Wearing headphones while cycling can be annoying, or even downright dangerous if you can’t hear what’s going on around you. I recently tested the cy.fi Wireless Sports Speaker, a streamlined little gadget that lets you enjoy your music while staying aware of your surroundings, or even sharing your tunes with your friends.
The cy.fi speaker weighs 3.7 ounces, and it’s slightly bigger than a deck of cards. Buttons on the face of the speaker unit control volume and track selection, so you can safely stash your iPod (with the matchbook-size cy.fi transmitter attached to its docking connection). The transmitter is rated to 30 feet, but with a clear line of sight I got sound 100’ from the unit.
The iPod version of the ci.fi uses Kleer Wireless technology to provide high-quality sound transmission with very low power usage. The sound from the speaker is a bit flat, and bass response isn’t the strongest, but the ci.fi provides plenty of volume to overcome ambient noise like traffic.
Although the cy.fi is aimed primarily at cyclists, it also serves as a handy portable speaker for other activities like backpacking, camping, or traveling. It’s water- and shock-resistant, and its lithium polymer battery provides up to six hours of music playback on a single charge.
A new version of the cy.fi Wireless Sports Speaker (scheduled for release in October) will be compatible with the iPhone 3Gs, so users can listen to voice calls as well as music. cy.fi also produces a Bluetooth model for use with non-Apple mp3 players and mobile phones.
The cy.fi Wireless Sports Speaker (iPod version) currently sells for $89.99 at Amazon.