updated 04:13 pm EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
Supports older Apple hardware via USB port
Soundfreaq has announced the Sound Step Lightning, a new speaker dock. The unit takes its name from a Lightning port compatible with the latest generation of Apple mobile devices. Significantly, though, it also accepts input via Bluetooth, a stereo cable source, or 30-pin Apple devices connected through USB. The USB port can charge any connected device. Playback is controlled with capacitive touch buttons, an IR remote, or connected hardware.
In terms of output the new Sound Step is a 2.1-channel system with a dedicated subwoofer. Soundfreaq's UQ3 technology attempts to produce "natural" bass, and better stereo separation.
The Sound Step Lightning is on sale online and at Target for $130. Planned for August is a variant of the dock, the Sound Step Recharge Lightning, which will incorporate a rechargeable seven-hour battery. That model will cost $150.