JBL On Stage IV
The image JBL has made a sleek iPhone/iPod speaker and charger dock that's a real conversation starter, which might be a bit problematic because it has ample sound that's hard to speak over when it's in operation. It's so sleek and modern that most wouldn't think twice if they saw it behind bulletproof glass and velvet ropes at a museum.
Special effects The On Stage IV has a unique speaker design that allows it to emit sounds in several directions and angles, which has some noticeable benefits. While definitely loud enough, it does lose a bit of clarity when it's turned up very high. It comes with both USB and 3.5mm line-in connectivity.
Overall The On Stage IV is perfect for design-conscious iPod lovers, with speakers and wiring designed to shield it from cellular interference. The On Stage IV looks amazing and sounds pretty good. Did I mention that it looks amazing?
Harman Kardon Go + Play
The image This iPhone speaker system boasts an impressive, half-spherical shape and a rounded steel bar for easy transport. The dock rests your iPhone/iPod horizontally on top of the speaker, reducing the chance you'll knock it off accidentally while dancing the night away.
Special effects The Go + Play not only fills the room with sound, but it can flood into one or two more as well. It either plugs into AC power or can operate on more than a handful of D-cell batteries, making it technically "portable". However, it drains battery power so fast (two to three hours) that you might find the spare batteries are harder to lug around than the speaker itself. It also comes with a handy remote.
Overall If you want the sounds coming from your iPhone/iPod to be both loud and good with clear, crisp bass, then it's hard to do better than the Go + Play. Though it's a bit pricey, you definitely get what you pay for.
Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth Speaker
The image If compact to you means pencil box or smaller, then the highly versatile, near monolithic battery-powered Jambox is for you. Looking for an LCD screen? That'll take a while because it doesn't want one, opting rather to increase its battery life by letting your smartphone maintain control.
Special effects This speaker comes in four colours and is Bluetooth enabled, which means it will work with any device that can broadcast over the proprietary standard as long as it's no more than a few dozen feet away. It also comes with a built-in mic, allowing you to use it as a wireless audio recorder or speakerphone, and a system voice that announces things like battery status and pairing modes in several languages.
Overall The diminutive, feature-rich Jambox actually packs quite a sound punch as well. You could get better speaker-only systems for the same price, but it's a good choice for people who want a lot of flexibility with their sound.