Top 5 iPhone / iPod Speaker Dock DesignsWritten by Rob Nichols on August 4, 2011 · Filed under Tech
Whether you’re the type that prefers to play in the ballpark of substance, rather than style, aesthetics will undoubtedly play some part in your choice of speakers. Of course, there will be iPod speakers out there that produce great quality audio, but lack the necessary attraction in the looks department. Sometimes, it may be preferable to opt for the opposite, and go for the looker. Or if you’ve got an annoyingly fat wallet, go for both. Here, I’ve compiled a short list of the very best looking iPhone and iPod speakers around, and of course, if you have your own suggestions, feel free to post in the comments section at the foot of the article.
5. Philips DS9000/10 Fidelio
I tend to regard Philips as a manufacturer offering budget speakers, however the Fidelio iPod dock is far from entry-level, setting you back nigh on £400. However, it does look pretty special. An all black, design, which is curved in such a way that it can in fact house an iPad instead of an iPod, using the universal connector you’ll most likely be accustomed to. With regards to size, they are by no means the most outrageous or extravagant in the list to come, nor are they the most outlandish design-wise, but what they offer is a simplistic solution, which will fit the majority of household media setups, or sit on a desk without creating too much of a fuss.
4. Bose SoundDock Series II
Where there are speakers, there is Bose. Arguably the most popular ‘premium’ brand of speaker sets, and for good reason. Bose speakers are notoriously of extremely high quality, and are the result of meticulous design, often the best looking in their class. Here we have the Series II SoundDock, which is available for roughly £250, and you can see why. It oozes class from each edge, each face of it’s beautiful, minimalist, metallic design and despite not talking about audio quality here, it makes the list. Simple, but beautiful.
3. Edifier Luna 5 Encore
Edifier, perhaps a much lesser known manufacturer of speakers, comes in well under the standard Bose, or B&W price tag right across the board, but that doesn’t mean that it’s products don’t look just as astonishing. In fact, I would definitely argue that the Luna 5 Encore iPod speakers, which will set you back around £150, sit almost top of the tree with regards to design, and despite being without a doubt the tallest set of iPod speakers I’ve ever come across, the circular design with contrasting black and aluminium frame, certainly gives it a certain ‘wow’ factor. Quite the opposite of the Bose SoundDock, in fact, which is very stark, very straight, the Edifier offering is curvaceous and beautiful. You’ll just have a difficult job finding somewhere to put the thing, it’s massive.
2. Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air
Although these outrageously priced speakers from Bowers & Wilkins will leave your wallet feeling a little light, you won’t be disappointed if you do opt for them. They look, quite simply, amazing. Again, curvy, like the Edifier set, however, this time they stretch further length-ways, rather than upwards. Of course, this requires an extremely wide surface for them to fit, and they take a lot of depth as well, but incorporating 5 drivers is no mean feat, so size is probably vital in the design process. Setting you back £500 is hard to justify for a set of speakers, however considering they make use of the latest Apple AirPlay technology, and look this great, they probably will come as close to any to doing so.
1. Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8
Only the second entrant into the list that isn’t black, the BeoSound 8 from Bang & Olufsen sports an unusual, but tastefully implemented white/silver contrast, which in truth is absolutely stunning. A pair of circular speakers on either end, with a silver bar across the middle housing the dock and and basic controls, makes this offering definitely worth considering if you’re going for style. Despite costing the most here – an almost embarrassing £895 RRP – the design is absolutely phenomenal and will turn heads forever, and not only that, they are the only set here which are wall-mountable out of the box. Astonishing.
Obviously here we have a variety of prices, ranging from the extravagant to the down-right outrageous, but whilst looking through the sub-£100 iPod speakers available out there, I found little inspiration in the design department. Obviously there will be some out there that look great, but these were the pick of the bunch for me, and the winner, without a doubt the £895 Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8.