The iPod Speaker market has changed quite a bit over the years as number of brands and options have grown in line with the popularity of the iPod, iPhone and other Apple gadgets. In the beginning functionality was mostly the same on all of them, with the ability to dock, charge, and play music from your iPod through the speakers. These days there are a lot more options, both in terms of functionality as well as design.
Some of the key questions to ask yourself before buying an iPod speaker or sound system are:
- What type of iPod speaker should i be getting? What are you looking to use it for?
- Am i looking for high-end sound or low cost?
- What is my budget?
- Is brand important to me?
What type of iPod Speaker are you after?
These days there are several categories of iPod speakers depending on what you are looking to use it for. Are you looking for a main home sound system, or perhaps an iPod speaker for the office? Do you need to be able to dock your iPhone or perhaps iPad with it as well, or perhaps you need to use it as a bedside alarm clock to wake you up in the morning? It is important to have an idea of what type of solution you are looking for so that you can start narrowing down your search.
Here is an overview of some of the main categories of iPod speakers.
|Best iPod speaker docks||Best iPhone speakers||Best iPad speaker docks||Apple AirPlay speakers||Bluetooth wireless speakers|
|Best DAB speaker dock||Best iPod alarm clocks||Best portable speaker dock||Budget iPod speaker dock||High-end iPod speakers|
Home iPod speaker
A quite broad category that generally covers iPod speakers that are stationary for use at home, and often in the living room or other rooms where you tend to listen to music and want to have a better sound quality. The price range can vary a lot depending on how much power you want and brand.
See home iPod speakers >>
Portable iPod speaker
A portable iPod speaker is one that supports running on battery or even to be powered by the iPod/iPhone itself. They will range from tiny systems that plug in using the 3.5mm audio jack to more advanced system with a docking station and rechargeable batteries. The most popular ones tend to be rechargeable and small enough to easily transport.
See portable iPod speakers >>
Wireless iPod speaker
These have become more popular and of improved quality over the years, both in terms of bluetooth based ones as well as the new category of Apple AirPlay speakers now in the market that is built to specifically work well with the Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad. You can find these systems both in the home and portable iPod speaker category.
See Apple AirPlay speakers >>
Although most iPod speaker docks can accommodate the iPhone, not all of them support the iPhone fully, which means that you have to put your iPhone in flight mode to avoid disturbance. So if the iPhone is your primary source of music then you want to make sure that your speakers have the necessary network shielding.
See iPhone speakers >>
With the size of the Apple iPad it means that a lot of older iPod speakers and docking stations can not support the iPad, either because of lack of stability support or because the docking station itself is crated (usually with adaptors for different iPod/iPhone models). There are however more and more options in the market for iPad speakers these days.
See iPad speakers >>
DAB iPod speakers
Digital radio DAB & DAB+ has become a popular feature to integrate with iPod speakers these days, so if you want the option to add radio as well as the music from your iPod/iPhone then DAB speaker docks might be for you.
See DAB iPod speakers >>
iPod alarm clocks
Bedside iPod alarm clocks serve many purposes other than just providing you with your music in the bedroom/kitchen. Most of them will allow you to retire your old school alarm clock, and of course they ensure that your iPod/iPhone is fully charged for the day ahead when you wake up in the morning.
See iPod alarm clocks >>
iPod speaker brands & manufacturers
If you already have an idea about what brand of iPod speakers you are going for, but want to see what options the different brands have, then find your brand here to see what iPod speakers we have listed for each brand.
How much to spend on iPod speakers – price ranges
iPod Speakers come in pretty much all price ranges these days, from around £10 to £1000+ depending on design, brand, style, and how much oomph you want them to have. You are likely to find that most systems sits around the £100 mark, but as more functionality is added the prices are coming up as well.
As with most products, price also often reflect quality (although not always), so if you have a high quality music collection that you enjoy to listen to you might want to look at the high-end iPod speakers instead of the more budget friendly solutions out there.
Select your price bracket below to find some of our favourite iPod speakers at different price ranges.
- iPod speakers under £50
- iPod speakers between £50 – £100
- iPod speakers between £100 – £300
- iPod speakers over £300
We hope this guide and the links within it has helped you find the right iPod speakers for you and always we appreciate both positive and negative feedback, so feel free to get in touch on Twitter.
Latest iPod speakers news
We have been fans of the rather unknown british audio brand Azatom for a while, and have had the pleasure to test out a wide range of their speakers, including the original Azatom iPunch. With the new iPunch 2 they have given the customer favourite an upgrade, as it now supports both Lightning and 30-pin docking as well as Bluetooth streaming.
The Philips Fidelio P9 is still amongst the best portable wireless speakers in its category, delivering a warm and well balanced sound experience. With the deals available recently on the Fidelio P9, this is an absolute steal of a wireless speaker.
It has been on the cards since AirPlay and the new Lightning connector, but I predict that 2014 will be the year that marks the end of the speaker dock as we have come to know it, and there are several facts that backs it up.
The Lightning dock has been around for a good year or so now, and finally we are starting to see a better selection of lightning enabled speaker docks in the UK market. The new additions from Pioneer set for sale in December will make the selection even better, and just in time for those Christmas wishlists.