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Discussion Starter #1
Time to get the wife a B-day gift..she wants a wireless speaker for her iPhone 4S. Price range around $300


I have done some research, but I have a couple questions.


First is Airplay vs. Bluetooth. I checked out the 2 formats and Airplay seems to be better mostly b/c it runs over your WiFi, can handle multiple devices, and has better sound quality. Bluetooth seems to pair more reliably. My question is, if either the source (iPad or iPhone) or the Airplay speaker is out of range of your wireless router, will it still work? I.e., can the 2 devices talk to each other if they were alone at the park or beach, or do they need an already existing network to "see" each other. The reason I ask is my home WiFi is weak in parts of the house and definitely does not extend outside.


Also, I am debating a portable battery powered speaker vs. one that needs AC power to work.


My list so far (in order of preference):


Portable:

1) Big Jambox ($299)

2) Philips SoundRing ($299)

3) Gulp..can't believe I am going to type this...Bose Soundlink ($299)

4) iHome iW1 ($233-249 range)


AC power:

1) Audyssey Audiodock Air ($349)

2) Philips SoundCurve ($399)

3) Philips SoundAvia ($176)

4) JBL Onbeat Air (list $249, currently $135 at Vanns.com)



So, of those, has anyone used/heard any of them and what recommendations would you make?


I read some bad reviews about the iHome and JBL products, which is why they are lower on the list. I am leaning, right now, toward the Big Jambox which is Bluetooth. Mostly b/c of long battery life, the success of its predecessor, the Jambox, and my poor home Wifi coverage. Also, it looks cool and she would probably like it. But, the supposed sound quality of the Audiodock Air has me hesitating.


Thanks!
 

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The Bose Soundlink is great. The sound is very, very rich for a box that size. I'm always surprised about how much bass there is and how smooth it sounds. The unit is very "dense": e.g. heavy for the size. Great design with very slick built-in stand. You can get the wife a leather cover or other colors as well (mine is grey). There is no difference in power whether running on AC or battery - a plus. I really, really like mine.


Overall, I would have preferred AirPort as well (or best of all would have been a product with Bluetooth and AirPort). However - with AIrport - remember the device itself always has to be on the WiFi network. With Bluetooth, I don't have to be on WiFi and can use the speaker. This has come in handy when traveling or just being outdoors.


The small Jambox is cool (we use it in the office); the large one is clunky. Sound is not nearly in the league with the Bose.


Lots of good products to choose among!
 

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Thanks for your input. I just went and listened to the Soundlink and Big Jambox at Bestbuy. I would agree the Soundlink has a fuller sound with more bass. But I ended up getting the Big Jambox for the following reasons:


1) It still sounded very good. Honestly, comparing sound quality on the open floor of a BestBuy is really futile.

2) Better battery life

3) Speakerphone built in.

4) I bought the graphite color, but if she wants my wife can exchange it for the red or white, which is cool.

5) It is not Bose.


side note...The Jambox was fully functional and I quickly paired it with my iPad and listened to my songs. The salesman told me when we went over to the Bose that I was not able to pair up my device with it and that I would have to listen to the songs from their demo unit. Made me suspicious, since I know Bose has a history of, um, presenting their products in the absolute best light to increase sales. Anyway, I found that annoying. But, it did sound pretty good.
 
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