7 Terrific Portable Speakers for iPhone & iPod

Originally published: Oct. 2008

Anyone who listens to their iPhone or iPod at home needs some kind of speaker system. After all, the speakers built into the iPhone are OK in a pinch, but they don't offer the performance and clarity to really enjoy music.

Most people haven't invested in big stereo systems—and that's OK. The portable iPhone and iPod speakers listed below fit the bill perfectly. These speakers are mostly portable around the house, though a few can run on batteries and go with you practically anywhere. Whichever you choose, they sound great and almost all cost under $200.

(NOTE: This list covers only products I've reviewed, not all speakers that are available.)

Courtesy Boston Acoustics

Rating: 4.5 stars
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When it comes to judging iPod speaker docks for the home, there are two major points to consider: sound quality and price. Secondary factors, such as style and extras, also factor into the equation. When judged on all these criteria, the Boston Acoustics i-DS2 iPod speaker dock is a terrific success. More »

Harman Kardon Go + Play iPod Speakers
the Harman Kardon Go + Play iPod Speakers. image copyright Harman Kardon

Rating: 4.5 stars
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The Harmon Kardon Go + Play portable speaker system blends a lot of great features — high-quality speakers, an iPod charger. and dock, a terrific remote, simultaneously retro and futuristic styling — into a compelling package. Though the price tag for that package may strike some as a little high, the Go + Play is another great product from Harman Kardon. More »

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JBL On Stage 200iD

the JBL On Stage 200iD
the JBL On Stage 200iD. image copyright JBL

Rating: 4.5 stars
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If you're looking for a small, high-quality iPod speaker dock that can you serve you well throughout the house, JBL may have just the thing for you in its On Stage 200iD speakers.

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JBL On Stage IIIp

the JBL On Stage IIIp
the JBL On Stage IIIp. image copyright JBL

Rating: 4 stars
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JBL’s On Stage IIIp iPod speaker dock packs a lot into its small shape. But, due to unexceptional sound and a slightly high price, it’s not quite as distinguished as some of its features might lead one to expect.

the Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere
the Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere. image copyright Logitech

Rating: 4 stars
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The Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere portable iPod speaker system is a very good entry into the portable iPod speaker market. While it won’t have you considering dumping your home stereo system if you need music on the road or in rooms where your stereo isn’t, consider it. More »

Rating: 3.5 stars
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If you want more than just a speaker, JBL's On Time Micro doubles as an ​alarm clock. The speaker itself sounds great, so you'll wake up to clear sound and will be able to enjoy music in the bedroom, but it has some drawbacks, too. Among them is an overly complex remote and a high initial price tag.  More »

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Tannoy i30

the Tannoy i30
the Tannoy i30. image copyright Tannoy

Rating: 3.5 stars
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If you like design, you’re going to like Tannoy’s i30 iPod speaker system. And rightly so: it’s sleek, small, black, and shiny. It’s the kind of product that inspires gadget lust in those prone to it. But that lust may be diminished a bit by a few shortcomings and a high price.

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XtremeMac Tango Studio

the XtremeMac Tango Studio
the XtremeMac Tango Studio. image copyright XtremeMac

Rating: 3.5 stars
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The first thing that catches your eye about XtremeMac’s Tango Studio iPod speakers is its looks. A small black rectangle with a blue digital readout seemingly hidden inside the speakers, the Tango Studio is an appealing package, especially when the display lights up. It’s not a perfect speaker system, but for its price, it offers solid quality.