The 10 Best Speaker Docks

Updated May 19, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Speaker Docks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're not satisfied with the sound from your smartphone or tablet, plug it into one of these speaker docks and get blown away by crisp, clear music. Listen to everything from your own personal library, a streaming service like Spotify, or even from the built-in radios that many of these units include. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best speaker dock on Amazon.

10. JBL OnStage IV

The JBL OnStage IV is a decent-sounding unit that is both compact and futuristic-looking, making it a great choice if you want to add some flair to your bedroom or work place. Four drivers with computer-optimized equalization make sure your music is played just right.
  • includes a usb input
  • can charge your phone
  • could be a little louder
Brand JBL
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Philips Room to Room

The Philips Room to Room has a modern, minimalist style. The unique 360-degree shape looks good, and will fill whatever room it's in with clear and balanced audio. It also features special shielding technology to ensure your phone signal won't cause interference.
  • ac or battery power options
  • sensitive neodymium material
  • construction isn't very durable
Brand Philips
Model DS3205
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. iLuv iMM377BLK MobiAir

Android and other non-Apple users will appreciate the iLuv iMM377BLK MobiAir, which features a micro-USB connection and Bluetooth compatibility for linking up a whole host of devices. The built-in myBot robotic arms safely secure your smartphone, no matter its size.
  • watch videos while device is docked
  • connector rotates and slides
  • on-off button is difficult to use
Brand iLuv
Model iMM377BLK
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Electric Friends Dog

The Electric Friends Dog is the perfect portable speaker for children. It comes with an AC power adapter or uses batteries, so your child can take their new companion anywhere, and adjusting the volume is as easy as touching the animal's ears.
  • multiple input options
  • good for babies' rooms
  • not compatible with phone cases
Brand Electric Friends
Model chewchew
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Philips ORD7100C/37 Original

The Philips ORD7100C/37 Original has a retro design inspired by the brand's legendary 1955 radio, known as the "Philetta". It can play and charge your favorite device simultaneously, but also includes an FM tuner to give you that authentic old-fashioned experience.
  • high fidelity audio
  • includes free homestudio app
  • auxiliary cable is short
Brand Philips
Model ORD7100C/37-Parent
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Logitech s400i Alarm Clock

The Logitech s400i Alarm Clock offers dual settings, allowing you to schedule different alarms for weekdays and weekends. Especially convenient is the sleep function, which can play music until you pass out and turn itself off after a specified amount of time.
  • compact size for small nightstands
  • includes wireless remote
  • large volume knob
Brand Logitech
Model 980-000613
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. iHome iDL44

Designed specifically for Apple devices, the iHome iDL44 is best suited for the bedside, incorporating a built-in radio and a large LCD that shows the time in a big font. The clock syncs up with your iPhone as soon as it's plugged in, ensuring it's always up to date.
  • includes 6 fm presets
  • flexible lightning dock
  • battery backup for alarm
Brand iHome
Model iDL44
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Sony GTKXB7BC

Bring the party home with the improved Sony GTKXB7BC, which includes an 8-pin Lightning connector, a USB input, and Bluetooth capability for connecting a wide variety of audio devices. The dual subwoofers and tweeters make it as loud as any in-home stereo system.
  • integrated am-fm tuner
  • multicolored lighting effects
  • dj style sound features
Brand Sony
Weight 33 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Sony RDPM7IPN Lightning

The Sony RDPM7IPN Lightning accepts iPhones or iPods and comes with a feature-rich wireless remote, so you can control the unit from the comfort of your couch. It can run for up to 10 hours on a set of AAA batteries, so you don't need to have it plugged in to enjoy.
  • charges devices while docked
  • aux input for non-lightning devices
  • built-in handle for carrying
Brand Sony
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Bose SoundDock Series III

From one of the leading names in the audio business, the Bose SoundDock Series III combines digital signal processing with a sleek acoustic design to produce crisp, wide-ranging melodies. It is compatible with new iPad models as well as older ones.
  • comes in four different colors
  • includes headphone jack
  • best option for sound quality
Brand Bose
Model 310583-1130
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Speaker Docks: Your Charger Never Sounded So Good

Even the best built-in phone or tablet speakers are weak in basic audio output ability when compared with genuine audio hardware. Fortunately, there is an entire category of devices designed expressly to pair with your smartphone and/or tablet to generate the power and quality of sound your otherwise impressive device deserves. A good speaker dock readily pairs with multiple types of smart device and delivers music and other audio with deep, rumbling bass notes, crystal-clear vocals and melody, and enough decibel power to fill a room or even an outdoor area with sound.

When looking for the ideal speaker dock for broadcasting audio beyond your phone's built-in speakers, you can rest assured that most options will be sufficient for a playroom, kitchen, or dormitory, but if you want to fill large rooms or a yard with sound, look to the higher-end, higher powered models. Also, note that some docks are designed to look sleek and simple and blend in with the decor of a space, while others are stylized statement pieces designed to stand out. Many docks draw power exclusively from an AC electrical cord, while others can run on batteries. You will often find a bit less output power in units that run on batteries, but you can use them anywhere and any time.

For many of us (rapidly becoming most of us), our smart device has become an extension of our bodies, used multiple times per hour and seen as necessary for successful execution of our everyday activities. Thus, it makes sense to think beyond a speaker dock that merely plays audio when so many docking stations offer multiple additional features. If you already treat your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy as your phone, calendar, web browser, gaming tool, and personal assistant, then look for a dock that offers features ranging from a clock, to a radio or an alarm, and beyond. It only makes sense to maximize the usefulness of your phone by pairing it with a device that boasts many capabilities itself.

Don't forget that it is as a charger that many speaker docks will get their most frequent use. While obviously larger and less portable than a simple cable connected to the wall, as the go-to charger for powering up your phone or tablet while you're at home, a dock has the benefit of being nearly impossible to misplace. Using your speaker docking station as the home base charger perched by your bedside, on your kitchen counter, or wherever you need charging the most often is a good way to ensure you never go looking for that misplaced power cord again.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Owning a great speaker dock is exciting; few things elevate the mood of a party or make enjoying your favorite tunes more fun than high-quality audio that's both loud and clear. But if you're like most people, you are likely listening to your music at a volume exceeding levels most experts regard as safe.

Groups ranging from OSHA to the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that an excess of volume, especially when endured for an extended period of time, can be injurious to your aural health, and that is true both in acute and in chronic cases. Simply put, listening to music that is too loud for too long can and likely will damage your hearing, and might lead to lifetime hearing loss.

Multiple-hour exposure to volumes exceeding 85 dB can damage hearing, as can short-term exposure to sound measured at more than 120 dB. As many speaker docks can produce sound measured near this level, their use can lead to noise-induced hearing loss if they are not used with discretion.

In fact, when played at or near their top volume capabilities, most speaker docks (indeed most audio amplifying equipment of all types) actually lose quality due to the distortion caused by audio clipping, a lack of quality resulting when a speaker cannot supply sufficient power to amplify the sound signal being sent to it. In other words, you can often turn a speaker up to a setting too loud for its own components, depending on the recording levels of the audio you are playing.

The Best Hack for Temporarily Improving Smartphone Sound

There are few better ways to enjoy great audio power and quality from a smartphone than by connecting said device to a speaker dock. But if you have ordered your dock and are waiting for it to arrive, or if you are away from home and are missing the audio quality to which you have become accustomed thanks to said dock, there some easy hacks you can use to enhance the audio quality and power of your phone's built-in speakers.

The simplest way to improve the audio output of your phone or tablet is to place the device flat on a hard surface that will not dampen or absorb any of the sound it transmits. This can be a wooden table, a tile floor, or any other acoustically reflective surface. But to truly amplify the sounds produced, you need to concentrate them. The simplest, most affordable and effective way to do this will come as a surprise, but it is simply to place your phone in a rigid paper cup with the speakers facing upward.

The conical shape of the cup directs sound waves up and out, while the rigid paper walls will absorb only minimal noise, allowing sound waves to reverberate clearly. For tablets, consider using a larger cardboard bucket (such as is common for popcorn) to achieve the same results. Those nearby will notice a marked increase in its perceived sound volume and clarity, though, obviously, there's is no comparison against the quality of sound produced by using a speaker dock.

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Last updated on May 19, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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