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MP3 Players

Crave Summer: Super sun-kissed speaker selections

Summer's here and we're preparing to rock 'til we drop, then chill 'til we're toasty and brown. All we need are some music speakers, so we've rounded up our favourite summer selections for you to browse.

Woo! Summer's here and Glastonbury's just round the corner. Summer's such a social time outdoors, and who doesn't love chillaxing under our favourite sky-based heat sphere with their top tunes keeping them cool? Freaks, misfits and troglodytes, that's who.

We've rounded up a small selection of some of our favourite summery music speakers. Whether you're putting on the greatest mid-year shindig ever or catching some rays by your tent at one of Britain's fantastic festivals, we've got some speakers you should should consider.

Without further ado, on with the show...

First up is Gear4's brand-new Bluetooth-enabled system, the HouseParty Blu. This black and silver audio fiend has an iPod dock that's compatible with any model of iPod with a universal dock, but it's also a terrific social setup too. The Bluetooth feature means all your buddies can beam their choice of music to the speakers without wires from, say, a Samsung YP-T9 or one of the many Walkman phones.

The one downside to this system is the lack of battery operation. This seems like a massive oversight, but it still means it's ideal for garden chill-out sessions with an power extension cable.

What if you don't have an iPod or a Bluetooth-enabled music phone? For you, Craveaholics, we have a treat next...

Sony's expensive but feature-packed and stylish Giga Juke NAS-50HDE has an 80GB hard disk built inside, meaning your entire music library can be brought outside. Woo, and indeed, yay! Having 40,000 tracks at your disposal can't be bad. The remote control will give you full control in your hammock too.

If 40,000 songs just isn't enough for you, the Giga Juke can be wired into your home network. Sure, you'll need to drag an Ethernet cable outside, but we figure if you're going to get through more than 40,000 songs, you're going to be out there a while, so what's the harm?

Perhaps as a festival goer you're after something much more portable, though...

Creative's TravelSound Zen V is a docking system for the Zen V Plus. It's a really cute flash-based MP3 player that doesn't cost the Earth and will keep you rocking through the night. Four AA batteries power the beast for 24 hours, which is plenty of time to get some serious drinking and sunbathing done. AA batteries are globally available, so even if it powers down after playing a few bands' entire careers you can keep on rocking -- and who doesn't take batteries to festivals these days?

If even these speakers are too big for your weekend in a rocker's tent, maybe some dinky but useful alternatives are more up your flagpole...

We love these cute little speakers from Logic3. The i-Station Traveller is a pocketable set of noise-makers that come in several summer-friendly colours. At about £20 they're not going to cause a huge stress if they get a bit muddy out on the field. They're powered by four AAA batteries -- as readily available at nearby shops as wet-wipes and Mars bars -- so there won't be any panic if they cut out towards the end of your Metallica marathon one night.

A 3.5mm cable is fixed to the speakers, so any MP3 or audio player will be compatible. Perfect for you tent-friendly chaps.

Remember your sunscreen, boys and girls! -Nate Lanxon