ALTEC LANSING IMT320 INMOTION SPEAKER SYSTEM
Among other virtues, Altec Lansing’s super-reliable, universally compatible addition to the inMotion range comes with a cover that doubles as a stand. Two full-range neodymium drivers give pure, distinct full-spectrum sound and good bass, and the trademarked Audio Alignment system offers good balance. Lasts up to 24 hours with four AA batteries; comes with an AC adaptor.
BOSE SOUNDDOCK PORTABLE DIGITAL MUSIC SYSTEM
One of the top dogs of portable speakers, this beauty from Bose offers the usual eight-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery. What’s less usual is the spacious sound and trademark slim design, which makes for an easy portability – the docking station even rotates out of sight for easy transit. Compatible with iPod and iPhone.
JAMBOX WIRELESS SPEAKER
This is truly the hipster of portable speakers, resembling the season’s latest must-have clutch bag. For something so compact, the sound it makes is impressive: with output capacity of 85 decibels, you can crank this baby right up. Jambox is powered by a pair of proprietary, highly sophisticated acoustic drivers, unmatched in their ability to produce extreme high and low frequencies from a single, ultra-small dome speaker. You can use your phone while it streams music, podcasts and sporting events.
X-MINI MAX V1.1 CAPSULE SPEAKER
A portable speaker for people in the know, this X very successfully bridges the gap between “ultra-portables” and boombox. Using the same 36mm drivers as the popular Mini 1.1, it delivers rich loud sound in a smaller package than the Max II capsule. Open and angled drivers enhance sound and give a richer bass output. The “Buddy-Jack” function means you can connect one mini capsule to another.
PHILIPPE STARCK PARROT ZIKMU
Another statement speaker (not portable at 3.5kg), this beauty has analogue hi-fi input so you to connect your CD players or TV set. A floor-level sub-woofer transmits a rich sound that’s intense but not overpowering. The iPod/iPhone dock uses Apple’s digital encryption chipset. Transfer is entirely digital and supports all digital formats, including Apple Lossless. Works with Bluetooth and older equipment, too.
LIBRATONE LOUNGE AIRPLAY SPEAKER
A gorgeous specimen from the Scandinavian sound-masters, we’ve included this one not because it’s portable (it isn’t), but because it’s really rather fabulous. In conjunction with a wireless connection near the speaker, AirPlay lets you control your entire library from your iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC. Fix the speaker 20cm from a flat wall: the sound waves then reflect off the wall to give you a 360° sound experience.
VEHO 360 PORTABLE CAPSULE SPEAKER
A very cute machine, this super-small but powerful speaker works with any iPhone or MP3 player and most mobile phones as well (anything else with a 3.5mm headphone socket). Comes with a built-in USB cable and a built-in 3.5mm jack with dual-volume control. No unseemly wires either: for an inexpensive speaker, the Veho Capsule is very good looking and the sound isn’t half bad.