In the interest of keeping cool this summer, we've put together a list of the hottest products out right now. From smartphones to e-readers and everything in between, there's no time like the present to re-up that post-spring-cleaning stash. So grab a popsicle or a cold one and dive in -- the water's just right.
So, you've got a new fancy-pants smartphone and filled it up with pictures, movies and music. That's great for when you're on the train and all, but sometimes you'll want to share your music with the world (whether they like it or not) and this is where docks come in. If you've done even the quickest of web searches for one, you'll have no-doubt been dazzled by the sheer amount of choices. They literally come in all shapes and sizes, and with prices to match. Good thing we made this summer buyer's guide to help you make your mind up then. Follow us past the break as we sort out our selections.
We gave this fella the full review this past December, and it's fair to say we were impressed. JBL seems to have really considered the product from the ground up, rather than just creating another audio box with an iDevice dock. Bluetooth and auxiliary options make this more than just an iPhone speaker, and the funky mounts even keep a tablet nice and snug. Loud and clear sound is, of course, the real winning factor here, but it's the combination of versatility, quality and price that ultimately place it here at the top of our list. Recommended.
Price: $500 at Amazon
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If you're looking for something a little more specialized, how about the T12v3 from Orbitsound? Using its patented "spatial sound" technology, this sleek dock / soundbar does away with the notion of sweet spots, and dishes out dimensional sound no matter where you are in the room. An iPhone dock is joined by digital-, phono- and PMP-friendly 1/8-inch inputs, plus video out for your iDevice, making this a great option for any front room. We're not going to lie, the recent addition of different color options also helped cement our affection. Great looks and great sound? Never a bad combination, eh?
Price: $480 at Orbitsound
Sometimes you want something the moment you set eyes on it. The Boombox from TDK is one such thing. It's hard not to fall in love with its modern take on a retro-classic design. While not strictly a dock, it does come with a 30-pin iDevice cable, plus 1/8-inch, 1/4-inch and USB inputs, making it friendly for guitars, pen drives, MP3 players and more -- there's even a built-in radio. Sound-wise, it is a little brash, but at least that's in keeping with the looks. You won't be able to resist popping this up on your shoulder, but only once, as it's quite a weighty chap!
Price: $299 and $499 at TDK
Orbitsound T12v3 Soundbar
TDK 3 Speaker Boombox