Whether you're rocking an iPhone or an iPad, nothing keeps you rocking like a good set of speakers. If the speakers charge your iOS device at the same time, that's even better. Below are the best speaker docks we've found to keep you rocking around the Christmas tree this holiday season.
Slim, portable, and affordable, the Altec Lansing IMT630 sounds impressive for its size, even at moderate volumes. The speaker is available in black or in a range of glossy “Sport” colors, and the built-in rechargeable battery makes it handy for intimate picnics or travel. The associated iOS app (free) adds tone adjustment capability and some soothing ambient sounds for helping your loved one get some shut-eye. $149; www.alteclansing.com
With a built-in subwoofer, dual passive radiators, and an innovative fluid-based speaker damper system, this speaker/dock cranks out plenty of bass with minimal distortion. It looks classy, too, with a soft black cloth covering and stainless steel accents—and it works with all iOS devices. $299; www.sonystyle.com
The Pioneer Music Tap is an elegant, high-tech sound system with a retractable dock for iPhones and iPods. It’s compatible with Apple’s wireless AirPlay technology, so she can stream music from her iOS device or other networked devices, and the built-in Wi-Fi lets her directly access more than 16,000 Internet radio stations. The free Air Jam app adds a social element—iOS device users on the same network can create collaborative playlists and then stream them to the Music Tap. The Elite version ($479) adds Bluetooth. $399; www.pioneerelectronics.com
A modernist boombox for iOS devices, the iD3 pumps out a hefty 50 watts of power from a grille surrounded by an elegant translucent frame. This setup is geared toward the music lover rather than the movie buff, as you’re limited to portrait mode, but the sound benefits from adjustable bass and treble controls as well as iHome’s excellent Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station sound enhancement. $249; www.ihomeaudio.com
The iLuv iMM514’s adjustable arm rotates and angles her iOS device so she can watch movies and surf the web, making it ideal for iPad movie watching. The speakers in the base transform the setup into a miniature home theater. It comes with a bare-bones remote, but she can enhance the ArtStation with weather info, Internet radio, and a clock with the free iLuv app. As of press time, a version for Android tablets was in the works. $169; www.i-luv.com
This portable iPad/iPod/iPhone speaker charges his device while it plays, and he can hook another gadget up to it via USB to charge that too. A built-in FM tuner, a 6-hour rechargeable battery, Bluetooth streaming capability, and an internal subwoofer make the Sound Step versatile, though your device is limited to portrait orientation while docked. $159, www.soundfreaq.com
The iPad-friendly XtremeMac alarm Luna Voyager II is a dock that offers dual alarms, so he can wake up any way he wants with his device fully charged. A free app from the iTunes Store gives him granular control over wake-up options. And when he gets bored with his playlists, he can use the built-in FM tuner. $69.99; www.xtrememac.com