Test results for 10 speaker docks from $150 to $450
Take a bus ride these days or walk down the street and nearly everyone you pass is tuned in to a portable music player.
The wires can be a hassle when you're out and about, but at home they can come off. A speaker dock lets you listen to your digital music aloud without encumbrance. You simply dump the iPod in the dock for easy listening and it gets recharged automatically.
For this test we bought 10 medium- to higher-priced speaker docks. They’re all one-piece, 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 80GB video iPod. 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.
We didn't conduct separate technical tests as they’re more suitable for testing the audio source, which was the same iPod in each case.
Please note: this information was current as of April 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. For more recent information, see our iPod speaker docks review 2012.
- Altec Lansing inMotion iM600 #
- Bose SoundDock #
- Cyruslink Link Dock
- EDS SP250 #
- JBL on stage III #
- Logic3 JiveBox MIP100K #
- Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere #
- Philips Docking Entertainment System AZ1330D #
- Teac SR-Lxi #
- XtremeMac Tango #
# Discontinued, but may still be available in some stores.