Hitachi Maxell has always struck us as a very levelheaded electronics firm, which makes it all the more surprising to see a very nice portable speaker system aimed at the lowest common denominator that is the iPod.

The ¥10,000 (£64) MXSP-1100 goes on sale in Japan on 25 November and features a very elegant cigar-like speaker enclosure that stretches horizontally below the iPod dock for an impressive 42cm.

Other players are acceptable

Two 4.2W speakers are, we're told, spot on for reproducing those low bass notes beloved of iPod owners (surely shum mishtake?), while there's also a handy remote control for enjoying the set-up from afar.

Best of all, there's a stereo mini plug input for connecting just about any music source to the speakers, so we don't all have to play along with the iPod obsession of the marketeers.