We haven't yet divined time travel or even colonized Mars, but we can fit all of our audio needs inside a coffee cup. Both Divoom's Bluetune-solo and Boombotix's Boombot2 are small Bluetooth speakers priced at under $80, but do they have enough oomph to rock your world?
We just gave a glowing review to Bluelounge's Milo stand, an elegantly curved stand for an iPhone or iPod touch. Satechi's brightly colored iFit-1 speaker isn't quite as elegant, but it's only $1 more -- and it's a stand as well as a rechargeable speaker.
Several attempts have been made to design a tiny keyboard for laptop-toting musicians. Generally, the results haven’t proven all that impressive: either the unit boasts too few keys, or the keys are too small for comfortable playing, or both. The iRig Keys aims to combat the former (and more musically compromising) complaint by shoehorning in three full octaves worth of keys, one more than the two-octave standard for this general form factor. As a result, of course, the unit ends up considerably larger than its most direct competitor; at about 20 inches long it’s small enough to fit in some backpacks and maybe large messenger bags, but only just.
There's a reason that — on many people's devices — Apple's Voice Memos app lives in a folder called "Unused" way back on your last home screen. Despite its many talents, the reality is that the mono mic in your iPhone or iPad just isn't that great at capturing audio. Blue's Mikey Digital brings high-quality portable recording to your pocket, via a 2.9-ounce stereo microphone.
Your TV is probably augmented by an ever-growing collection of boxes that plug into it — and you have a remote for every one. Remembering what setting everything has to be on can be frustrating. Enter Harmony Touch. Tell it which devices you have, and assign them to Activities, such as “Watch a Blu-ray.” Tapping an activity switches the relevant gear on and selects the correct channels.
Small Bluetooth speakers don’t care if your device has Lightning or 30-pin, or even if it’s a Mac or an Android phone. You can stream music from any Bluetooth device, and the audio-in lets you connect anything with a headphone jack. You won’t be blowing anyone’s hairpiece off with the sound, but they’re portable enough for travel.
At first glance, the Logitech UE Boombox looks a bit like something Judy Jetson would carry to a beach party on an asteroid. It’s all smooth curves and brushed aluminum, evoking the Mac Pro’s cheese-grater aesthetic, as well as mid-20th-century design.
The Compact Disc recently celebrated its 30th birthday, but for most people, digital files stored on a Mac (or streaming from a cloud) have completely replaced plastic discs shoved inside a stereo. But despite recent improvements to the speakers inside many late-model Macs, they're still lacking when it comes to listening to your favorite tunes. Palo Alto Audio’s Cubik is a pair of desktop speakers built to wring as much sound as possible out of your files, without hogging much space on your desk
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but, well...your computer speakers probably suck. Don’t worry, you’re not alone; most desktop speakers and even many surround-sound systems are designed to minimize size and cost, with sound quality coming in at a distant third in terms of priority. And for many users, that’s just fine. For general computing and most gaming, fidelity isn’t quite as important as, you know, just getting the sounds to your ears. But if you create multimedia, or do anything that requires detailed, accurate sound reproduction, Cerwin Vega’s XD3 speakers deliver great performance for a reasonable price.