iPod Stereo Docks

Share your sound

Every single iPod ships with an iPod dock -- it’s an unassuming and unexciting little device that plugs into a computer via USB cable. But not every charging option is so limited. Instead, users of the iPod Nano, Shuffle and Touch can use an iPod stereo dock to turn their MP3 player music library into booming sound that can help turn your average old get-together into a raucous party. The idea is simple: Create a device that recognizes and reads an iPod’s internal data, allows for playback of that data through high-quality speakers and also recharges the device at the same time. There are a few products available that perform all of these handy functions.

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iPod Dock Radio

The most basic iPod stereo dock is the small dock radio. Advantages include a small, lightweight design that can be taken in a suitcase and the alarm functionality, which makes it great for travel. However, most feature sub-par audio quality and can’t exactly be counted upon to create that rock 'n' roll mood necessary to get a party started. If you’re just looking for something that will make taking a shower or folding laundry more enjoyable each morning and evening, the iPod Dock Radio is a good choice for under $75.

Portable DVD Player with iPod Dock

Because the iPod Touch and iPod Nano now boast impressive video playback functionality, it makes sense that users might want to transfer movies and TV shows from their Apple media devices to a larger screen. In keeping with the portability theme, that’s now possible with a portable DVD player with iPod dock. These devices have screens ranging from 7 to 10 inches in diameter -- considerably larger than the 3.5-inch screen on the iPod Touch or the 1.5-inch screen on the even smaller iPod Nano. These devices rarely offer the best sound quality, but they do make watching movies away from home more enjoyable.

High-End iPod Stereo Dock

Several tech manufacturers have now built devices that specialize in transmitting MP3s from an iPod through high-quality speakers. This type of device can be the heart of your party. Sets like the Cambridge SoundWorks i765 feature a top-mounted dock, large LCD display, advanced sound controls for customizing audio settings, FM reception, support for non-iPod MP3 players, remote control and, most importantly, top-quality music playback. Just be prepared to pay a little extra for all those features.