iPod Speakers: Ratings of Sources
Total of 30 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
The iLounge Accessories Guide
by Jeremy Horwitz
Our AssessmentILounge.com boasts excellent reviews that are detailed, balanced and illustrated with lots of photos. Editors review practically every iPod speaker on the market, but there is little variation in ratings -- nearly every speaker gets a Recommended label, along with a letter grade reminiscent of a school report card specifying how strongly it's recommended. The site's navigation has been improved, making it easier to view the most recent reviews and highest-rated speakers at a glance. Filtering the reviews by a grade of A-minus or better and reviews since 2010 yields a number of speakers that stand out with high marks, with some models earning recommendations in more than one category.
Best iPod/iPhone Speakers
by Matthew Moskovciak
Our AssessmentMatthew Moskovciak at CNET says he has reviewed "dozens upon dozens" of iPod speakers, but only some offer "superior design, performance, and value." Just five of the iPod speakers received an "excellent" rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars, and one scores an Editor's Choice award, dating back to August 2010; there don't seem to be any new Editor's Choice awards for 2011. Each speaker gets a lengthy full review based on hands-on testing, which includes individual ratings for design, features and performance, a clear listing of pros and cons for each speaker, and an overall star rating.
by Editors of PCMag.com
Our AssessmentPCMag.com tests and rates iPod speakers, and the best models receive an Editors' Choice award. Reviews are detailed, and some include comparisons with other top iPod speakers, although you'll have to sort through PC speaker reviews to get to them. Editors at PCMag also have some of the most critical reviews, and there is enough variation in ratings to identify those speakers that really stand out. Of the highly rated speakers, only a few score Editor's Choice awards.
The Best iPhone 4 Speakers
by Tim Gideon
Our AssessmentPCMag.com recommends five iPod speakers, all of which have been tested with the iPhone 4. Speakers are recommended for different audiences, including frequent travelers and "discerning audiophiles." Among the five speakers, one scores an Editors' Choice award, but has since been discontinued.
Browse Speakers Reviews
by Editors of Macworld
Our AssessmentMacworld has a decent number of recent iPod speaker reviews, with enough diversity in the ratings to pick several clear favorites. Six models were rated with 4.5 or 5 mice out of a possible 5, and one ultra-portable model stood out from similar speaker systems with a 4-mouse rating. The reviews themselves are very detailed and based on hands-on testing, although the site's navigation doesn't make it easy to see which speakers receive the highest ratings at a glance.
MP3 Speaker Dock Reviews
by Editors of Which?
Our AssessmentWhich? magazine conducts one of the few true comparison tests of iPod speakers that we found, evaluating 18 speakers and assigning each a percentage score out of 100. Only one system is selected as a best buy, but it's discontinued. The full report includes an explanation of features on the systems tested, along with full disclosure of the testing criteria and processes. Individual results are also available for each speaker tested. It's unclear exactly when testing was conducted, but because at least one of the models tested was introduced in 2010, it's fairly recent.
by Editors of TrustedReviews.com
Our AssessmentTrustedReviews.com has some of the most detailed speaker tests we've seen, on par with those at iLounge.com. Each speaker dock is rated on a 10-point scale, and the best models earn a Recommended label. Although many models ranked well, only one receives a perfect 10 rating – the Arcam rCube.
IPod Dock Reviews
by Editors of DigitalTrends.com
Our AssessmentDigitalTrends.com publishes excellent technology reviews. Their editors' analysis of iPod speakers is based on thorough hands-on testing, and each speaker dock is scored on DigitalTrend's 10-point rating scale. Each review also has a summary of high and low points for each speaker, and some reviews also include a user rating, using the same 10-point scale. Although many speaker systems receive a "Recommended" ranking, only four earn Editors' Choice awards -- and some are discontinued.
by Editors of AppleTell.com
Our AssessmentAppleTell.com, an Apple enthusiast site, reviews iPod speakers on occasion. The reviews are relatively lengthy, and each speaker is rated on a 5-point scale. The biggest downside is that you'll have to sort through pages of accessory reviews to find individual speaker reviews. Interestingly, the Julius Dance Machine docking station, a monkey-shaped dock and speaker set, gets the highest rating among recently reviewed iPod speakers.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com is the best source for user reviews of iPod speakers. Most speakers on the market are available at Amazon.com, and while a majority get at least a dozen reviews, some speakers stand out with hundreds of user reviews and at least a 4.5-star rating out of 5. As one might expect, many of the top-rated speakers are older models, because it takes time for products to accumulate owner-written reviews. Some of the top-rated speakers are also multi-purpose models that you can use as speakers for any MP3 player -- not just iPods -- or even your computer.
iPod Accessories – Speakers
by Contributors to the Apple Store
Our AssessmentIt's no surprise that Apple, the company that produces iPods and iPhones, also sells a number of iPod speaker docks through its online Apple Store. The Apple Store allows users to write a review -- most are very brief -- and assign each item a star rating. The site also stores questions and answers about each speaker dock; you can browse through previous questions and answers, which often involve speaker comparisons, iPod compatibility or how well certain features work, or make your own query.
Best iPod Speakers & Speaker Docks
by Editors of iPodRepublic.com
Our AssessmentThe editors of iPodRepublic.com review dozens of iPod speakers available on the UK market, assigning each a rating on a 5-star scale. Links in the roundup article take you to a longer review for each speaker/dock system, detailing the author's personal impressions of the features, appearance, sound quality and price. Although there are no direct comparisons between speaker models, the star ratings make it relatively easy to qualify, with only a few models receiving a 4.5-star or better ranking.
by Editors of What Hi-Fi?
Our AssessmentWhat Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision has pretty brief reviews, although each iPod speaker receives a rating on a 5-point scale, and a short list of "for" and "against" characteristics. With more than 35 dock-and-speaker combos receiving a 5-star rating, even though some received complaints that the interface was difficult to use and that the remote was worthless, it was difficult to distinguish between the best models. However, this source is still useful for a quick look at star ratings and its for/against list, and the What Hi-Fi? yearly awards give us a better idea of which iPod speakers really stand out. Some of the speakers reviewed are not available in the U.S., but editors review several popular speakers available here.
Awards 2011: 2011 Winners, iPod Docks
by Editors of What Hi-Fi?
Our AssessmentThe 2011 award winners publication from this UK magazine What Hi-Fi? highlights only the best buys in a number of categories, from full-size speakers to televisions, headphones and iPod docks with built-in speakers. They select one high-end iPod speaker set for product of the year, calling it "Sonically peerless and the purist's choice," along with two "Best Buy" recommendations that are somewhat more reasonably priced. There's no mention of comparative testing, but each review offers a star rating, a short list of pros and cons, and a brief discussion of the speakers' features and how they performed.
Awards 2010: 2010 Winners, iPod Docks
by Editors of What Hi-Fi?
Our AssessmentThis short review lists one "Product of the Year" and two Best Buys. Each review contains a short list of "For" and "Against" characteristics, and a fairly detailed analysis of each speaker system's features and how they performed. There's no mention of comparative testing, but the reviewers do discuss if or when each speaker system might fall a little short of the competition. Two of the speakers listed here are also current favorites in the What Hi-Fi? 2011 awards.
by Editors of MacLife
Our AssessmentMacLife magazine has only a few recent reviews of iPod speakers, but they're fairly thorough. Although there's no mention of comparative testing, each speaker set is rated on a 5-point scale, and the various authors offer an in-depth analysis of how well each speaker's features actually perform. (Surprisingly, features are sometimes promised in the manual or advertising material, but completely absent on the actual device tested.) The reviews also list a clear set of pros and cons for each device.
Top Rated Home Entertainment
by Editors of PC World (Australia)
Our AssessmentThe Australian edition of PC World doesn't review many iPod speakers, but the reviews it does post give a detailed discussion of each product's features and performance. Each review also comes with a short "Bottom Line" sidebar that sums up the review's most salient points, and lets users vote on whether or not they'd buy the product in question. Two of the three speaker systems listed in this roundup of top-rated equipment also earn an Editor's Choice award.
iPod & MP3 Speakers & Clock Radios
by Contributors to BestBuy.com
Our AssessmentBestBuy.com doesn't sell as many types of iPod speakers as Amazon.com, and most have only a handful of reviews. A few iPod speakers, however, attract a significant amount of feedback, including the Bose SoundDock II. Some reviews are quite lengthy, and the site lists how many reviewers would recommend the speakers to a friend. One speaker system -- another Bose mode, the SoundDock 10 -- receives a near-perfect 4.9-star rating, and every one of the nearly 30 buyers would recommend it to a friend.
Electronics -- Docking Stations
Our AssessmentWalmart.com is hit or miss for user reviews of iPod docks. Only two music docks and two combination speaker/alarm docks stand out, each with well over 30 reviews. The music docks both receive a near-perfect rating, while the alarm docks, although better rated than the others of their kind, receive only 4 stars out of 5. Reviews are usually quite brief, with a sentence or two of comments, separate ratings for value and whether the product meets expectations, and a percentage of how many buyers would recommend the item in question to a friend.
IPod Alarm Clock Reviews
by Editors of Good Housekeeping
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping tests 33 iPod clock radios in this undated review. While each speaker is tested and evaluated, only two receive the highest "A" ranking. Unfortunately, we don't see which speakers didn't make the cut, and both of the best picks have been discontinued.
Best iPod Docking Stations
by Editors of Good Housekeeping
Our AssessmentA group of Good Housekeeping testers evaluate several iPod speakers in various price ranges, but each speaker receives only a brief overview. We also aren't privy to any testing details, so even though the first speaker listed is the test winner, we don't know how it compares with the other speakers.
Speaker Dock Reviews
by Editors of Laptop Magazine
Our AssessmentLaptop Magazine reviews offer good, detailed analysis, and each iPod speaker is rated using a 5-star system. However, Laptop Magazine reviews far fewer iPod speakers than sources we rate higher, and most of the reviews date from 2008 or 2009. Their most recent picks are discontinued.
by Editors of Beatweek Magazine
Our AssessmentBeatweek Magazine, formerly iProng, has solid reviews of iPod/iPhone products and accessories, based on relevant testing and complete with a 5-point rating system. A number of iPod speakers are reviewed, but the reviews themselves are shorter than those sources we rate higher. Another downside: You'll have to scroll through multiple pages to find the most recent speaker reviews and the site is frequently unresponsive.
by Editors of Pocket-Lint.com
Our AssessmentBritish technology site Pocket-Lint.com has a good selection of speaker reviews. Although some of the iPod speakers are not widely available in the U.S., editors do cover several models that you can easily find in the States. Each speaker dock is rated on a 5-point scale. Some of the highest-rated iPod speakers include the Creative ZiiSound D5 and the Harman Kardon Go + Play Micro.
by Editors of I4U.com
Our AssessmentI4U.com focuses more on computers and accessories than on iPod speakers, but you can find a speaker review here and there. Review quality is hit or miss; sometimes you get a well-written, lengthy review that documents the tester's hands-on experience and impressions. Sometimes you get a short, mystifying paragraph that doesn't tell you anything you wouldn't find on the product's spec sheet. A few models receive 8.5 or more points on the 10-point rating scale.
Holiday Gift Guide 2011
by Editors of SlashGear.com
Our AssessmentSlashGear.com offers a round-up of electronics holiday gifts for 2011. Just one speaker dock -- the Orbitsound T12v3 -- makes the cut, and it receives an extensive, hands-on review. SlashGear.com also offers a variety of reviews for iPod speakers, but most of them date from 2008 and 2009 -- with a few from 2010 -- and the reviews are usually little more than a rundown of the features with little, if any, indication of hands-on testing.
Pro Reviews – Featured Portables
by Editors of Audioholics
Our AssessmentThis audio-video website offers hands-on testing for a small selection of iPod speaker systems, but doesn't directly compare the sound docks to each another. The individual reviews are generally detailed, with clear disclosure of subjective impressions, how testing was conducted, and commentary on what purpose each speaker system is best suited to. However, only some models received performance and value ratings. Of these, just one recent review stood out with a 4 out of 5, or better, rating in both categories: the Microlab MD332.
IPod Speaker Docks
by Editors of Choice
Our AssessmentChoice magazine, the Australian equivalent of ConsumerReports.org, tests 15 iPod docking stations in its latest, but mostly outdated, review. Speakers are tested for sound quality, ease of use and standby power. Of the 15 iPod speakers reviewed, two are recommended, but both have been discontinued.
The Best Places to Dock Your iPod
by Barry Sonnenfeld
Our AssessmentBarry Sonnenfeld tests an unspecified number of iPod speakers and names four of his favorites. The iPod speakers aren't rated, but each one is recommended for a specific reason: great sound quality, a sleek design, portability or a budget-friendly price. Analysis is brief, and few downsides are noted.
5 of Our Favorite Gadgets So Far This Year
by Charlie White
Our AssessmentThis roundup of tech gadgets features just one iPod speaker system, with wireless Bluetooth streaming that lets you use it for music from your iPad and almost any mobile device, including iPods and iPhones. The author tested the Altec Lansing inMotion Air Wireless Audio System himself and likes its small size, wireless play, "modern asymmetrical design" and great sound, but doesn't provide any testing details or compare it to other speaker systems.