There was a time when listening to music meant sitting in front of a stereo and popping in your favorite CD--or maybe even an actual vinyl record. But these days, we do most of our listening via iPods or from our Mac at our desk. Which is fine, except for the fact that most computer speakers suck. But these speakers from Bowers & Wilkins are so good, you should just stop reading this review now and start earning some of the 500 bucks you’ll need to pay for them.
A speaker in every room has been many a homeowner’s dream. Alas, this usually means hiring professionals to run speaker wires through your house—or doing it yourself and inadvertently creating softball-size holes that start off the size of a pea. The Eos Wireless iPod Speakers bring the dream of a home filled with music without your having to hang large pictures to cover up any DIY attempts.
The isolation headset embodies form and function. Like the iPod before it, the iPhone has created a cottage industry of cases, add-ons, and headsets. Maximo is hoping that its latest foray into the headset market will get you to drop Apple’s standard white headset. Right out of the box the iMetal headset came equipped with something all manufacturers should include: an extension cable. Too many times we’ve had to reconsider which pocket to stash our iPhone in because of too-short headset cables.
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.
It looks great, but the Tango X2’s sound won’t make you feel like dancing. At first blush, the Tango X2 iPod speaker dock gets plenty of points for design. The smooth, black box takes the space of a couple of encyclopedias, and its elegant silver trim works dressed up for a dining room or down for a bedroom. But the Tango X2 has two left feet where it really counts, blasting out shrill, distorted sound.
This is one bug that won’t spoil your picnic. Standing out is important in the crowded iPod-speaker market, and Vestalife manages to do that with its first entry into the field, the Ladybug. At first glance, you might not even think it’s a sound system at all. It just looks like a 5.4-by-5.6-inch ball that resembles an overgrown ladybug with closed wings. When you open it up, the speakers fan out, exposing the docking area, and the device looks ready to fly off your shelf. Parents will appreciate the unique rubberized coat of paint that gives the sub-2-pound speaker an original feel and makes it simple for kids to grip without dropping.
Remember to put your iPhone in Airplane Mode when using it with an iPod speaker like the Amplifi. It’s getting harder and harder to find a simple iPod speaker: one that doesn’t have a clock, a radio receiver, a CD player, or a space-age design. But we found one in the Amplifi, and for $150, we like what it has to offer: great sound for your iPod tunes, and not much else.
The Mint comes with a wireless dock that transmits your iPod music to the Mint digital amplifier. For anyone whose music entertainment revolves around the iPod, Mondo’s Mint is a great way to get your iPod tunes up front and center. It’s far from perfect - its audio quality could benefit from some fine-tuning, and its lack of controls can be frustrating. But the Mint has some unique design highlights and comes very close to producing ideal sound.