The recent explosion in portable, wireless, and design-centric speakers, a trend arguably first started by the Jawbone Jambox (recently upgraded with a larger option), reflects a notable shift in music. Away from something you only listen to at home on a big dedicated audio system, or even by yourself with headphones. Music is social again as it once was in the era of the boombox. And now there's a style, size, and finish for nearly every personality and decor...
The Soundfreaq Novogratz Collection:
They're officially everywhere. The husband-and-wife design team, Robert and Cortney Novogratz, aren't just familiar faces on our site and their work for CB2. Apparently they've partnered with Soundfreaq for a six-piece Novogratz Collection, lending their eye for design in partnership with Soundfreaq's ear for accurate sound sans wires.
Who this is for: the Apartment Therapy, HGTV, Pinterest, home decor fanatic.
Beats by Dre Pill:
In some ways, Beats By Dre has become the Bose of the hip-hop generation; supporters and detractors argue the virtues of the former NWA rapper/producer's line of audio gear, but there's no denying they've become synonymous with the urban MP3-headphone listening set. Now the Doctor is prescribing a Bluetooth option for listening and sharing their playlist from up to 30 feet away.
Who this is for: hip-hop heads with a love of bass and an appreciation for modern design.
Yamaha seems to have designed their rugged, yet lightweight, PDX-B11 as the tough cousin to all these namby-pamby designer speakers. With an octagonal woofer and tweeter combo two way system, this Bluetooth speakers looks like the Green Lantern Corps stopped into Sears for some Craftsman tools and built themselves an audio solution tough enough for hauling out to backyard, garage, or for camping trips.
Who this is for: the strong, silent type outdoorsman or garage monkey.
JBL PowerUp Wireless Charing Speaker:
The small but vocally excited Windows Phone user base is eagerly awaiting the official launch of the Nokia Lumia 920, in some part due to the near field communication chip inside. Place a NFC-compatible smartphones, tablets or music players ontop of this JBL speaker and you're not only wireless streaming your music, but also charging up your phone with any Qi-compatible device.
Who this is for: the design sophisticate who is never without their cell phone...ever...and needs it charged throughout the day.
You know Apartment Therapy already believes "small is cool", and the Vers 1Q is indeed very cool for both its size and understated walnut and bamboo design. Just like every other Bluetooth device, the Q1 is good for up to 30 feet connectivity, while offering 10 hours of playback. But the real reason you'd choose the Q1 over the others is it's tiny and unassuming...until you turn on your music.
Who this is for: a Small Cool apartment dweller, a lover of wood finishes, a former Sylvanian Families collector
These NuForce active loudspeakers have an Apple-sque quality to them, especially in the white with black grill finish (that's black or white leatherette wrapped around the exterior). The bookshelf speaker design makes this best for larger desks or placed on bookcases, with Class-D amplification working with an anti-resonance woofer, making this 2 speaker system a little more serious than its fellow all-in-one solutions.
Who this is for: the nitpicky audiophile (and we mean that in a good way)
Logitech UE Mobile Boombox:
though not as compact as the Vers Q1 above, the Logitech UE is still handsized. The UE is also designed to work as a speakerphone, with a built-in mic and the ability to pair with up to 8 devices, and offers simplified big controls on top. It's also rated for an impressive 50 ft. of wireless Bluetooth playback for up to 10 hours, with a colorful modern assortment of colors to choose from.
Who this is for: the IKEA decor household.
(Images: as linked to manufacturers)