You want to take your tunes on the road, but headphones don't always cut it, and even the smallest home speakers and receivers/amplifiers aren't portable. Technology has come to the rescue with a new breed of portable speakers that sound a lot better than the tinny models you might remember from the Walkman days. These useful devices are the hot ticket for travelers, dorm rooms, the beach or the office; they plug into iPods, MP3 players, and laptops' headphone jacks, with sound that can easily fill a small to medium-size room.
In this photo gallery, you'll find the top 10 contenders that have been reviewed by CNET. Some are perfect for frequent travelers, while others are best suited for the office or trips to the beach, and all of them have the option of being powered from built-in or replaceable batteries.
1. Altec Lansing InMotion iM7
The good: Seamless integration with any dock-connecting iPod; eye-catching design; includes remote; charges the iPod while plugged in; works on AC power or batteries; impressive sound with thumping bass; auxiliary line-in port for use with other audio devices.
The bad: No meter display for bass, treble, or volume adjustment; a bit too bulky for ultimate portability; remote can't navigate through menus on the iPod.
The bottom line: The Altec Lansing iM7 offers good sound quality, flexible listening options, and handy features, making it a solid choice for any iPod owner in the market for a complementary sound system.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.