Best external speakers for iPad
The Best Answer
If you want the absolute BEST speaker for iPad and are willing to pay for it, I strongly advise you spend your money on a wireless Sonos S5 speaker. Sonos speakers are by far the best sounding wireless speakers I've ever used. They're also the easiest to set up. You just plug the speaker into your router and then you just control the music playing on the speaker wirelessly with your iPad, iPhone, or laptop. The speakers have an amp, wireless router, and 5 speakers already built in (2 tweeters, 2 mid-range, and 1 subwoofer), so you pretty much get an entire wireless home theater sound system for something like $400. The speaker delivers quality sound that fills an entire room, but is small enough to be portable, so you can move it from room to room--just plug in the speaker wherever you want music to play. There's a black and white version. I personally have the white one and think it looks the best.
I want to mention that the Sonos speaker is way more than just an iPad speaker though, it connects ALL the music on your iPad, iPhone, and computer together so you always have access to your entire music library. They've also built custom apps just for your iPad, iPhone, and computer so you can stream all of your music anywhere in your home. It also works with all the popular radio services, including Pandora, Sirius, and Spotify. Here's a screenshot of their iPad app:
I'm totally hooked on Sonos and have my whole house Sonos-ified (I have 2 Zone Bridges hooked into my existing speakers and the S5 for my office speakers. Just look at all the 5-star reviews on Amazon and you'll see how much everyone loves this amazing little speaker.
I bought this the Orbit portable speaker for iPad by Altec Lansing to use with my iPad for playing Pandora while I'm in the car. The sound that I get with this speaker is the best I've heard from a portable iPad speaker. I really love the portability and ease of use of this speaker. It's very convenient to carry around with you wherever you go. It comes with a nice carrying case and is compact enough to fit into a backpack, laptop bag, or even a ladies purse. The Orbit is not only a speaker for iPad, it also works with any MP3 player and can plug into your laptop too. It takes 3 AAA batteries for power and I paid only $19 for this speaker on Amazon. It's the perfect portable speaker for iPad and I highly recommend it.
If you want a really great sounding speaker for iPad, I suggest you stay away from the 'docked' speaker solutions made specifically for iPads because the sound quality will be limited. I have a really nice Bose SoundDock speaker that I got for my iPhone, but I got mine to work with my iPad using a cheap dock extension cable that looks something like this:
You just plug one end into the front of the bose speaker dock and the other into the bottom of the iPad and you have one badass speaker for iPad! If you want your iPad to charge while attached to the Bose SoundDock speaker, you can get this handy little charging adapter . Here's a closeup of the setup.
If you have the Apple dock for iPad, another way to set up your iPad with the Bose Sounddock is with an aux cable like this one that plugs into the back of the Bose speaker dock and iPad dock. Here's what that setup would look like:
iLuv makes a great little external speaker for iPad called the iSP150 Portable Stereo Speaker Bar. I like this speaker because it's portable, cheap, and works on both iPad and iPhones (or anything with a headphone jack). This tiny little speaker is perfect for travel and runs on just four AAA batteries, or from a USB cord that charges the iPad from either a car charger or wall charger. The speaker sound isn't mind blowing, but for $35, it's more about the portability of the speaker than the sound quality...
These external mini 'Chill Pill' speakers I got for my iPad are super cool, tiny, attractive-looking speakers with decent sound. These mini red speakers look like 2 red hamburgers! The photo actually makes them look bigger than they really are, but in reality, these speakers are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (2x4 inches), but still powerful enough to pack a good punch. The speakers magnetically lock together so you don't lose them and the battery lasts nearly 6 hours! They're great portable iPad speakers for the money. They sell them for $50 on Amazon, but I got mine from Australia on eBay for under $30!!
Have you seen the Tubular interlocking speaker for Ipad yet? The design is really innovative the way the 2 speakers hook together and form an integrated tube shape, and then turns into 2 speakers when taken apart, and yet still looks great whether together or apart. The best part about these speakers is that they connect via Bluetooth, which means they're wireless! So you get the best of both worlds, portability and wire-free speakers that work great with both your iPad and iPhone and put out great sound for their size.
The best way to show you how cool these speakers are is with a video of how they work:
I received the iDesign Portable Speaker for iPad as a Christmas present and I have to say I'm really enjoying it! It's a cool little speaker dock for my iPad from Brookstone, and sure it's nothing fancy, but it does everything! The speakers sound great, but it also works as stand, dock, and charger for my iPad in one. It's lightweight and portable so I can carry the speaker around wherever I want without any cords (it runs on 4 AA batteries or a cord). There's a little carrying case it comes with to protect it from the bottom of your backpack. Finally, I can turn my iPad in either direction, which is a nice added bonus. Overall, it's a great little speaker for iPad!
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