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Top 5 portable iPhone speakers

CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell rounds-up his top five picks for iPhone-compatible portable speakers, including selections from Altec Lansing, Bose, and Logitech.

The Altec Lansing inMotion Max is pretty, portable, and powerful. But did it make the list? Altec Lansing

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to recommend a good battery-powered or rechargeable speaker for their iPhone that they could bring on a camping trip. It seemed like a simple request, but finding solid recommendations turned out to be harder than I expected.

Maybe I'm just a sound snob, but to my ears, most portable speakers sound pretty bad. To be fair, it isn't easy to coax great sound out of a speaker system that fits in a backpack. Even with the best audio engineering money can buy, when you factor in concerns over battery life, component quality, Apple licensing fees, design portability, and an affordable price tag, the result is almost always a sonically mediocre system.

Fortunately, there are a few commendable exceptions. Here are five portable iPhone speakers I believe hit the sweet spot between sound quality and portable convenience.