Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Compact Speakers That Pack a Punch.

I love a compact speaker that can pack a punch.

Here are a few faves that I recommend in a quick and dirty review.  All are super easy to use and all have surprisingly amazing sound. Perfect for gifting ideas.

Sonos S5 and Play3, $300 - $400
Best For: Filling up an entire room with sound, multi-room play
The S5 (Now renamed the Play5) is my personal go to for really jamming and filling the sound in my NYC apartment.  I can control it wirelessly from my iPad, iPhone or laptop. I take advantage of streaming my entire music library but also accessing one of the many online music services like iheartradio, Pandora and now Spotify.

Today, Sonos announced a new compact model dubbed the Play3.  I had an early sneak peak and if you’re looking for quality on a budget this is the way to go.   The Play3 also was created to work both horizontal and vertically which is a nice new touch. 

Worth spending the extra money on for a full room experience plus you can always expand the system wirelessly throughout your home .  

Jawbone, Jambox, $200
Best For: Travel and all around portability
I have been diggin’ the Jambox lately.  With its small and sleek form factor I bring it on travel trips (comes with included carry case) to listen to tunes in my hotel room.  While you can opt for the wired route it is ideal pairing to Bluetooth with your laptop, tablet, etc.

Also take advantage of the built-in mic and use as a speakerphone.  It's great for multi-tasking while on a business call.  Built-in lithium-ion battery -- simply plug in for a 9 hour lasting charge.

Speakal, iBoo, $70
Best For: Novelty, decent sound in a small room
I gave one of these speakers to a friend and he said “it changed his life”. I'd call that a funny stretch but for NYC living it’s a practical novelty for any small room and ideal for docking any iPod.  It also comes with a remote and a 3.5mm jack input.  Other styles available including iPig, iPom and iCrystal but the iBoo is def the most fun and least expensive. 

iHome. iHM63 Mini Speaker, $20.99
Best For: The $20 small solution
There are lots of mini speakers on the market – this is my fave and it appears to have recently gone through a redesign.  Great for hooking up to an iPad, laptop or any smartphone.  Decent sound quality for one little speaker. Internal lithium battery charges via USB. 

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