Soundfreaq's Sound Stack is a bookshelf hi-fi that lets you keep your iPhone in your pocket, provided its no more than 33 feet away. But while built-in Bluetooth adds an extra feature to an otherwise standard high-end digital music system, it mainly serves as a reminder of why many of its peers stick to a dock-only format.
Bluetooth speakers are having a moment--not only are they dropping in price and increasing in quality, they provide more versatility than speaker docks. You can stream music from a Mac, an iOS device, or even a PC or Android handset, and you’re not stuck in one spot, either. As our office fills with piles of Bluetooth speakers, we singled out three in the $150 range: The main boast of SuperTooth’s Disco is 28 watts of kicking audio, while Soundfreaq’s Sound Step Recharge aims for versatility with four input options, and Brookstone packs big sound and sensitive controls into the Big Blue Studio.
There are tons of audio docks for your iPhone or iPod touch, but models for your iPad are much harder to come by. The Sound Step from Soundfreaq is built to accommodate your iPad or any other dock connector–equipped device. But the connectivity doesn’t stop there. This small speaker dock is also Bluetooth-enabled, so you can stream wirelessly, and there’s also an auxiliary input, so you can connect with just about anything. But for those times when you just want to disconnect, the Sound Step Recharge also comes equipped with a rechargeable battery so that you can cut the cord and take your tunes on the road—or at least to the backyard.