Here is a quick snapshot of what’s on the market in terms of portable speakers. These are all considered DOCKS by the AV, media, gadget world but I have used so many of these and at no point has anything DOCKED with them… iPod, iPhone or international space station. Don’t be confused by the label. The thing that I think is great about this new generation of docks/speakers is that they are a unitary item. A single rechargeable unit. This means, less wires, less hassle, less fuss, and for Skoog having a single point of origin for the sound has more impact on usability and sensory integration. This is ‘backline’ for Skoogs.
Here you can hear someone who knows their Marshall stack from their AMPEG head talking about what backline is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_UV899-7tY
And here is the low down:
Now these are expensive but you get what you pay for. Not as portable as its little brother the sound link, but it packs a serious punch on the quality and volume side. For my money easily the best portable speaker around. At around £329 you do need quite a lot of your own money to get one.
I have one of the first generation SOUNDDOCKs bought in 2009 and it is still going strong despite my poor gadget husbandry. Clear as a bell and still in full voice. It has traveled the world with me and the detachable battery pack makes it easy to pack away into your baggage for flying, train, taxi or simple bi-pedal navigation of the globe.
This is the SOUNDDOCK’s little brother. You are paying a premium for Bluetooth wireless connectivity which you cannot use with Skoog, or anything where you are actually playing an instrument, due to the slight latency (a little delay), but you can use the Bluetooth if you are just listening to music. That being said, this is now my go to Skoog speaker for teaching, presenting and doing demonstrations. It has the excellent sound quality you expect from BOSE and it can fill a room with a pretty glorious sound. It is really compact, sleek and just a great gadget to use. Hefty price tag again £249! But you do get what you pay for in the sound quality.
It is a bit sensitive to placement in the room for volume due to the nature of the bass port at the rear of the speaker. So if you have it in a corner or with its back against a wall you get more bang for your buck. But generally speaking this is the most portable, reliable, best audio quality speaker/dock around.
Now the best of the rest… I trialled a few of the latest offerings at the airport the other day and here are my findings:
Cost – £35 Very reasonable and as good as its competitors at over £100 plus.
Solid sound – compact speaker, rechargeable, what’s not to like.
I thought this was a really good option and my vote if you are looking to spend under £50 on a portable speaker for your Skoog activities.
(4) Clarity MICRO
This is a really great little speaker. Powerful, good quality And rechargeable. You pick these up for around £100 on amazon.co.uk and it outperformed the Jawbone, Jabbra and pretty much everything else at the £150 mark or so.
Not in the BOSE league quality wise but still pretty good. And if you have £100 to spend, I think this is a strong contender. Very portable, excellent build quality and looks sleek.
I also had a go with JAWBONE, JABBRA and a few others and was less than impressed with the overall quality, and just the presence of the sound.
So, to summarise – for under £50 – the GEAR 4 street party, Around £100 Clarity Micro, and if you have the bucks go BOSE all the way.
‘Till next week my little chickens.