SPEAK­ERS

DRUM UP SOME NOISE WITH THESE TOP PICKS

iPhone Life Magazine - - 2018 Best Tech Guide - BY DONNA CLEVE­LAND

Mar­shall Woburn ($549) The Woburn is a wolf in sheep's cloth­ing. This leather and brass amp-style speaker looks un­der­stated—un­til you turn it on and the sound comes out roar­ing. You can ad­just the bass and tre­ble with brass knobs on the top, mak­ing it per­fect for host­ing par­ties or jam­ming out on your own. I love that it in­cludes not only Blue­tooth ca­pa­bil­i­ties, but a 3.5mm jack for a wired con­nec­tion, as well as an RCA in­put to hook up a record player and en­joy mu­sic the old-school way.

JBL Clip 3 ($59.95) The Clip 3's su­per­power is its us­able de­sign; it's highly por­ta­ble, built to fight the el­e­ments (in­clud­ing wa­ter), and easy to pair for a flawless Blue­tooth con­nec­tion. JBL speak­ers sound a lit­tle muddy in the mid-tones, but for a mini speaker, the Clip 3's au­dio qual­ity and vol­ume is im­pres­sive. You'll also be hard pressed to find a full 10 hours of play­time in an­other mini, and the built-in cara­biner makes it easy to stow on your back­pack dur­ing out­door ad­ven­tures! If you don't mind shilling out more for bet­ter sound, try my per­sonal fa­vorite, the Ul­ti­mate Ears Won­der­boom ($99.99).

Anker Sound­core Flare ($59.99) Per­fect for a col­lege dorm or teenager's bed­room, the Anker Sound­core Flare is not only af­ford­able but also fun, thanks to its bass-driven light­show (hence the name “flare”). You can check on the bat­tery lev­els, ad­just play­back, and daisy chain other speak­ers us­ing the Sound­core app on your iPhone. If lights aren't your thing, save some ex­tra cash and buy the Anker

Sound­core Mo­tion Q Speaker ($45.99). Both speak­ers are wa­ter­proof and de­liver nice sound at mod­er­ate vol­umes.

Ama­zon Echo ($99.99) While I rarely stray from Ap­ple's prod­uct ecosys­tem, the Ama­zon Echo has a per­ma­nent place on my kitchen counter. The value propo­si­tion is just so good—its smart as­sis­tant Alexa can con­nect to thou­sands of third-party apps so I can lis­ten to the news, start a 7-minute work­out, or rev up playlists from Ama­zon's mu­sic li­brary, all for a third of the price of Ap­ple's HomePod. If you have smart home prod­ucts though, you may find the HomePod's Ap­ple in­te­gra­tions worth the ex­tra money (page 32).

Ul­ti­mate Ears Me­ga­boom 3 ($199.99) You'll be hard pressed to find a bet­ter wa­ter­proof speaker than UE's Me­ga­boom 3. Its sound qual­ity is best in class, as is its rugged build. Ideal for pool par­ties or a soak in the tub, the Me­ga­boom 3 can float with you while pump­ing out 360-de­gree sound. The sound is clear and undis­torted even at full vol­ume, and the power of the bass is pretty shock­ing. Bor­row­ing from tech used in elec­tric cars, UE's lat­est bat­tery lasts up to 20 hours on a sin­gle charge!

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