enhance product performance. They are likewise developing portable and visually appealing releases toward improved user convenience.
|The AT-07 model from Anhui works with the iPad, iPod and iPhone, MP3/MP4 and CD/DVD players, notebook PCs and mobile phones.|
Enhancement initiatives are yielding units with FM radios, volume control, LCD screens, remote controls, electronic clock display, Bluetooth and alarms. Manufacturers are also incorporating a dock to connect to the iPod and iPhone.
The NV-13 model from Shenzhen Narui Electronic Co. Ltd is fitted with an FM radio, an SD/MMC card slot and a 13-LED torchlight.
For broader compatibility, USB speakers are being designed to work with CD/DVD and MP3/MP4 players, the iPhone and iPod, and notebook and desktop PCs.
In terms of designs, makers are rolling out versions that are not only portable but also visually appealing. The former is targeted at users on the go. Jiaxing Electronic & Technology Co. Ltd’s SD-010E1 model can fit into a pocket or handbag and can also be worn as a pendant, wristband or necklace. Shenzhen Narui’s NV-150 model can be mounted on a bicycle.
To enhance aesthetics, USB speakers adopt diverse colors, shapes and materials. Most options are in white, black, red, blue, green, silver or pink. For the housing, manufacturers use ABS, PU, EVA or aluminum. The last input costs 10 to 20 percent higher than plastic. Even so, Jiaxing Electronic is still planning to introduce more versions based on this material because of strong demand for such variants. Makers are also incorporating LED lights for a decorative effect.
Products from China can be loosely classified into two types based on the power source, namely those that run on AA batteries and others that use Li-polymer. The last kind is currently mainstream with a more than 60 percent share of output and exports.
Devices deriving power from Li-polymer batteries can be recharged through the PC. If fully charged, products can work for 4 to 6hr continuously. Those using AA dry batteries can provide 3 to 5hr of playtime.
China-made USB speakers support 1 to 12W power output and 90Hz to 20kHz frequency response range. They deliver at least 93dB S/N ratio with about 0.1 percent 1W, 1kHz degree of distortion. With outlay for raw materials such as ABS, PU and aluminum alloy stabilizing beginning early 2011, makers expect prices to remain at current levels. Quotes start at $1.50 and may exceed $25.
Note: This article "Multifunction units advance USB speakers segment" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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