Wireless Speakers (and other sound options)


As the holidays swiftly approach, I’ve noticed a plethora of ads (televised, paper and digital) for wireless speakers. This seems like the go-to gift this holiday season — something to plus-up an existing digital device like a phone, tablet, laptop, etc. There are lots of options from the colorful Jambox by Jawbone to the descriptive, if uninspiringly-named, Sony Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. There’s also the Bose SoundLink Mini which has a pleasing design look as well as the respectability of the Bose brand name behind it. All three of these device come in around $200. The Jambox offers three sizes that range in price from $149 to $299; the model comparable to the SoundLink and Sony model selling for $179.

The Sonos Play1 is also a wireless speaker but without the built-in rechargeable batteries of the other models.

I currently own a Tivoli Model One which I keep in the kitchen to listen to NPR or  I use the auxiliary port to plug in an iPod. It has extremely good sound quality for such a small device. Tivoli now offers a bluetooth version of the Model One for $260.

I think anyone of these speaker units would be a great desk accessory. Both the Jambox and the Sony Speaker include built-in microphones to double as a device for conference calls. If you intend to use a wireless speaker in your home or office exclusively, the Sonos or Tivoli models might work well though neither have a built-in mic either. While I prefer the understated looks of the SoundLink Mini (and I already own the stunning Tivoli Model One), I would be inclined to purchase a device with a built-in mic, especially for in-office use.

Do you use wireless speakers? Have you tried any of these devices? Are you adding wireless speakers to your holiday wish list?


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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I was on the fence when they first started appearing on shelves. It was a cool gadget but would I use it enough to justify the cost? I’m not a big music on my phone person either. I bought a cheapie memorex from Big Lots and it works fine for my limited use.

  2. I have a Tivoli Audio Radio Combo that I used to have hooked up to my Apple Airport Express which allowed me to play music from my phone or computer through the speakers wirelessly, but I haven’t hooked it back up since the move.

    But I love it! Tivoli Audio makes beautiful products that sound amazing. I was super luck to find it on mega clearance at Target years ago.

  3. I’ve been back and forth about getting one of these for so long. I wanted the Jambox mini, but I just couldn’t justify it. Although most of the ones I’ve tried in stores have impressive sound quality. If I want music wirelessly, I stream from my phone to Apple TV through my receiver, and out the speakers. With this setup I also get the added usability of the Apple TV, and great sound through my TV. Granted, it’s much more of a setup than just a little wireless brick sitting on the desk.

    I vote yes for the convenience factor alone.

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