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Consumer Reports Tests iPod Speaker Systems

Posted December 10, 2007 5:29 p.m. EST
Updated December 10, 2007 10:11 p.m. EST

— With the incredible success of iPods, sales of iPod speaker systems are taking off. They are expected to top $1 billion this year.

Nearly a quarter of all Americans have an iPod or other MP3 player. Just in time for the holidays, Consumer Reports tested 10 of the newest iPod speaker systems.

A $150 Acoustic Research system comes with separate speakers. With the $350 Altec Lansing, you can also view iPod videos. The $500 system from Chestnut Hill Sound has a remote control to make it easier to operate your iPod and select songs.

To find out which speakers had the best sound quality, testers had each system play something you would probably never choose to listen to – a mixture of all audio frequencies, called pink noise.

A computer was used to measure how accurately the speakers reproduced the highs, mid-range and base tones.

Testers also listened to a range of music on each system.

The $350 Cambridge SoundWorks Radio CD earned top-ratings, with excellent sound quality and a lot of features, including a CD player and clock radio.

As for the $350 Altec Lansing that plays video, Consumer Reports found its sound quality was also impressive.