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iHome Mini Speakers : Portable, Powerful

Just in time for graduation and summer vacation, the perfect iPod accessory for travelers and teens alike: iHome's rechargeable Mini Speakers.

Boy, are they cute! For you guys out there who might think that cuteness isn't a factor in your electronics purchasing decisions, think of them this way: these sweet little speakers won the reddot design award in 2008. Plus, our partner site,, has designated them "Fancy Green Approved" for their eco considerations. No batteries necessary; the iHome Mini Speakers run on internal rechargeable batteries.

In addition to loving the size and pleasing mushroom shape, I really appreciate how portable this petite sound system is. When not in use, each speaker packs down to the size of a mini muffin. The bottoms of the speakers are magnetized so they stick together for easy packing into their own little black drawstring pouch, which fits easily into the top pocket of my mini day pack. Tidy.

For their price point, I wasn't expecting great sound, but I have to say, they're fine little speakers. I use them more as personal speakers than to fill a room with music when friends are over, although I often have them on in the living room when I'm in the kitchen doing dishes. They have more oomph than I imagined. My tunes sound clear and plenty loud enough; I don't get any feedback or distortion.

The iHome speakers are perfect for hotel rooms, dorm rooms, camp sites, and any other venue where space is limited (or the location would prevent you from hauling big speakers along). I use mine with my old iPod (10GB--how old!), my shuffle, and with my G4 PowerBook. The speakers are compatible with a variety of music players, cell phones, and other audio devices.

Each speaker has its own power switch and rechargeable battery. When they need recharging, I just plug them into the USB slot on my Mac or on my Belkin power strip.

Available in black, silver, purple, and red.

Bottom Line: A sweet summer treat for you for someone you love.--E.D. (May 09)

Price : $49.99 on sale for less -- now at

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