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.
The Journi is roughly the same size as the latest Harry Potter hardback - but if forced to choose, we’d take Harry on the road and leave the Journi at home. Weighing a little over 2 pounds, the Journi portable iPod speaker is shaped exactly like a hardback book and comes with a wraparound leatherette cover that doubles as a foldout stand. You unwrap the cover, fold it back on itself, and insert a tab into a slot built into the speaker’s plastic housing.
We preferred the miDock10’s audio over the miDock Studio’s. Best of all, the miDock10 is $50 cheaper. Polk Audio is a reputable maker of quality audio products, and the company finally jumped on the iPod bandwagon by releasing a pair of iPod speakers, the miDock Studio and the miDock10. Did Polk Audio miss the iPod party? Not really, since the party is still going on. Consider Polk Audio fashionably late, and fortunately, the miDock Studio and the miDock10 have the goods to stand out from the crowd.
You’ve just been served - by a dancing thingy that loosely resembles a rabbit. It’s not enough that you dance to your music - your speaker wants to get its groove on too. The dancing speakers we’ve seen are toy-quality dogs, cars, and even something called an iZ. And now there’s Wassup, a dancing speaker in the form of a…rabbit? Well, that’s the closest thing we could determine that it resembles.
The speaker on the right in this photo - the one with the iPod nano - is really the left speaker. We're just backwards like that. Sierra Sound named its iN Studio 5.0 speakers for their 5-inch woofers, but they also have a built-in 50-watt dynamic amp, making them more than just iPod speakers - they’re a compact, room-shaking stereo stand-in. Measuring 7.3 by 8 by 10.8 inches each, and weighing 23.3 pounds together, this is one hefty set - but so is the high-end sound it puts out.
The i-XPS 250 has a pair of 5-watt drivers and a 15-watt subwoofer. “What’s with the robot head?” a passerby asked, examining the i-XPS 250 sitting on the desk. It was time to whip out the iPod and place it into the i-XPS 250’s dock. “Ah, now I get it,” said the passerby, realizing that the i-XPS 250 is an iPod speaker, not the head of some grand experiment in the Mac|Life labs.