As technology grows ever "better, faster, stronger" — to quote Kanye — it also shrinks to smaller physical dimensions. Speakers the size of a candy box can provide decent or even excellent sound, and they're getting better looking, too. Just check out the gorgeous Jawbone Jambox (above), with its variegated surface and bright colorways. Here are 10 more like it that offer compact size and slick style.
The Jawbone Jambox, $200, is a wireless speaker that doubles as a speaker phone and connects to your iPhone (and other devices) using Bluetooth. Available in 4 colors, each style has a slightly different variegated texture. To read more, click here.
Admittedly, these have a much weaker, smaller sound than the other speakers listed here, but they're collapsible and relatively affordable. Designed by Naoto Fukasawa, this pair of cardboard speakers folds up into a flat, envelope-sized surface. Shown: Black Cardboard Speaker, $38.
MoMA Design Store
These speakers are self-referential, well-designed, and included in the MoMA Design Store's collection. About 4x 6 inches, they plug into a computer or MP3 player with a mini-jack connector. Shown: Speak-er by Sherwood Forlee, $100.
Audioengine is one of the best small speaker brands, and they're known for reasonable prices and strong sound. These particular desktop speakers ($200) plug into your computer, and they're listed as a Best Product on Unplggd.
B and H
A reliable source for information about electronics, B and H recommends the Logitech Z-5500 505W 5.1 Surround Computer Speaker System, $330. It allows you to simultaneously connect 6 audio sources to one system.
J and R
This New York-based store carries most of the major brands listed here, and we particularly like the Audioengine A5W Powered Bookshelf Speaker System, $325. Designed to sit on a table or shelf, they're advertised as "small speakers with big bass."
Bose Showcase Store
These popular speakers have a distinctly modern aesthetic, and they're designed to simulate surround sound within a small system. The 161 Speaker System, $160, is a bookshelf model that connects with stereo and home theater components.
At less than less than 6 inches long, the Geneva Sound S Hi-fi System ($300) is a very compact model. It comes with a built-in iPod/iPhone dock, FM radio, programmable alarm clock, and three color options.
This Devotec Solar Sound Speaker ($100) is designed to wirelessly connect to your MP3 player using Bluetooth, and it has an integrated solar panel that allows it to be charged in sunlight. Portable and compact, it comes in basic black.
Here's another stylish system from AudioEngine — the A5 90W Powered Bookshelf Speaker System in Bamboo, $450. The warm, wood-like finish blends in with modern decor, and the system easily connects with an MP3 player or computer.
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Photo: Jawbone Jambox