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Don’t be stingy on the accessories: performance is only as good as you pay for

If you are among the hundred of millions out there that own an iPod, iPhone or iPad and have spent good money to get one, isn’t pairing it with an inferior accessory the last thing you want to do? I know it is for me.

The accessory market for gadgets like the iPod and iPhone is massive on a global scale, and there is always a lot to choose from, making it more difficult for us as consumers to pick the right ones, the right speakers, the right headphones, or protective cases for that matter. But there is one thing that usually holds true in all markets; you get what you pay for.

Imagine having spent hundreds of £/$’s to get that iPod/iPhone/iPad, and then more money on loading it up with music, videos, and apps, only to have an inferior set of headphones or speakers that does not give the sound experience justice. You might as well have bought an mp3 player from a pound shop.

Of course you don’t always get high quality just because the price is higher, and sound quality is always relative to the listener, but i have never come across a really good sound experience from a set of low budget speakers or headphones, or good protection from a protective case at give away prices. If you have feel free to leave a comment below arguing your case and i will listen.

Having spent good money to ensure that your digital music is handled as well as possible you want to ensure that it is not all to vain at the final stop before it reaches your ears. When choosing headphones or iPhone speaker docks my recommendation is to:

  1. Do your research – make sure that you check relevant websites, talk to friends, or experts if you know anyone.
  2. Create a shortlist
  3. If possible, test them personally – this can often be tricky as in-store models and headphones can often be well-worn, damaged, or not even possible to test
  4. Read reviews by experts as well as consumers
  5. Compare prices on the accessory of your choice before you buy as prices can often vary a lot

I personally spent too long with below average sounding headphones, but once i spent some decent money on a pair of Beats by Dr.Dre headphones i have never looked back, and know that i will likely have to spend a similar amount of money on my future headphones as for getting the iPod itself, but both my music and my own listening experience will thank me for it later.

Same goes for speaker and sound systems, where we now also have to consider wireless streaming through eithter Apple AirPlay or bluetooth to take advantage of new functionality in iOS devices as well as many other portable media players. In a way it is a good thing that wireless solutions are becoming more popular, as the systems that integrate them tend to be at the higher end of the market, so you will often be ugprading your audio experience at the same time.

You can check out our accessories guides, including some of our favourite iPod speaker docks and headphones right here.

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Filed in: Accessories, iPod Headphones, iPod Speaker Docks, Lead Story

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