We’ve looked at plenty of speakers for portable devices through the years from iPhone/iPad docks to Bluetooth-capable audio offerings. Here’s a list of speakers of note for every portable device — including MP3 players and even portable gaming devices — that we’ve recently reviewed on the site. This is what's called the shotgun approach, baby.
For a more comprehensive list of every speaker and headphone we’ve ever reviewed, make sure to check out our Headphones & Speakers hub.
Dock-style speakers for the iPod, iPhone or iPad usually involve a compromise between power and size. Then you've got Behringer's iNuke Boom Junior, which pretty much screams "Compromise? What compromise?" Like an American muscle car, this speaker for portable devices is all about packing in lots of power. It weighs in at 10.6 pounds and measures 8.7 inches tall, 16.5 inches wide and 9.8 inches deep. It also provides plenty of chest-thumping bass and its volume level can be pushed pretty high without any noticeable distortion. On the downside, the Boom Junior has been discontinued so it might be tough to find.
Looking for a more portable speaker along the lines of Jawbone’s popular JAMBOX? Then the CUBEDGE EDGE.sound just might be right up your alley. This incredibly portable speaker features a compact size as well as zippy Bluetooth 3.0 capability for wirelessly connecting with compatible devices such as the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S3. Another positive is its built-in rechargeable battery with 10 hours of operating time, which lets users easily move it around the house or even take it with them on the go. It’s a bit pricey, though, so this one’s for folks who really put a premium on portability.
Imhotep! Imhotep! Imhotep! If the mummified high priest ever wanted to hear his name chanted via speaker, this likely would be his device of choice. The pyramid-like shape of its main unit makes the Prisma a definite looker that you wouldn’t mind displaying in the open. The Prisma comes with two 9-watt satellite speakers and a 30-watt subwoofer and it also has a dial for adjusting bass levels, as well as sockets for the power adapter, the satellite speakers and headphone jack cable. Rounding out its list of features is the Prisma’s Bluetooth capability, which allows folks with compatible devices to transmit music to the speaker wirelessly. Volume levels could use a bit more punch, though, and the speaker also comes with a lot of wires.
The rise of “i” devices gave birth to an entire industry dedicated to churning out speaker docks for Apple’s portable gadgets. One such company is iHome, which has launched more than its fair share of docking products through the years. Besides coming with the requisite speakers, iHome’s iD50 also comes with an alarm clock function to provide users with extra utility. It also has a pretty speedy charger that can handle even Apple’s Retina display iPads. Sound isn’t quite as good as dedicated speakers like the Prisma and the muscular Boom Junior, though. It still uses the classic iPad port, as well, so you’ll need a Lightning adapter for newer Apple products.
Back when my uncle rocked a cheesy afro and an even cheesier mustache, radio options were as limited as his theoretical dating options. Now you’ve got stuff like Sonos’ ZonePlayer S5, which lets you stream music from various sources such as Pandora, Last.fm and Internet radio. You can also link it with other S5’s within your home, provided you’re rolling in the dough. At $399 a pop, this stuff doesn’t come cheap.
In addition to portable gaming, the PlayStation Vita also doubles as a device for consuming all sorts of other media. That includes watching the extended cut of the Nyan Cat video or listening to that Loverboy tune you secretly adore. Designed for folks who plan on heavily using their Vita’s non-gaming capabilities, the Nyko Speaker Stand is a mini dock that comes with two speakers as well as several connectors and ports for connecting the Vita or another MP3 player.