The teeny-tiny iBumps keep your iPod from slip-slidin' away. Attach a set of iBumps to the back of your iPod and you won't have to worry about it skidding across your car's dashboard every time you make a turn. You get a set of six clear small rubber pads for the back of your 'Pod, and six white, black, or clear pads for the front. Where you actually use them (and how many you use) is up to you - you can stick 'em on your iPod, digital camera, mobile phone, coffee mug, snow globes, fishbowl, whatever. With iBumps, your iPod is still exposed, but you can fit an iBumped iPod into some looser-fitting cases.
Decent looks, decent sound, decent connectivity - but, unfortunately, "decent" doesn't mean "great." With a name like Tango, you might expect dramatic, luscious sound quality from this iPod speaker. What we got from the Tango, however, was a mixed bag of audio results. The Tango has a pair of 2.5-inch midrange speakers, two 1-inch tweeters, and a 4-inch woofer at the bottom of the unit that faces down toward the surface that the speaker sits on. As you'd expect from a speaker with a sizable woofer, the bass from the Tango booms—but with cringe-inducing distortion, even after we turned down the bass. On rock tracks where the bass wasn't as prominent, the Tango did a decent job with midrange sounds, but opera songs lacked clarity.
The m100 earbuds are good for music. We like the m250 over-ear clip-ons for games. Music producers routinely sit around and bemoan the fact that as a result of the 44.1kHz sampling rate of CDs—and the rise of iPods and earbuds—a producer's efforts are wasted on sonically inept listeners. While this is not nearly as true as they'd like to believe, there are complicating factors: The places where we listen, and how and what we listen to, change almost from song to song, leaving manufacturers scrambling to be as many things to as many people as possible. Which brings us to the Pro|Tone m100 earbuds and the Pro|Tone m250 headphones, Razer's two lower-end offerings.
Have a ball with your iPod. The typical four-sided speaker is so square. After spending some time with the iSphere and the Orb, we're comin' around to the round. And while the spherical shapes of the Orb and the iSphere may or may not match your home's décor, the form is excellent for a compact iPod speaker system.
For such a pricey iPod accessory, it doesn't look very iPod-esque. Keyspan's TuneView is an iPod dock and remote control combo that lets you listen to your music on your home entertainment system. Unlike other products of its ilk, this remote has a color LCD that lets you navigate your iPod from your La-Z-Boy. Unfortunately, the remote's dated, inelegant design detracts from the overall package.
For people who like their speakers tall, dark, and handsome. You already know that you have many choices - too many, really - when it comes to speaker systems for your iPod. There are a few things you might not know about mStation Audio's Stereo Tower, a 100-watt floor-standing iPod speaker and dock with a built-in 5.25-inch dedicated subwoofer. First, it's a substantial piece of stereo equipment: It isn't overly large (43 inches high by 14 inches wide), but it seems much heavier than its 21 pounds. It will fit nicely in a corner of your living or family room, but unless your taste in interior décor runs to the bachelor-pad, black-leather, chrome-and-glass-end-tables motif, it might not exactly blend in. That said, a black iPod looks pretty sweet perched on top of the extruded aluminum and black metal Tower.
Not your average $20 iPod speakers. Travel versions of gadgets such as hair dryers and irons often fall short compared to their standard, full-size counterparts. We were happy to discover that this wasn’t the case—at least not overall—with the Cube Travel Speakers from Pacific Rim Technologies.