Best Portable Speakers

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Best Portable Speakers for Smartphones:

While most of us listen to music on our smartphones with headphones, sometimes you want to break out your tunes for all to hear. This growing trend of using smartphones as a primary music library has resulted in the rapid expansion of the portable speaker market.There are many to choose from, but the top-rated portable speakers are lightweight, powerful, and compatible with many different types of portable devices.

We've chosen portable speakers that can be used completely free of wires, with rechargeable batteries and the ability to connect devices using Bluetooth. All of the following picks are also compact and highly portable, sometimes being small and light enough to fit into a jacket pocket. With so many good options to choose from we've left many popular models out, but each of the following speakers offers some of the best sound quality and portability currently available. As a result, most of our picks aren't focused on being especially budget-friendly, but still offer good value for money.

Soundlink Mini Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The Bose SoundLink Mini might seem too expensive to get away with its lack of speakerphone capability, but it justifies the cost with its leading sound quality and excellent design. This portable wireless speaker is the one to choose if you value sound quality over everything else, although the sleek design, solid battery life, and ease-of-use are strong draws as well. Read Full Review

Soundlink Mini Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

The UE Boom is highly portable and versatile, with its compact size and outdoor-friendly design. This wireless speaker can remember up to eight paired devices, and can also be paired with a second speaker to double up on or create stereo sound. Although somewhat pricey, sound quality overall is very good for the size. Read Full Review

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    Ultimate Ears BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

    BeatsByDre Pill 2.0 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

    The Beats by Dr Dre Pill 2.0 speaker offers plenty of sound from a compact and portable unit. This unique wireless speaker is easy to pair with devices for playing music or use as a speakerphone, and can be synced with a second speaker to create full stereo sound output. If you're willing to spend more money for one of the "premium" options available, this is one of the top choices. Read Full Review

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      BeatsByDre Pill 2.0 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

      JBL Flip Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

      JBL is known as a leader in high-end audio equipment, and their excellence has extended to the updated Flip speaker. The Flip 2 offers several improvements over the previous model, although it retains the relatively short battery life. However, at almost half the price of some of other options with comparable sound, this speaker offers good value overall.
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        JBL Flip Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

        Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker

        This popular portable wireless speaker offers good overall performance, with solid sound quality and excellent portability. The Jabra Solemate is also relatively affordable when compared to the big name leaders in the market, while having a unique and rugged design.
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          Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker

          Best iPhone Dock:

          The iPhone dock is one of the most popular accessories you can buy for the prominent Apple device. They're a sensible solution for playing music from your phone through a pair of speakers that can fill a room as well as any home stereo system. Options can get pretty expensive, but fortunately even the more affordable choices still provide good sound quality.

          These docks simply require you to plug your phone into the unit and the speakers will do the rest. Be careful when you buy though, some of these docks offer only 30-pin connections while others can accommodate the newer iPhone models with lightning connectors as well. While they offer great audio output, most docks are also portable and can be taken with you to the beach or a backyard party and most of them will even charge your iPhone while in use.

          There are other additional features available, such as 3.5mm auxiliary ports for plugging in other devices (besides just an iPhone) and some have Bluetooth for a wireless connection to your chosen music source. Check out our five Best Picks below and see if any of these are right for you, each one made the list based upon the following criteria their sound quality, ease of use, portability, added features, iPhone compatibility, multiple device compatibility, and affordability.

          Bose SoundDock XT Speaker

          Bose has always done audio right and their SoundDock XT Series speaker is a perfect example of the consistent quality they offer in all of their products The XT has all of the features you would expect every good iPhone dock to be equipped with including connection options via lightning and auxiliary hookups so that nearly every model of iPhone or iPod is compatible. Read Full Review

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            Bose SoundDock XT Speaker

            Philips Original Radio iPod Speaker Dock

            Philips has always made our list of the best docks on the market for their sound output and unique, even artistic, aesthetics. Their Original Radio dock scores points in both categories yet again. This retro-looking unit recalls the radios of yesteryear and is compatible with all 30-pin iPod and iPhone products, which in this case includes the 3G, 3GS and the 4. To complete the look of an old-time radio, Philips gave this unit an FM radio tuner. Read Full Review

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              Philips Original Radio iPod Speaker Dock

              Pure i-20 iPod & iPhone Speaker Dock

              Big sound, small package; that's the mindset behind PURE's i-20 Hi-Fi speaker dock. Designed to produce clearer, louder, more detailed and vibrant audio output, this dock will actually enhance the quality of music heard through the speakers by way of digital extraction. Compatible with iPhones and just about every other Apple product, PURE's dock also offers digital outputs for use with any high fidelity amplifier. Read Full Review

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                Pure i-20  iPod & iPhone Speaker Dock

                Sony RDP-XA900IP Premium Dock for iPad, iPod and iPhone

                Sony's wireless dock comes with a lightning connector instead of a 30-pin but if your iPhone isn't compatible don't worry, this one comes equipped with Bluetooth and Airplay capability. There’s also a 3.5mm audio-in auxiliary port, but the most important selling point of the RDP-XA900IP is the 200 watts of room-filling sound you're going to get out of it. Read Full Review

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                  Sony RDP-XA900IP Premium Dock for iPad, iPod and iPhone

                  iHome iBT44 Bluetooth Portable FM Boombox Speaker Dock

                  The '80s are back. This great looking dock from the folks at iHome brings a retro feel to our list with this boom box for the digital age. It's compatible with iPhones as well as a whole range of other mobile devices. This unit looks cool, sounds great and comes with an FM tuner and 5 channel EQ. Read Full Review

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                    iHome iBT44 Bluetooth Portable FM Boombox Speaker Dock

                    Best iPad Dock:

                    Like apps for the iPad, the demand and need for docks above and beyond the stock model offered by Apple exploded beyond anyone's imagination. No matter what your need or want is, there's probably a company making a dock to accommodate your heart's desire. (It's worth mentioning that most of these docks are not compatible with the iPad mini and iPad 4. Manufacturers are still coming on board with Apple's new connector, Lightning.) From speakers, alarm clocks, video game controllers and even health care devices, the iPad has proven that with the right accessories, it's more than just a playtoy for hipsters and geeks — it's a valuable tool for entertainment, productivity and living life to its fullest in the 21st century. The docs on this list were chosen because of their functionality, utility and overall quality.

                    Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Theater Speaker and Case for iPad

                    With models for iPads that use 30 pin (the original iPad, the iPad 2 and iPad 3) as well as iPads that use the Lightning connector (iPad 4 and iPad mini), the Belkin Thunderstorm is truly a device for all iPad users. Designed around its speakers, the Thunderstorm is a very impressive sound dock. Read Full Review

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                      Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Theater Speaker and Case for iPad

                      iHome iD37GZC Dual Alarm Stereo Clock Radio for iPad

                      iHome breathes new life into the clock/radio with this dock, which charges an iPad and allows users to play music playlists while going to sleep. It's a capable clock/radio in its own right with six station presets and two alarms. Read Full Review

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                        iHome iD37GZC Dual Alarm Stereo Clock Radio for iPad

                        Logitech Speaker Stand for iPad

                        With a solid speaker system, the Logitech Speaker Stand for iPad is a good choice for those who need to fill the room with sound. However, its flexibility also makes it a good choice for those who are looking to make the iPad their primary computer. Read Full Review

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                          Logitech Speaker Stand for iPad

                          iLuv iMM747 Audio Cube Hi-Fidelity Speaker Dock

                          iLuv adds something that most music lovers are looking for on a speaker dock for their iPads -- subwoofers. TheiLuv iMM747 also allows other audio devices to be used through its audio port and can charge and sync its attached Ipad. Read Full Review

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                            iLuv iMM747 Audio Cube Hi-Fidelity Speaker Dock

                            Apple iPad Dock

                            Apple's dock, while simple, keeps with the company's design philosophy to do one thing and do it well. For those that are just looking for a dock to sync and charge, this is your best option. Read Full Review

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                              Apple iPad Dock

                              Best iPod Dock:

                              The iPod organizes all of our music into one handy little device and revolutionizing how we listen to and store songs and albums. But we don't always want to use it with headphones because sometimes a nice evening at home with some music playing on the stereo is the way to go. For that you may want to invest in an iPod dock.

                              These handy units are often compact and offer powerful sound output that can fill any room with sound nicely. Many iPod docks are portable so you can take your music with you to the beach or a party and most have a full set of features like alarm clock capabilities, FM or internet radio, and even charge your mobile devices.

                              If you're looking to get the most performance out of your iPod, give these docks a look and see if there's one here that meets your needs. Each one has made our list based upon the following criteria including ease of use, functionality, sound quality, added features, iPod compatibility, versatility with other devices, and finally their price.

                              Bowers & Wilkins Z2 Wireless Music System

                              The Z2 is a winner all around. Compatible with the latest Apple products, providing excellent sound quality and offering streaming capability through AirPlay. Aesthetically, it's one of the best looking docks we've found as well. The dock is also small enough to fit just about anywhere you wish, delivering big sound for any size area as it plays both lossless and MP3 formats. Read Full Review

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                                Bowers & Wilkins Z2 Wireless Music System

                                Bose SoundDock Series III Digital Music System

                                If you're really serious about your music, then you want a Bose. The brand that's synonymous with exceptional quality audio has since upgraded their bestselling iPod and iPhone dock with the Series III. Once again they've manufactured an excellent product for the serious audiophile who wants unrivaled acoustic performance. Read Full Review

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                                  Bose SoundDock Series III Digital Music System

                                  Cyber Acoustics CA-461 30-Pin iPod Speaker Dock

                                  For around $40, you can get your hands on this unit from Cyber Acoustics. It'll charge your iPod while it's playing and it can also accommodate other mp3 players or non-docking iPods as well. Sound quality is excellent for such small speakers and you can even turn the volume up without having to deal with annoying distortion. Read Full Review

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                                    Cyber Acoustics CA-461 30-Pin iPod Speaker Dock

                                    Philips DC390/37 Dual-Docking Alarm Clock Speaker Dock

                                    Phillips ups the ante with multiple, convenient features on their DC390/37 speaker dock. Not only can it dock two devices at once, it has auto clock sync with whatever devices you dock, dual alarm clock capability, an integrated FM tuner and you can also plug in any non-Apple devices through an auxiliary input. It also produces great output quality that is customizable with preset EQ settings. Read Full Review

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                                      Philips DC390/37 Dual-Docking Alarm Clock Speaker Dock

                                      Aktimate Micro Black 2-way Active Speaker System with iPod Dock

                                      The biggest option on our list also offers huge sound. Consisting of one active speaker and one passive speaker connected to a dock, the Micro system is compatible with all generation Apple devices as long as you have a Lightning adapter. There's even a USB port for connecting other devices as well but what really stands out here is the units sound quality output. Read Full Review

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                                        Aktimate Micro Black 2-way Active Speaker System with iPod Dock
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