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Review: iPod & iPhone Speaker Docks & Compatibility for Dock Connectors

Best Speaker Dock Choice:

iHome iP46 Portable 30-Pin iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock

  • Great Sound
  • Built-in Lithium Battery lasts for 10 hours unplugged!
  • Auxiliary input for other audio sources
  • SRS / Extra speaker chambers for “bigger” sound

This speaker dock is the one I personally chose to give as a gift after weighing all the options available online. Its priced at or below all of the competition, but offers extras in the form of the built in rechargeable lithium ion battery, which automatically charges when plugged into the wall. This means no messing around with AA batteries! It also has a simple, compact design that matches or beats any of the other available options. It is compatible with pretty much all models of iPod and iPhone. This is available in the perfect price range of around $60 – 70. Anything cheaper will be cutting corners for quality, and anything more expensive you would probably want to be looking at a more complete sort of sound system. . View the iHome iP46 on amazon here!

 

Altec Lansing IMT320 30-Pin iPod Speaker DockAlternative Choice

Altec Lansing IMT320 30-Pin iPod Speaker Dock

  • Altech Lansing is a high quality name brand in audio
  • Portable and compact
  • Great design aesthetics — iDevice looks great plugged into this

Cons:

  • Lacks some of the audio features of the iHome iP46
  • Requires AA batteries for portable power

This is a great alternative to the iHome iP46. I prefer the appearance of this Altec Lansing model, however what sold me on the iHome product was the built in rechargeable lithium ion battery. If you go with this Altec Lansing model you will need to mess with AA batteries if you plan to use it on the go (which is one of the main reasons to get a speaker dock). Check out the ALtec Lansing IMT320 Speaker Dock at Amazon here!

 

How to Determine the Dock Compatibility of Your iPod Touch Generation 1, 2, 3, 4, etc / iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, etc

To keep it simple, you simple need to determine if your iDevice uses Apples new (smaller) “Lightning” connector, or if it uses the old standard 30-pin connection. Devices that use the Lightning connectors will need an adapter to connect to the 30-pin dock connection devices.

The devices listed above, and most devices still on the market today (in 2012) use the old standard 30-pin connector. If in doubt, or unless the product specifically states that it is designed for the brand new iPhone 5 Lightning connector, then it uses the old 30-pin connector. What this means is if you are buying a dock for yourself or a friend, you simply need to know if their Apple device is very new (iPhone 5 or later). If so, keep in mind they will need to buy the adapter in order to have full compatibility.

Any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a message!

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