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.
With Mountain Lion fresh out the gate, there doesn't seem to be too many deals on actual Macs this week, so cases it is. iOS accessories know no season and proliferate worse than bunnines in the springtime. We've rounded up the best of the sweet little bunnies and have just what you're looing for. Take a look at that face! How can you say no?
For those about to rock, Altec Lansing’s inAir 5000 is a glorious set of AirPlay speakers. Setup is easy. Download a free app for your iOS device, plug that in to the speaker, and walk through the couple of steps it takes to name the device and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. You can also configure it by connecting to a network it creates temporarily through a browser on your computer, or using WPS on supported routers. You can then send music wirelessly straight from an iOS device running iOS 4.2—which can only stream to one speaker at a time—or by streaming music to one or more speakers from iTunes on your Mac or PC.
The tenth annual D: All Things Digital conference kicks off tonight in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California with Apple CEO Tim Cook in the hot seat for the first time, being interviewed by co-hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
Travel speakers aren’t just for traveling, or at least not for going too far. The thoughtful design of iHome’s iDM11 makes it great for road warriors, but also for rocking out in the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage, or anywhere that isn’t already wired for sound.
Once you move beyond simple computer speakers and speaker docks, audio equipment can quickly get extremely complicated, not to mention expensive. Orb Audio’s line of modular products aims to bring audiophile-quality components at relatively affordable prices. And best of all, you can start with a small desktop system, then later expand into a full home theater setup using your existing speakers.
Speaker docks are a tricky proposition. Build them big enough to boom, and they’re hard to fit on your desk or kitchen counter. Build them small, and they usually lack the bass that helps us feel our favorite jams. Scoshe’s BassDOCK manages to pack a punch, securely perching your iPad above a compact speaker that fits almost anywhere.
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.
Imagine every feature you could ever want from an iPod dock. Go on, make a list. Ours includes AirPlay, solid sound quality, an iPod charging dock, and a reasonable price tag. This is good news for the iW1, which includes all these features and a boatload of others we didn’t even know we wanted.
Like the times, music keeps a-changin’. These days, it’s more often enjoyed on the go from your iDevice, rather than by dusting off a CD or (gasp) record. That’s part of why Apple’s AirPlay feature, which lets you beam tunes from iDevices to compatible speakers, gets us so excited…but there’s actually a better option, if you can afford it. Sonos’ line of wireless music players can send your tunes on tour all over the house, and they offer more power and flexibility.