Pioneer Rayz Rally review: A tiny business-grade iPhone speaker, powered by Lightning

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MSRP: $99.95

The Good The Rayz Rally is a ultracompact speaker that plugs into the Lightning port on your iOS device, doesn't require batteries or charging, and plays without any setup or pairing required. It works well as a speakerphone and can play music or audio from videos louder than your iPhone's internal speaker. A carrying pouch is included.

The Bad It's too expensive, it looks awkward attached to your phone, and its sound can't match small Bluetooth speakers at the same price or less.

The Bottom Line Although it should be a lot cheaper, the Rayz Rally is handy little plug-and-play speaker that significantly upgrades the audio of your iPhone.

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7.3 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Sound 7
  • Value 7

Review Sections

Let's face it: the speaker built into your iPhone sounds pretty bad. Pioneer's no-hassle Lighting-powered speaker, the Rayz Rally, is a real upgrade.

Available worldwide in Apple Stores and from in ice, onyx or space gray colors for $100, £100 or AU$160, the tiny, pocket-size speaker dongle plugs into the Lightning port of your iOS device. It draws power from your phone, so there's no internal battery -- and no charging required. A mini business-grade speakerphone aimed at "digital nomads" who work from anywhere, it also has no trouble playing music or the sound from your video content.

Watching a CNET video with the Rayz Rally.

Richard Peterson, CNET

The single button on the speaker serves as a mute button during phone calls (so callers can't hear you) or a pause/play button while listening to music or videos. And like the Rayz Plus headphone, there's a pass-through Lightning port integrated into the speaker that allows you to charge your phone with a separate Lightning cable.

In my tests, the speaker had very little impact on my iPhone's battery life, but -- again -- it does sip a tiny bit of juice from your phone to power itself. It's hard to quantify just how much power it does draw, but it's not much different than playing music through your phone's speakers or using the iPhone's speakerphone.