Top 10 portable speakers

A new breed of portable speakers sound a lot better than the tinny models you might remember from the Walkman days.

Corinne Schulze/CNET

You want to take your tunes on the road, but headphones don't always cut it, and even the smallest home speakers and receivers/amplifiers aren't portable. Technology has come to the rescue with a new breed of portable speakers that sound a lot better than the tinny models you might remember from the Walkman days. These useful devices are the hot ticket for travelers, dorm rooms, the beach, or the office; they plug into iPods, MP3 players, and laptops' headphone jacks, with sound that can easily fill a small to medium-size room.

It's also true that you can get much better sound with a decent set of headphones, which are even more portable and have deeper bass, superior treble detail, and better stereo imaging. But headphones are best appreciated alone. Portable speakers are ideal for social settings where you want to share your tunes with a few others or when you're milling around your hotel room getting ready for a night out on the town. Below you'll find the Top 10 contenders that have been reviewed by CNET. Some are perfect for frequent travelers, while others are best suited for the office or trips to the beach, and all of them have the option of being powered from built-in or replaceable batteries.

 

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