The Livespeakr Ultra-Portable Speaker is the first unit we've come across that patently leaves out traditional iPods, with a design that caters completely to the touch-screen members of the family. This $80 unit won't blow you away with stellar sound, but the supercompact and innovative design may be enough to lure you in.
While not what we would consider pocket-friendly, the Livespeakr is small enough to fit in even the most crammed or limited carry-ons. In "storage mode," the speaker measures just 6.5 inches across, 2.5 inches high, and 1.8 inches deep (with iPod/iPhone docked). In this configuration, the two 1.5-inch speaker drivers are tucked away behind the player for maximum portability.
While using either portrait or landscape mode, you'll need to engage the kickstand on the back of the Livespeakr. The stand, which is constructed of sturdy metal, slides out to raise the speaker off the ground and offers three viewing angles.
The remainder of the unit is made of plastic and does feel a bit cheap, but you do get to pick from either white or black color options. There's also an on/off switch and a Mini-USB power input jack on the top edge of the speaker.
Given the Livespeakr's small size, we weren't too surprised by the audio quality during performance tests. It's about what you would expect from such a unit. Bass is particularly anemic, so if you require any low-end oomph, best look elsewhere.