Although the Bose SoundDock Portable iPod sound system is rated highly for sound quality, most reviewers point out that it is one of the most expensive systems on the market. The attractive iPod speaker unit is well built and provides great sound. Bose advertises an eight-hour playback time per battery charge, but Jeremy Horwitz at iLounge.com manages to squeeze nearly 14 hours of playback from the Bose iPod speaker at normal listening levels. A few users also reported problems using the SoundDock Portable with iPhones, and many feel that little extras such as a built-in radio should be included considering the steep price. For a less-expensive iPod speaker dock with excellent sound quality, the non-portable Creative ZiiSound D5 Wireless (*Est. $160) is a critical favorite.
We found the best expert reviews at PCMag and iLounge, but they're both from 2007. A short but more recent review on iPodRepublic.com is helpful, as are numerous user reviews from BestBuy.com, Amazon.com and the Apple Store.
1. iPod Republic
In this brief iPodRepublic review, Daniel Tangen gives the Bose SoundDock Portable Music System high ratings for style, and notes that finding this level of sound quality in a portable speaker system is very rare. He also points out that you "pay a bit extra for the brand."
Review: Bose SoundDock Portable Sound System, Daniel Tangen, Nov. 18, 2010
In this older review, Tim Gideon concludes that the Bose SoundDock Portable has very good sound, nice looks and a decent remote. However, he finds that detractions such as limited portability and high price make this Bose iPod speaker less attractive overall.
Review: Bose SoundDock Portable, Tim Gideon, Nov. 2, 2007
Jeremy Horwitz finds the Bose SoundDock Portable worthy of a recommendation, though not a wholehearted one. He says sound quality rivals that of the larger SoundDock, with the added plus of portability. This model is enhanced by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a rotating iPod docking station that swings out of the way to avoid damage during transit. However, he feels that the Bose SoundDock Portable is priced about $100 too high considering all the alternatives available.
Review: Bose SoundDock Portable, Jeremy Horwitz, Sept. 13, 2007
More than 200 Amazon.com contributors give the Bose SoundDock Portable an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Most are very pleased with the design and sound quality, but a few complain about problems with iPhone compatibility and trouble using the SoundDock Portable with older iPods. A few also had problems with cables frequently coming loose.
Review: Bose SoundDock Portable Digital Music System, Contributors to Amazon.com
More than 120 users contribute to the Bose SoundDock's 4.7-star rating, and almost everybody is very pleased with the sound quality. Price is less of an issue here, because most of these users consider the product well worth the money. Many like the fact that the docking mechanism can be hidden away inside the unit to protect it during transport, but one complains that the speakers work with iPods but not iPhones, and several aren't thrilled with the remote.
Review: Bose SoundDock Portable Digital Music System for Apple iPod, Contributors to BestBuy.com
6. Apple Store
More than 120 user reviewers give the Bose SoundDock Portable a 4.5-star rating. Most love this unit's sound quality and portability, but another felt the sound was "tinny." A few users also complain about sound distortion and problems getting the SoundDock Portable to work with the iPhone 4 or 4S.
Review: Bose SoundDock Portable Digital Music System, Contributors to the Apple Store