There are speakers and then there are speaker docks. What’s the difference you say? Well, an iPad speaker dock is a speaker system which allows you to plug the iPad into the entire unit. This is different than a set of external speakers. There are some definite advantages to having an iPad speaker dock and here we show you the top 3 on the market and suggest how you might use them.
iPad Speaker Docks
An iPad speaker dock is a self-contained speaker system much like the Bose SoundDock (see image) for the iPhone/iPod. The advantage of an iPad speaker dock over external iPad speakers is portability. With a speaker dock you can take it just about anywhere and enjoy great sound. The other advantage is that your iPad is held up in the perfect position for having it display a clock, a recipe, or the news.
iPad speaker docks are not going to deliver that super hi-fidelity sound you might get with a pair of Audioengine A5 Speakers but it is definitely more portable and useful if you want to use your iPad while listening to music.
Here are the top 3 iPad Speaker docks you can get which deliver pure musical bliss coupled with functionality.
iLuv iMM747 Hi-Fidelity Speaker Dock
The iLuv iMM747 is the perfect desktop or bedside speaker. While you have it docked you can watch YouTube videos, movies, run apps, or play games. One nice thing is that it will charge while docked and it can even be set up to sync with iTunes.
This great iPad speaker dock is built with 3 drivers per speaker channel – separate drivers for treble, mid-range and bass to enhance sound clarity for those times when you want to watch a movie or listen to music. The iLuv speaker dock also comes with a handy 3.5mm jack for attaching an iPhone or iPod (Touch) in case you want to listen to music that way as well.
Dimensions: 18 x 6.3 x 6.1 inches ; 3.7 pounds
I see this as a great device to have in an office or in a dorm room. It would also make a great iPad speaker for the bedroom as well. I would not necessarily use this one in the kitchen but it could certainly be done.
Check out the iLuv iMM747 Hi-Fidelity Speaker Dock on Amazon
Here is an iPad speaker dock that take a little different form and shape. It also has it’s own app. The Jensen JiPS-250 allows you to clip your iPad onto it and run a really nice alarm clock app which comes free with the speaker system. Better yet, the app has Facebook and Twitter integration!
Like the other speaker docks this one allows you to connect all kinds of music players but it’s focus is on the iPad. The dock portion allows you to rotate the iPad in various angles. The reason this is nice is because you could use it for reading and/or other activities in multiple locations.
Because of the size of the speakers, I would say that the Jensen is perfect more for convenience than sound. If you want an iPad speaker dock that can be moved around a lot or stored in small places then take a look at this one. It has an output of 2 x 2.5W which is on par for a smaller system as this one. It is very impressive with its own app and well thought out design.
Dimensions: 6.9 x 9.5 x 9.1 inches ; 4.3 pounds
Check out the Jensen JiPS-250i iPad Speaker Dock on Amazon
Altec Lansing Octiv Stage Speaker
This is the newest iPad speaker dock. Altec Lansing differs from the others in that it has a really small footprint and thus takes up very little room. Additionally, it can support the iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation.
With this one, the iPad is clipped into a bracket on a rotating arm. The base of the speakers spans about the same width as the iPad so it’s definitely compact. This speaker dock also comes with a handy remote that allows you to navigate through playlits and adjust the volume. Altec Lanasing also claims that you can turn the volume up to full with little to no distortion of the sound!
Here are the features of the Alec Lansing:
- Powerful and crystal-clear sound
- Charges iPad while docked
- Docking station pivots to portrait or landscape mode
- Auxiliary input jack
Altec Lansing does not give the dimensions but it is definitely smaller and more compact than the models above. Check it out here.
There are 3 of the best iPad speaker docks (as of this writing). They are all good devices and are perfect for holding on to your iPad if you want to listen to music while reading or watch a movie or even listen to music and have it in the kitchen and display recipes.
Do you have any experiences with these? What are your thoughts on a dock versus an external speaker?