Although TDK mentioned its Wireless Charging Cube at IFA with the rest of its latest portable audio wares, it wasn't until today that we got a look at the speaker. The six by six by six-inch (yes, you read that right) unit features the same retro, black and gold aesthetic as TDKs other Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR speakers, but it's notably housing a Qi-compatible inductive charging base at the top (just like JBL's Lumia-styled Power Up speakers). Along with being splash-resistant enough to stay safely within range of your sink, an internal rechargeable battery will net you roughly six to eight hours of untethered play time. We had a very brief ears-on with this $400 unit, so join us past the break for more details and our initial impressions.
TDK Wireless Charging Cube hands-onSee all photos
Internally, each of its top 4 corners has a one-inch driver for mids and highs, leaving you with two each for the left and right stereo channels. The center houses a down-firing woofer that gets vented to the bottom of its sides along with a rear-facing port. yet, the unit can also charge your Qi-equipped devices off of its internal battery. According to TDK, the battery is well over 2,000mAh size, leaving you enough with juice to fully charge the likes of an iPhone -- although, that'll leave less than 50-percent left for the unit itself.
Up front, you'll find an analog volume dial that's surrounded by lights for visualizing the volume level. Also on the panel are two buttons to the right that'll switch the dial's function for adjusting the level of bass and treble. That leaves the back panel, which includes a 3.5mm audio jack for going truly analog and a port for the power connection; naturally, they're protected by a rubber-insert. We're told that the WCC can pump out about 90 SPL, and we'd say it seemed to stay cleaner and go louder than what you'd get from a Jawbone Jambox (rated for a maximum 120 SPL). Our demo of its sound only lasted about minute -- it definitely was able to pump out a nice amount of focused bass, but there was a bit of an airy quality to the overall mix, as if the mids were a bit recessed.
The unit's design is certainly something that can get lost in a room, but we're happy to say that, aside from scratches from traveling, the unit felt very sturdy. On another note, using an iPhone with a Qi-enabled case, we can confirm that it seemed to get right to charging the device sans wires without a hiccup. Whether it's worth the asking price remains to be seen, but it'll be available in Japan later this year with a US release slated for Q1 2013. In the meantime, check out the video demo above for a better look.