By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Forget the rise of the machines, 2011 has been categorised by the rise of the tablet and smartphone, with many big name audio brands capitalising on the trend with new iPod docking stations and compatible hi-fi systems.

One such brand is Sharp, which has announced the release of its Micro Audio system (XLDAB151PHBK) targeted at iPod, iPhone and iPad users.

According to Mark Beard, national marketing manager of Sharp Corporation Australia, the Micro Audio System is a “high performance” unit that offers “crystal clear audio with 30 watt RMS output power”.

It features a 2-way speaker consisting of a 12 centimetre woofer and 5 centimetre tweeter, as well as a DAB+ tuner that gives access to a range of digital radio stations.

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“Offering CD-R/RW, the system allows for easy connection and streaming from USB, iPod, iPhone and iPad devices,” Beard said.

And for Apple fiends, the audio system features a dedicated iPod/iPhone dock on top of the unit, and also features a separate iPad stand that is ideal for watching movies and video files off the tablet device.

It has a glossy piano black finish, and a small footprint that makes it “a sleek and stylish audio system ideal for rooms where space is at a premium – especially bedrooms, kitchens and studies”.

The Sharp XLDAB151PHBK Micro Audio system will available from the end of August for RRP $329.