speakers

  I met with Soundcast Systems and took a look a two new iPod speakers they plan to release in the summer of this year. The SpeakerCast is a shelf-sized speaker set, while the OutCast is an outdoor speaker. Both use the iCast dock to transmitter an audio signal to the speaker (included with each product). Soundcast says both products have a indoor range of 150 feet and an outdoor range of 350 feet.

Polk Audio miDock 10: First Look

Polk Audio's miDock 10 fits all dockable 'Pods and will fill any room with potent, well-defined sound.  Polk Audio has been around for 35 years, and over that time they've learned how to do audio right. Now that they've released three entries in the iPod speaker-stand free-for-all, I jumped at the chance to take a first look at their middle-range model, the miDock 10. Roman will put together a thoroughly researched, full-scale review of this compact, lightweight boombox in the next month or so, but after one Sunday morning playing with it, I can wholeheartedly give it my own personal one-word review: "DAMN!"

iLuv i199 and XtremeMac Luna

 The iPod has become more than just a music player: With systems such as iLuv's i199 and XtremeMac's Luna, the iPod becomes the heart of home entertainment. And the i199 and Luna both let you get the most from your iPod.  

Tango

Decent looks, decent sound, decent connectivity - but, unfortunately, "decent" doesn't mean "great." With a name like Tango, you might expect dramatic, luscious sound quality from this iPod speaker. What we got from the Tango, however, was a mixed bag of audio results. The Tango has a pair of 2.5-inch midrange speakers, two 1-inch tweeters, and a 4-inch woofer at the bottom of the unit that faces down toward the surface that the speaker sits on. As you'd expect from a speaker with a sizable woofer, the bass from the Tango booms—but with cringe-inducing distortion, even after we turned down the bass. On rock tracks where the bass wasn't as prominent, the Tango did a decent job with midrange sounds, but opera songs lacked clarity.

Fill a room with sound with the right iPod speaker stand.

Orb and iSphere

Have a ball with your iPod.  The typical four-sided speaker is so square. After spending some time with the iSphere and the Orb, we're comin' around to the round. And while the spherical shapes of the Orb and the iSphere may or may not match your home's décor, the form is excellent for a compact iPod speaker system.

Leslie Ayers's picture

Audio Stereo Tower

For people who like their speakers tall, dark, and handsome. You already know that you have many choices - too many, really - when it comes to speaker systems for your iPod. There are a few things you might not know about mStation Audio's Stereo Tower, a 100-watt floor-standing iPod speaker and dock with a built-in 5.25-inch dedicated subwoofer. First, it's a substantial piece of stereo equipment: It isn't overly large (43 inches high by 14 inches wide), but it seems much heavier than its 21 pounds. It will fit nicely in a corner of your living or family room, but unless your taste in interior décor runs to the bachelor-pad, black-leather, chrome-and-glass-end-tables motif, it might not exactly blend in. That said, a black iPod looks pretty sweet perched on top of the extruded aluminum and black metal Tower.

JBL Spot

Is hot pink too garish for you? JBL offers other Wrappers for their Spot, as well. You listen to music to suit your mood, so why shouldn't your speakers reflect your mood as well? JBL's Spot speakers have interchangeable plastic shells called Wrappers that you can switch out on a whim. You get two sets of Wrappers with the Spot: one black, one white. JBL says it plans to offer Wrappers in different colors and designs, but hadn't made good on the promise at press time. We hope the company doesn't wait too long - spring is here and we're already a little bored with black and white.

Fatman iTube Valve Dock

Breathe more life into your digital music.

The iPlayaz (left) has a more of an urban style, and the Beetle ZipConnect (right) is for peace-lovin' hippie types. You'll run into bumper-to-bumper traffic when you cruise through the iPod speaker market. To pull away from the rest of the pack, the Beetle ZipConnect and Chub City iPlayaz VW Beetle hope to win your business by appealing to enthusiasts who love their Volkswagen Beetles as much as they love their iPods.