7 great iPod holiday speakers

26th Jul 2007 | 23:00

7 great iPod holiday speakers

Going away? Well don't starve yourself of sounds, take these

Passport? Yes. Suntan lotion? Yes. Tunes? Hell, yes - your entire music collection stuffed into a pocket-sized party box for easy transportation, your ever-faithful iPod . But nobody ever got a party started with headphones. So when you're off on your hols you'll need some space-efficient, preferably loud and battery-powered speakers. There are of course a squillion varieties of speakers out there designed specifically for your pocket pal, but we've pulled together some of the best for your pre-flight perusal...

Logic3 i-Station IS10 iPod clock radio (£70)

The best ideas are usually simple ones, and this alarm clock radio designed specifically for the iPod is most definitely one of them. It's a simple little box, with no extrusions that can snag and no extra plug-ins that can get lost. And it'll wake you up in time for the tour bus with whatever sounds you want.

It comes with a universal dock that will fit any size of iPod, plus there's an AM/FM radio on board. The IS10 also packs in 2.1-channel sound too, thanks to the twin stereo drivers and diminutive subwoofer pumping out 14 watts of power. The LCD's brightness can be adjusted, from snooze-enhancingly dim to retina-burning bright and it comes with its own remote control.

Available in black or white, the IS10's only problem is the chunky and ugly power supply, which won't do much for your luggage allowance, though you also get a battery.

Altec Lansing iM9 (£120)

Some iPod docks might be great for the hotel room, but they wouldn't last five minutes in rougher climes. Altec Lansing 's rugged little iM9 is different. Your iPod fits snugly into the speaker - no danger of knocking it and damaging the connector - and it will accept any iPod with the exception of the iPod shuffle.

The speakers are surrounded by a shock-resistant, rubberised coating for extra protection against bumps and splashes and it promises around 24 hours of uninterrupted sounds from four C size batteries. It's nicely compact at 280x76x198mm, weighs just 1.8kg and it even comes with its own backpack.

iStuff Companion Speakers (£10)

At the other end of the scale these dinky little speakers will just about fit in your pocket, with the added bonus that they require NO BATTERIES. They take their power directly from your iPod, which means you won't get quite as much music on a single charge, but no batteries means one less thing to carry.

The iStuff Companion Speakers connect to your iPod (or any MP3 player) via the supplied 3.5mm headphone jack. But you won't get much of a party going with them, since the sound from the flat 5cm stereo speakers isn't that loud, and there's no bass to speak of. That said, the sound is okay considering their size, and it's worth a tenner to free yourself from your headphones in your hotel room or apartment.

iRhythms A-460 (£37)

iRhythms makes all sorts of iPod docks, but this is the one you'd want to take away with you. The universal dock will take any manner of iPod (except the iPod shuffle) and the twin 5cm neodymium speakers can handle 6W of power between them. There's also a 3.5mm jack for other players.

It will go decently loud but won't take up much of your precious luggage allowance and it's available in black or white to match or contrast your iPod. It will run on four AA batteries or the mains and it will charge your iPod while you play.

Grundig PSW 5000 Wireless Speaker (£100)

A bit chunky for the suitcase perhaps at 42cm x 23cm x 21cm (about the size of a small wastebasket). But if you're heading for the festivals or fancy a picnic, Grundig's noisy style statement could be the master blaster for you.

It pumps out 20W of power at 360 degrees through its downward-firing 127mm main driver and 25mm tweeter. Plus it has the advantage of being weather-resistant, so a splash of rain needn't kill the beach party. And there's an extremely funky blue ambient light to add ambience to any night-time boogie behaviour. It runs off eight size D batteries and Grundig claims it offers good sound at up to 50m.

Travel Tripod Mini MP3 Speakers (£15)

The Travel Tripod definitely has a distinctive look, but it's practical too. The tripod flattens into a single tube measuring a compact 40 x 150mm and comes with a protective cap to defend the 3.5mm jack plug against unwelcome knocks when it's stowed in your pack.

The downside of that skyward-pointing jack is that you'll need to plug in a larger iPod upside down, although it's ideal for the nano, which has its headphone plug on the bottom. It claims ten hours playback from two AAA batteries, though it can also be powered by USB link to PC or from the mains with a USB adapter. And speaking of the nano, it's also available in shocking pink, if you're that way inclined. You can pick one up from Go Planet Go .

Ixos XMM238 iPod Speaker Cube (£18)

This dinky little cube is ideal for stashing away in the bottom of your holdall or suitcase. It measures just 7cm each way, weighs 130g and offers a respectable 2W of sound from its speaker. Don't expect much in the way of bass from a speaker this small, but the cute quotient is off the scale.

The Ixos XMM238 connects to your iPod via 3.5mm jack, claims eight hours of iPod playback from four AA batteries. And it will also play from your computer via USB connection, or the mains, though you'll need a USB adapter for this. It comes in white, or a rather tasteful pastel pink.

Dave Oliver and Rob Mead

AppleiPodPortable audioPortable videoSpeakersHi-Fi/audio
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