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Perfect for camping, hotel rooms, or anywhere you need a tiny speaker.
We’ve seen hundreds of iPod cases, scores of speakers, and even a few novelty products like bags and coolers that pack built-in speakers with iPod connections. But the iMainGo 2 combination case and speaker is one of the most useful and decent-sounding products we’ve tested—especially for its $40 price.
Measuring 5.7 by 3.8 by 2.4 inches and weighing 9 ounces, the case has a clear plastic window on one side that keeps your player totally covered but still lets you use the clickwheel or touchscreen controls. The other side of the case holds two 2.5-watt titanium speakers behind an attractive black metal guard. Unzip the case to install your iPod, iPhone, or other MP3 player—the player goes up against the window, and it’s held in place by a piece of memory foam that conforms to the player’s shape, a plastic shield in back, and an adjustable Velcro strap to hold it steady. A 3.5mm gold-tipped stereo plug sends music from the player’s headphone jack to the iMainGo 2’s speakers. The other side of the case holds the speaker assembly, an on/off/Alarm switch, and the battery bay (4 AAA batteries are included).
The Alarm feature was our favorite. To use it, set the wake-up alarm on your iPod (Extras > Alarm Clock), hook it up to the iMainGo 2, and set the iMainGo’s switch to ALM. The speaker will go to sleep and then wake up, along with your iPod, to play the song at the appointed time. It’s a great way to greet the day when traveling. We were pleasantly surprised by the sound. It’s strong and full for a speaker of this size, and can fill a medium-size room with undistorted music. The batteries kept chugging nearly forever, too—we got 27 hours of play from a fresh set of Duracell alkalines.
The bottom line. Between the powerful output and the way the case completely covers the iPod and protects it from bumps, the iMainGo 2 is ideal for backpacking trips, the beach, or rental cars with crappy stock stereos.
COMPANY: Portable Sound Laboratories
REQUIREMENTS: iPod, iPhone, or other device with a headphone jack
Protects iPod while allowing access to clickwheel or touchscreen. Great battery life. Decent sound. Alarm function.