Think of it as a portable CD player with benefits: BenQ's Joybee610 will not only play your tunes on the go (including MP3s on CD), but it also plays DVDs and can read CD-ROMs with JPEGs. For anything visual, however, you'll need to hook up the Joybee to an external monitor through its composite-, component-, or S-video output. An optical digital audio connector handles multichannel DVD soundtracks. For grizzled road warriors, there's a 12-second shock buffer for CDs and a 120-second buffer for MP3s. A CompactFlash card reader is included, plus a USB 2.0 port for when you want to use the player as a DVD-ROM drive. The Joybee may be only 7/8 inch thick, but a full recharge of its built-in lithium-ion battery is said to last 3 hours for DVDs and 7 hours if you're playing MP3 files. Price: $199.
If tiny satellite speakers leave you cold, Definitive Technology's three new Bipolar SuperTowers will turn up the heat. Each model has two sets of drivers - one facing forward, the other rearward - and houses a SuperCube subwoofer that includes its own 300-watt amplifier. The BP7002 (left) packs a 12-inch sub and a pair of 12-inch passive radiators, said to deliver deep bass down to 15 Hz. The front and back driver arrays each have two 51/4-inch woofers and a 1-inch aluminum tweeter, and the speaker is just under 4 feet tall. In the middle is the BP7004, with a 10-inch sub and a single 51/4-inch woofer in each array. Finally, the BP7006 sports an 8-inch cone for the sub and 41/2-inch midrange drivers. All come with either gloss black or cherry finish on the end caps. Prices: BP7002, $1,099 each; BP7004, $799 each; BP7006, $599 each.
Fully surrounded yet? A receiver like the Marantz SR8400 can make your home theater experience more enveloping by opening up the back surround channel in Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES soundtracks. With seven channels rated at 110 watts each, the receiver can give you 7.1-channel sound, and it has Dolby Pro Logic IIx to generate 6.1- or 7.1-channel sound from stereo and 5.1-channel soundtracks. And no matter how many video sources you have, you need only one connection to your TV since all composite- and S-video signals are upconverted to component-video. There's also a pair of component inputs for HDTV, and a multichannel analog audio input lets you hook up a DVD-Audio or Super Audio CD player. A learning remote control is supplied. Price: $1,599.
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