The 8 Best Speaker Docks

Updated February 02, 2018 by Chase Brush

8 Best Speaker Docks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're not satisfied with the sound produced by your smartphone or tablet alone, plug it into, or pair it with, 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 the built-in radios that some 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.

8. Tonhie Ultra Portable

As long as your music device is Bluetooth compatible, the Tonhie Ultra Portable will let you play your tunes from just about anywhere. Its high-fidelity speakers sound clear enough, though, unfortunately, it doesn't offer any way to charge whatever you use it with.
  • also has a built-in mic
  • made of solid aluminum
  • some distortion at higher volumes
Brand Tonhie
Model 4326547665
Weight 12.5 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Lugulake Wireless

The speakers on this Lugulake Wireless definitely aren't going to blow anyone away, but if you're looking for a convenient -- and affordable -- way to listen to music while at home or out and about, it's not a bad choice. The cradle design offers nice viewing angles, too.
  • connects from up to 33 feet away
  • bright blue power led is annoying
  • battery life is just okay
Brand LUGULAKE
Model S610
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. 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 secure your smartphone safely, 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

5. 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 deliver crisp, wide-ranging melodies. It's the best option if you're prioritizing sound quality, though it is expensive.
  • comes in four different colors
  • includes headphone jack
  • no wifi or bluetooth
Brand Bose
Model 310583-1130
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Sony RDPM7IPN Lightning

The Sony RDPM7IPN Lightning accepts iPhones or iPods and comes with a feature-rich wireless remote, letting you control the unit from the comfort of your couch. Plus, 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
Model RDPM7IPBLKN
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Inateck Speaker Stand

The Inateck Speaker Stand has been around for a few years now, but it's still one of the most popular options for enriching your phone's music-playing capabilities. It won't charge your device like others do, but will hold it while Bluetooth 4.0 works its magic.
  • big enough to accommodate tablets
  • pairs automatically when powered on
  • compact and portable design
Brand Inateck
Model BP2001
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. iHome iPL23

Designed specifically for Apple devices, the iHome iPL23 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
  • battery backup for alarm
  • can also charge your smartwatch
Brand iHome
Model iPL23V2
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Azpen Dockall D100

Free yourself from having to plug in each time you want to listen to your favorite playlist with the Azpen Dockall D100. A combination Qi wireless charging station and Bluetooth speaker system, this model is packed with tons of great features, including a micro SD slot.
  • 2 usb ports for additional charging
  • easy to access media buttons
  • works with most qi-enabled devices
Brand Azpen
Model D100U
Weight 12.3 ounces
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.



Statistics and Editorial Log

0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
45
Hours
11,488
Users
30
Revisions

Wiki Granular Update & Revision Log


help support our research


Patreonlogoorange psj5g7Wiki ezvid low poly earth xdypeb

Last updated on February 02, 2018 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.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.