Pioneer introduces first-ever Lightning-powered iPhone speaker called Rayz Rally

Pioneer is launching a new accessory called Rayz Rally that amplifies audio calls from your iPhone over a pocket-sized speaker. Rayz Rally connects to the iPhone through the Lightning port and doesn’t require a separate battery to work.

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Pioneer is marketing Rayz Rally as the solution to turn the iPhone into a conference speaker during phone calls rather than relying on the built-in speakerphone mode in noisy environments.

Prior to the iPhone 7, you could connect the iPhone to an AUX speaker over the headphone jack, but Lightning is the only wired solution without the 3.5mm connection. Other conference speaker solutions require powering independently and work over Bluetooth which isn’t always as convenient as plugging in a cable.

Rayz Rally simply connects over the built-in Lightning port on the iPhone and features its own Lightning port for pass-through iPhone charging during use. Aside from the top-firing speaker, Rayz Rally features a single button called a Smart Button for playing and pausing audio or muting calls.

Pioneer also says Rayz Rally will work with your Mac or PC as a USB speaker (just run a USB cable from your computer to the Lightning port), and Rayz Rally will interface with an iOS app to receive new features in the future.

In terms of audio quality, my guess would be Rayz Rally isn’t intended for much more than conference calls considering how Pioneer is pitching the accessory without mentioning music or video playback. Pioneer does say it ships five audio profiles for optimizing voice clarity, however, so it may be worth considering if you’re frequently using your iPhone on speakerphone as a conference speaker.

Rayz Rally is available in three colors (black, white, and gray) for $99.95 and shipping this month. The new Rayz Rally conference speaker joins Pioneer’s other Rayz accessory, Lightning-connected noise-cancelling earphones that ship for $149.95.

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