The new iPhone 5 came with a new connector, losing the 30-pin Dock connector, for a smaller, faster and better “Lightning” port. However, that came with its certain disadvantages as well, as all legacy accessories that worked up to the iPhone 4S are now useless. Obviously, manufacturers quickly caught up, by releasing accessories compatible with the new Apple handset. With so many new options on the market today, which one is the best iPhone 5 speaker dock?
The speaker dock is by far one of the most popular iPhone 5 accessories. It’s the best way to transform your smartphone into a room-filling jukebox, while still charging it. It’s also a nice place to store your iPhone whenever you are at home – that’s because you can always remember where you’ve put it and never again ask another family member or friend to call you so you can find it.
Top 3 iPhone 5 Speaker Docks
Bose has quickly issued an update to its popular SoundDock series, making the 3rd generation SoundDock compatible with the last-generation iPhone. However, the quick transition didn’t leave too much room for other improvements, so the $250 Bose is asking for will only buy you something very similar to the SoundDock series II, which is after all a 5 year old audio system.
In appearance, sans the new Lightning connector, there is no difference between the latest SoundDock model and its predecessor. However, despite its age it is still a handsome design that you would like to show off on your desk. You get true Bose quality here, but without any Airplay or Bluetooth connectivity. That means your device has to be in the dock connector at all times in order to play music. There’s a remote, though, with which you can control the sound system, so you don’t have to go to your iPhone every time you want to raise the volume or skip a song.
The differences in sound quality are nonexistent as well. It still sounds very good, as with all Bose devices, but not good enough to justify the $250 price tag. Since 2008, when the SoundDock system too originally launched, the speaker industry has gone a long way, and you can buy a similar system for maybe even $100 less. Although Bose has the brand recognition on its side, it’s not the iPhone 5 speaker dock we recommend.
Philips has released some of the cheapest iPhone 5 speaker docks on the market today, the $80 DS1155 clock dock and the $90 DS3205 speaker dock. They are undoubtedly some of the most affordable Lightning speakers yet to be available.
Somehow similar to the updates Bose made, the new Philips models resemble earlier designs. The clock dock is still a UFO-shaped speaker that includes a clock and a night light, all in a compact design, just 7-inch long in diameter.
Unlike the Bose designs however, these don’t feel premium. They are mostly made out of black fabric and some cheap plastic, but for the price, we can’t complain. The more expensive, $90 model resembles a tall angled bowl.
The sound quality is not the best, but it’s the one you would expect from such a price point. When you hit the maximum volume level, you’re likely to hear some distorted sound, although admittedly, these two models sound better than the JBL OnBeat Micro, which is a bit more expensive.
All in all, if you’re on a budget, these are two of the best iPhone 5 speaker docks we recommend.
JBL’s OnBeat Venue LT is the last iPhone 5 speaker dock we will review today, and it’s worthy of our recommendation. For just $199 you get a quality speaker dock that has only one noteworthy flaw.
Similar to its predecessor, that used the now-obsolete 30-pin dock connector, the OnBeat Venue LT can operate wireless as well as while the iPhone is docked. However, the design is quite different and it may not be suitable for most modern homes. Check the pictures for yourself and decide whether it’s right for you or not.
The controls are a little unusual, mainly because there is no remote control, something pretty weird for a $200 audio system. Despite these apparent drawbacks, the JBL system makes up for the flaws where it matters the most: in the way it sounds. You’ll be amazed at how loud the little thing can get, and how good the bass is. Overall, the sound is solid and balanced, while not being somehow exceptional. It’s very good value for your money.
These are just three of the most popular iPhone speaker docks that make use of the Lightning connector and are thus compatible with the latest Apple handset. It’s up to you to decide which iPhone 5 speaker dock fits your needs the best.