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VAF Octavio - A High Fidelity Dock for your Zune

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Sampy and I managed to score an interview with Philip Vafiadis, founder of VAF Research (makers of high-end speakers, including the Sound Wall!) and he brought along a prototype of a new product: The Octavio 1. Octavio is a high-end set of speakers that includes a Zune cradle on the top so that you can just drop your Zune in and rock away without any hassle. Check out the video to hear about the drivers in this package, the cool one-knob interface, and how this could become the center of your entertainment experience...

For anyone who is wondering, we filmed this about a month ago I believe, so only the prototype was available to demo. The actual product should be hitting stores any day now! Oh, and yeah... the video is a bit quiet, apologies... we tried to go for the nicer location and gave up on some sound quality in the process.

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  • Lord ZimbuLord Zimbu

    499$?!

    After 249$ or more (after conversion) for just the player itself.. that's simply ludicrous.

    If they had 2 satelite speakers (with teloscoping mounts).. for 5.1 surround sound.. then maybe, as a surround system for 360.

    Even if it was bundled with Zune (as a 5.1 solution with gobs of extra frills) for 599$ then maybe.

    I was partially hoping he meant 499AUD.. but no..

  • Lord ZimbuLord Zimbu

    499$?!

    After 249$ or more (after conversion) for just the player itself.. that's simply ludicrous.

    If they had 2 satelite speakers (with teloscoping mounts).. for 5.1 surround sound.. then maybe, as a surround system for 360.

    Even if it was bundled with Zune (as a 5.1 solution with gobs of extra frills) for 599$ then maybe.

    I was partially hoping he meant 499AUD.. but no..

  • Lord ZimbuLord Zimbu

    Yes, I may sound a bit too critical but the unit isn't even on the market yet... and there is talk of these kinds of pricey accessories..

    It's frankly too much too soon for a device several years too late in the offing. Better to ease the unit into a very crouded spaces than allow the unit price and plethora of peripherals to blind people with all the extra dollar signs than they need to see to buy a new product from an unproven new platform.

    It may in fact push more people to buy the lesser iPod models, nanos and shuffles, because that's all anyone shopping for such a device really needs. No frills portable audio. For the cost of Zune and Octavio you can buy a 360 and few games.. That's why I'm being somewhat critical.

    Where is the value? 

  • Lord ZimbuLord Zimbu

    Yes, I may sound a bit too critical but the unit isn't even on the market yet... and there is talk of these kinds of pricey accessories..

    It's frankly too much too soon for a device several years too late in the offing. Better to ease the unit into a very crouded spaces than allow the unit price and plethora of peripherals to blind people with all the extra dollar signs than they need to see to buy a new product from an unproven new platform.

    It may in fact push more people to buy the lesser iPod models, nanos and shuffles, because that's all anyone shopping for such a device really needs. No frills portable audio. For the cost of Zune and Octavio you can buy a 360 and few games.. That's why I'm being somewhat critical.

    Where is the value? 

  • Duncan MackenzieDuncanma "yeah that's awful close, but that's not why I'm so hard done by"

    You don't need to buy an Octavio though, so I'm not sure why someone considering a Zune would necessarily add the two prices up in their mind.

    As far as not showing the accessories, well I disagree with that idea... I think it is important to show that 3rd parties are signing up to support the Zune, especially when so many accessories are available for the iPod... if we didn't talk about Zune accessories until we were established, then I think that would be a big mistake.

    There are much cheaper docks available though, I just haven't been able to see any of them yet... maybe once it is out I can cover all of the 'basic' accessories like the dock, the car pack, the travel pack, etc... but of course, a person only needs to buy the Zune.

  • Lord ZimbuLord Zimbu

    That would be awesome. (Future blog on accessories.)

    Specifically any bigger but still portable screens you could dock the unit to.

    I'd sooner pay 499$ for a 6-8 inch ultra thin 640x360 Samsung AMOLED screen (to suppliment the one already on the unit).

    Adding controls to the screen device, an assortment of buttons and a couple thumbsticks, to play XBLA games (stored on the Zune device) would be nifty too.

    Only two blocks further south from there to mobile-Xbox-360-Ville.

  • Lord ZimbuLord Zimbu

    That would be awesome. (Future blog on accessories.)

    Specifically any bigger but still portable screens you could dock the unit to.

    I'd sooner pay 499$ for a 6-8 inch ultra thin 640x360 Samsung AMOLED screen (to suppliment the one already on the unit).

    Adding controls to the screen device, an assortment of buttons and a couple thumbsticks, to play XBLA games (stored on the Zune device) would be nifty too.

    Only two blocks further south from there to mobile-Xbox-360-Ville.

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