Portable speakers are designed for the traveling iPod user. Some are small enough to fit in a briefcase or large pocketbook. Others fit better in a suitcase or backpack. Higher-end portable speakers usually have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery so you can listen to music anywhere, but you may need to provide batteries -- ranging from AA to D cells, depending on the speakers -- for lower-end models. The three iPod speakers discussed here all use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox (Est. $100) garners high ratings for a couple key points: long Bluetooth range, battery life that lasts up to 10 hours, and durability. It's our Best Reviewed portable iPod speaker. CNET's David Carnoy says the Bluetooth connectivity on this travel-friendly model is seamless, and user reviews on the Apple Store website echo this sentiment. Also impressive is its ability to pair with up to eight devices, a feature that some of its larger, more expensive rivals doesn't offer. And the UE Mobile Boombox comes in an array of colors, making it the most customizable of the bunch.
The Braven 600 (Est. $150 ) is also highly rated, though less so than the Logitech. Nick Guy from ILounge.com says that while the 600 offers 12 hours of play time, battery life could be better. The majority of experts rate the Braven 600 highly though, including Caleb Denison at DigitalTrends.com, who commends the slim, portable design matched with exceptional sound quality. That said, a handful of consumers writing at Amazon.com complain that the power button came loose or broke off after a short period of time.
In contrast, the G-Project G-Boom Wireless Bluetooth Boombox (Est. $100) , our pick for Best Reviewed outdoor/travel speaker, offers more in the realm of durability and battery life than exceptional sound quality. There is no equalizer on this speaker system, yet it still rates fairly high considering, earning a grade of A from iLounge.com's editor Jeremy Horwitz. The standout qualities of this model feature six hours of battery life, extensive playback controls and a handy design that features rubber coating over the USB port and other inputs to protect it from condensation or other liquids, making it ideal for outdoor use.