3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Vestalife Ladybug offers a unique design and handy features such as pass-through syncing and auxiliary line input. The speaker can be powered via batteries, and the included remote can navigate iPod menus and control playback.

The Bad Audio sounds muffled for some genres, and bass can sound muddy. Speaker may not get loud enough for some.

The Bottom Line The Vestalife Ladybug is a suitable choice for iPod owners who want a stylish and reasonably compact portable speaker that can also be used in a dorm room or office.

6.7 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0

If you have a favorite animal, chances are you can now find it in the form of an iPod speaker. We've seen everything from pigs and pandas to cats and dogs. Heck, even insect-lovers are not left out in the cold, thanks to Vestalife's Butterfly and Ladybug speaker docks. The Ladybug goes for $110 and rather outshines its cousin in design and sound quality. For those who are after a different-looking portable speaker with a reasonable smattering of extra, this unit could fit the bill.

Despite the obvious fact that the Vestalife Ladybug is modeled after a cutesy insect, the speaker is not overtly adorable. When the wings containing the speaker modules are folded in, the unit forms a compact ball (roughly 6 inches in diameter) that appears to have a rather unhappy face on the front, with the drivers acting as eyes and the hinges at the base of the wings looking a bit like jowls. Unfolding the wings reveals a central iPod dock, for which Vestalife includes five snap-on adapters for the various iPods. Beneath the cradle are the unit's only integrated controls: power and volume buttons. Playback controls are found on the included remote, which can play/pause, shuttle through tracks, adjust volume, switch between shuffle and repeat modes, and navigate among menus.

The Ladybug's various paint jobs are of its own whim, rather than being styled to match the iPod. There are four basic models: all red, all silver, red/black, and silver/black (the last two have black speaker grilles). Vestalife also teamed up with Element Skateboards to offer two limited edition versions, which are black (with a skull-and-crossbones graphic) and blue (with a paisley-and-flower graphic). The Element-branded speakers cost about $15 more than the standard versions--but we think it's worth it if you're after a touch more style (or buying the unit for your board-sporting teen).

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