looking for the smalles portable speakers with the biggest sound!
May 10, 2007 at 10:13 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

oluv

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well, i am looking for some speakers for the garden, for the beach etc. that are small but with big sound. i know the high rated jbl on tour and this is not what i am after. they should produce a bit of bass too.

i have already lots of portable speakers at home. tivoli ipal, logitech mm50, saitek a-250 and thinkoutside boomtube. and soundwise boomtube kills them all. although not that small anymore, it is still nicely portable and can be put into a rucksack easily. the only drawback is the battery-life, i can only get 4-5 hours out of one charge. so i am still looking for something comparable, maybe a bit smaller with decent battery-life.

i am open for any suggestions!

thanks!
 
May 10, 2007 at 12:00 PM Post #2 of 17

Lord Chaos

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Polk Idock. It's small, has handles, and sounds very good. A co-worker was playing his one day and I was impressed. This is hard to do. I've heard a lot of small systems and they mostly sound bad. Phony bass. The Polk is good. I have no idea how long the batteries last.
 
May 11, 2007 at 3:37 PM Post #4 of 17

OakIris

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I, too, am in the market for a small set of speakers to use with my iPod (a Nano or Shuffle) that I can carry back and forth to work. Here is another PolkAudio offering that looks promising: http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/p...dockportfolio/
Has anyone had any experience with this unit? I would love to have something that sounds better than the typical computer speakers....

Holly
 
May 11, 2007 at 11:55 PM Post #5 of 17

lmfboy01

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check out the majestic speakers from tbi sound.
ive read ppl saying they are a great portable system.
you must use an external amp though.
 
May 12, 2007 at 3:33 AM Post #6 of 17

oicdn

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May 13, 2007 at 1:01 PM Post #7 of 17

OakIris

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lmfboy01 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
check out the majestic speakers from tbi sound.
ive read ppl saying they are a great portable system.
you must use an external amp though.



The TBI system does look very promising - https://www.transactionserver1.com/_...ex.asp?ssid=17 - but it is a bit too expensive for me. Perhaps it is what oluv is looking for though.

The PA speakers suggested by oicdn would also work, given the correct cables, but, again, way too expensive for me! I just need something that I can use at work (we can't use headphones....)

oluv, have you found something that will work for you? From your original post, it sounds as if you either own or have tried quite a few portable speakers/speaker systems. Have you checked out any of the reviews at iLounge? http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/rev...w_grades/C233/ or, for not quite-so-portable applications - http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/rev...rades/C84/P25/ The Logitech Audio Station gets a very good review - http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/ipo...stem-for-ipod/ but it may not be portable enough for you.

Holly
 
May 15, 2007 at 4:53 AM Post #9 of 17

BIG POPPA

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Altec lansing IM-4's. They use AA Batteries, Cheap, Sound real good for the price. Around 70 bucks on the interenet. Very portable!
 
May 15, 2007 at 9:39 PM Post #10 of 17

oluv

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@Oakiris:
wow, this TBI-System looks indeed very promising! the size of a single speaker seems to be exactly what i had in mind. the price is a bit high that's true, but maybe it is worth it, i would love to hear this system.
still what i don't like about it is the fact that the amplifier is not built in, so again you need some wiring first, and then if you want to put it to some meters away, you have 3 parts to deal with, or even 4 including the player. that's a bit annoying. i would even have preferred a single speaker of a similar size as this TBI-System, but with built in amplifier and battery. even if it was mono, it wouldn't matter, because for portable use the stereo-effect is not that important for me but rather the overall sound-impression i get.

yes i tested lot's of speaker systems out there:
speakersvq3.jpg


unfortunately most of the commercial ones are designed for ipods and work as docking-stations. as i don't use ipods but other players and even the PSP as wlan-listening solution for my garden, i didn't even look at most of ipod-specific speaker-systems which are the majority.
the only one i have, that are designed for ipod are the logitech mm50. those sound really nice and are relatively small, because they are flat. they have a round and full sound for their size, but they cannot produce any power and outside in the open field they sound really thin and lost.
better in this regard does sound the tivoli pal/ipal. it has more volume and the sound is really good for a mono-speaker. there is only one drawback: you cannot play too loud and it doesn't like bassheavy music. if you turn a bit too loud, the amplifier starts to distort. so for listening at home in a kitchen or bathroom they are perfect, but when you are outside and have to turn a little louder they are lost as well.
on the left in the background you see the boomtube. this one really kicks a**
k1000smile.gif
they are about the size of a thermos and quite heavy, probably because of the battery. these speakers are rated with 40 watt output and you can turn up really loud. if you put the woofer on the floor the bass is really prominent and the sound is big, bigger than what you would expect out of such a compact enclosure. you can easily use them for a loud garden party and still tease your neighbours with them. but as i already mentioned, the battery life is 5 hours maximum, if played loud about 4-4.5 hours. for a garden party maybe enough, but if i wanna take them to the beach, i would need 8 hours at least. the boomtube has maybe not the finest sounding treble, but the overall sound is the best i have heard so far. you don't have the impression as if some part of the music was missing, even if the bass doesn't go down to 20Hz.
i bought the saitek A-250 which you see on the left in the foreground, because it is a 2.1 system too and i thought it would sound at least comparable to the boomtube. the size of the saitek is about the size of the boomtube. don't get me wrong, they don't sound bad, but compared to the boomtube they are a bit on the weak side. they sound rich though, if you put them near a wall, so that the bass-reflecting opening which is situated on the back faces against a wall. this way they come close to the boomtube, but again outside in the open field they rather sound thin and unspectacular. outside the mm50 and A-250 sound more or less similar, without any bass. the only gag of the A-250 is that you can use them as wireless speakers. i often stream music from my computer to them without any wires. and i carry them from the kitchen to the bathroom or wherever i need them. but sometimes i lose signal if i go too far away from the transmitter.

i also have another 2.1 cheapo-system:
pe7352_2_2.jpg

these ones are really tiny and take 4xAAA batteries. i always found that they performed impressive for their size, but unfortunately it is some kind of no-name product, which is put together somewhere in taiwan and the woofer-case is rattling if you turn up louder. but otherwise they perform similar to a mm50 or a tivoli ipal soundwise while being much smaller. but i think that these speakers show that there is lots of potential to get a big sound out of small enclosures. and i think that TBI is probably on the right way, but it is still not perfect and rather expensive.

by the way: the best sound out of a small speaker that i know i am getting out of my tivoli model one. this one has also a single driver and a bass-reflex case and sounds huge! unfortunately it only works with power supply, so it is not suitable for the beach, besides the wooden case wouldn't like sand and water too much, and who needs a radio above all?
wink.gif


so i am still searching, and maybe if i become rich i will test out the TBI-system. who knows?
by the way: i ordered the Saitek A-200 speaker some days ago. i thought it should be a compromise between size and sound. if it sounds better than the mm50 and the tivoli ipal, i will be happy.
 
May 15, 2007 at 11:28 PM Post #12 of 17

OakIris

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oluv /img/forum/go_quote.gif
@Oakiris:
wow, this TBI-System looks indeed very promising! the size of a single speaker seems to be exactly what i had in mind....
unfortunately most of the commercial ones are designed for ipods and work as docking-stations. as i don't use ipods but other players and even the PSP as wlan-listening solution for my garden, i didn't even look at most of ipod-specific speaker-systems which are the majority.



oluv - I don't know why I assumed you had an iPod of some sort.
redface.gif
Sorry - my iLounge links obviously weren't in the least bit helpful.
rolleyes.gif


I thought the TBI system looked great, too, but I can not afford it - and having to lug around a separate amp might make it a bit less portable than you want. Anyway, I hope you get a chance to audition it - though how likely that will be I don't know. I seldom get to hear equipment before buying it because there aren't any local places with quality gear.

I have ordered the Logitech Audio Station for my needs; I don't need anything quite so portable, and I got it for a great price ($109 after rebates!) so I am hoping it is worth it.

Good luck with your continued search. At least you have tried a lot of the "usual suspects" and found them lacking so you have a good idea of what you are looking for.

Holly
 
May 15, 2007 at 11:34 PM Post #13 of 17

oluv

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the aego m looks interesting, but it doesn't run from batteries, does it?
for home-use i have better sounding speakers. what i need is a good-sounding but small solution for on the go.
 
May 16, 2007 at 8:24 PM Post #15 of 17

oluv

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hey mr. do thanks for the cambridge soundworks link!

the first one really looks tempting. i haven't known it before. i knew the other suitcase-like one. but it was also too expensive for what i would like. but the first one is rather cheap 99$ vs 499$ and i am wondering what's wrong with it. even the battery alone costs 49$, so i am a bit surprised about the price of the full package including porta-pack.

by the way the speakers seem to be designed by henry kloss, the father of the tivoli radios that i love, so i assume the soundwork should be great too. it seems really a bargain.

have you already seen some reviews about it? i am especially interested how long it plays with one charge!

ps. unfortunately they don't seem to ship to europe.
 

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