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iPod speaker dock reviews

Some can be used as a sound system for a flat, but most will struggle if you turn them up.
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We review 19 speaker docks, priced from $280 to $600.

Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which speaker docks:

  • Have the best sound quality
  • Are the easiest to use

As the name suggests, personal music players are not designed for more than one person. However, since music is something we like to share occasionally, a relatively low-cost speaker dock may come in handy. 

Most are quite simple devices made up of a couple of speakers, an iPod/iPhone dock, some simple controls and a display.

On this page:

For more information about Sound, see Home entertainment.

Brands tested

  • Aktimate Micro
  • Bose SoundDock Portable 
  • Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Mini
  • Conran Audio Speaker Dock for iPod and iPhone CA 0076
  • Creative ZiiSOUND D5x
  • Geneva Sound System Model S
  • Grundig Trio Touch GMSX1000DABIP
  • Harman Kardon Go + Play II
  • IHOME iW1with AirPlay
  • JBL OnAirWireless
  • Kicker iK501
  • Monster beats by dr dre beatbox
  • Philips Fidelio docking speaker DS9/10
  • Philips Fidelio docking speaker DS8550
  • Pioneer Slim AV Micro System X-SMC1-K
  • PURE Contour
  • Sony Premium Speaker Dock RDP-X500iP 
  • TEAC Stereo Compact Radio SR80iDAB
  • Yamaha TSX-120 Desktop Audio System

How we test

For this test we bought 19 speaker docks. They’re all portable docks, though they differ greatly in shape and size. We tested them for:

  • Sound quality: A panel of three listeners with experience in the recording and sound engineering field awarded scores for each speaker dock after listening to six music tracks using an iPod Touch. The music files were in the *.wav format (lossless) and ranged from choir to rock. We averaged their scores to get a sound quality score.
  • Ease of use: Our tester assessed how easy it is to set up the dock and follow the instructions.
Standby power: We measured the docks' energy use on standby – the higher the score, the lower the power consumption.

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