Philips Dancing Twins
The tone First, Philips gets style points for the Dancing Twins name, forsaking the corporate-industrial random name generator and instead picking something that borders on clever. Also, these speakers get even more style points for their bright yellow tint and horizontal, rounded design.
The vibe The speakers offer better base vent technology, and fill the room with a surprising amount of low-end thump, relatively speaking (understand we're talking about portable speakers here). They plug into your computer via a 3.5mm stereo line-in, and draw their power from one of the USB ports.
The pitch Comparatively excellent sound with a great design (when travelling, the speakers can be fitted together to form what looks like a rhinoceros-sized Tylenol), the Dancing Twins give you more than what you pay for with significant musical oomph for the road or the university dormitory.
The tone These small, sleek, glossy-black speakers rest on plastic mounts that angle upwards. Though not exactly fashion-forward, their tiny profile is sure to blend in almost anywhere.
The vibe Though the base is not overpowering, it's there. These practical, dutiful speakers have a 3.5mm stereo line-in, USB power cord, volume controls and a port in the front for headphones.
The pitch Although their sound is not top-tier, the small, unassuming R10U offers adequate sound at a bargain price. For those willing to sacrifice perfection for savings, the Edifier will inspire most to shrug "good enough".
Acme PRO SA-103
The tone The attention-getting SA-103 lures you in with a high-cheekbone design that looks like something Darth Vader would launch in an effort to destroy Luke Skywalker.
The vibe While impressive looking, the SA-103 offers very little bass, not much volume and in my testing, one of the speakers even shorted out. It features a 3.5mm stereo line-in and is powered by USB.
The pitch Your mileage may vary, but the cool-looking SA-103 falls short on sound. The adage that you get what you pay for seems to apply in this case. As a matter of fact, you could pay very little, but get even less.