Does anyone make an mp3 player with speakers built in?
November 22, 2004 10:01 AM   Subscribe

I don't believe in headphones. Does anyone make an mp3 player with speakers built in, like a small boombox perhaps? Seems like an obvious market (even people who DO use headphones sometimes want to share their music with others in the room), but I have yet to see one.
posted by rushmc to Technology (28 answers total)
 
I haven't seen any direct mp3 boomboxes. There are several things you can plug an iPod into, however. I've got a Tivoli PAL and love it. 10 hour battery, awesome sound, super portable, nice looks. It's got audio in so you can use it with any mp3 player, but i've got my iPod belt clip velcro'd to the side and use an iTrip.
posted by rschroed at 10:16 AM on November 22, 2004


My iPod is plugged into my home stereo with a single cable. No hack required.
posted by dobbs at 10:27 AM on November 22, 2004


There should be speakers available that are portable and plug into the headphone jack (at least there were a few years ago). They're not very good though.
posted by drezdn at 10:47 AM on November 22, 2004


I'm seeing more and more boomboxes which can play MP3 CDs, but don't remember ever seeing a standalone MP3 with built-in speakers.

This particular boombox from Philips (Best Buy link) plays MP3 CDs, and has a USB port to stream files directly from your PC.

The gameport to me is a plus too.
posted by icontemplate at 10:48 AM on November 22, 2004


You might be happy with an MP3-CD-playing boomboxes, or a digital voice recorder (some of the snazzier ones record to mp3 and can transfer files to and from a computer), or a set of portable speakers. But a compact one-piece mp3-playing boombox? As far as I know, there is no such thing.
posted by box at 10:50 AM on November 22, 2004


I have an IPAQ. I bought it refurbished and at the same price of a new Ipod, It not only plays music, but keeps track of appointments and has a nintendo emulator on it. The thing has a single speaker and a headphone jack. The speaker is pretty loud in a quiet room.

Maybe you are looking for that something like that?
posted by joelf at 10:58 AM on November 22, 2004


Get an iPod, an iTrip, and a ghettoblaster (even a vintage 1980s one would work!). Problem solved!
posted by neckro23 at 10:59 AM on November 22, 2004


I've been really happy with the Altec-Lansing InMotion. I use it just at home, but it also takes AAs and folds up pretty portable. Gets plenty loud, too.
posted by nickmark at 11:00 AM on November 22, 2004


I use a cassette adapter with my iPod. I just slide the adapter into anything that has a tape deck, and I'm good to go. There is better clarity in a direct connection like the adapter (or one that plugs into the AUX jacks of the stereo) than with the FM transmitters, which are handier and easier to use. Trade-offs abound, as is usually the case.
posted by PossumCowboy at 11:02 AM on November 22, 2004


I guess I wasn't clear...I'm looking for a portable solution, so something that plugs into the home stereo won't do the trick. It used to be that there was a personal portable choice for music (Walkman) and a public portable choice (boombox, AM/FM portable radio, etc.). It just boggles my mind that we've become so insular now that there's not even a product marketed for sharing music with others outside of your home/car (in mp3 format, which has obvious advantages over CDs--number of songs that can be carried and lack of physical medium to be lost/damaged). A set of speakers to plug into a normal mp3 player is the closest solution I've seen, but as drezdn notes above, the sound quality sucks.

How hard would it be to make a boombox like case with decent speakers and controls built in, with a hard drive or even just a flash card slot, or both) and the proper input/output jacks? I've talked to other people who would want this, and yet it seems to be a complete gap in the marketplace.

(Clearly, I'm not suggesting this as a replacement to personal mp3 players...I just find it appalling that listening to music should become an exclusively private thing to do.)
posted by rushmc at 12:45 PM on November 22, 2004


(Plus, as I said, I won't use headphones, which limits me personally.)
posted by rushmc at 12:47 PM on November 22, 2004


i don't really think there's much demand for a single portable mp3 player ala boombox, given that the portable personal player (such as my creative labs nomad) fulfills all the functions with its variety of accessories (tape player adapter, fm radio adapter, desktop speakers, headphones, portable speakers, and output jack for the home stereo). therefore, i don't think anyone does make/sell what you're describing because so many viable options exist already for sharing your mp3s with everyone in the room.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:02 PM on November 22, 2004


It would appear that these options are not viable for him.
I can see what he's getting at, a small player with speakers that he can plug his flashcard into to play music when a computer isn't available.
I'll get my kids working on that for you rush :)
posted by kamylyon at 1:16 PM on November 22, 2004


iBoom - slide your ipod in, pull out some big sheets of cardboard and start breakdancing on the street corner.
posted by evoo at 1:44 PM on November 22, 2004


How hard would it be to make a boombox like case with decent speakers and controls built in, with a hard drive or even just a flash card slot, or both) and the proper input/output jacks?

Flash slot - OK.

Hard drive - probably a bad idea. The speakers will constantly vibrate the unit if the volume is maxxed. That can't be good for a hard drive. :)
posted by shepd at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2004


rushmc: It just boggles my mind that we've become so insular now that there's not even a product marketed for sharing music with others outside of your home/car (in mp3 format, which has obvious advantages over CDs--number of songs that can be carried and lack of physical medium to be lost/damaged).

I was pretty excited to I-told-you-so here, but after some digging, I can't find anything either. I think you're onto something here, though I don't think it has anything to do with being insular as a society (more to do with miniaturization and flexibility and a gap in the marketplace). Although my irrational love for headphones means I wouldn't find much use for it personally, I think a lot of people might find use for a CD-MP3 boombox with an input jack, and flash slot. What would the price point be, I wonder? $100? $150? $200?

(On preview, I agree with shepd about the HD. )
posted by Sinner at 2:55 PM on November 22, 2004


What if you want to listen to music on a picnic in the park or at the beach, for example? None of crush-onastick's approaches will work for that. Or to take camping to a cabin in the woods for a week. Etc.
posted by rushmc at 6:22 PM on November 22, 2004


Interesting point rush....there really doesn't appear to be such a thing. I must tell you though, headphones do exist though, even if you don't believe in them. I've seen them. They aren't like fairies.

me ol' ma once told me she didn't believe in chiropractors...I had to tell her the same thing. Sorry, I realize that my comment isn't very helpful. I couldn't resist.
posted by Richat at 6:50 PM on November 22, 2004


They aren't like fairies.

No, not like fairies...more like evil hearing loss devils.
posted by rushmc at 7:02 PM on November 22, 2004


Have you considered a ghettoblaster mod?
posted by glibhamdreck at 7:44 PM on November 22, 2004


It just boggles my mind that we've become so insular now that there's not even a product marketed for sharing music with others outside of your home/car

I guess second hand music is getting as bad a rep as second hand smoke (although it hasn't yet been linked to causing cancer...according to this site, the opposite is true).
posted by boost ventilator at 8:25 PM on November 22, 2004


This device by Denon/Marantz Pro is portable and has a built-in speaker, although the unit is designed more for professional audio recording.
posted by one at 8:37 PM on November 22, 2004


For a very portable speaker solution, you could use the Soundbug. It sounds pretty tinny, but it's really dependant on what you stick it onto. I've gotten some decent sound from big lab tables on campus (and it's surprisingly loud).

It's kind of more of just a nifty gadget, but I've actually used it a number of times.
posted by PantsOfSCIENCE at 2:14 AM on November 23, 2004


Another nifty-gadget mention: the frankly bizarre cassette-tape-shaped Rome mp3 player. It's not what you're looking for either, but I feel richer for living in a world where it exists.

Until the gap in the market is (inevitably) filled, your options would seem to boil down to either a PocketPC/Palm/palmtop/etc. (abysmal sound quality), an MP3-CD boombox (doesn't read flash or have a hard drive) or a regular personal mp3 player and some kind of portable speaker (inelegant, typically bad sound). Perhaps you'd be happiest with a conventional mp3 player and one of these?

(Also, that tablet PC boombox is awesome.)
posted by box at 7:52 AM on November 23, 2004


Here's a solution!
posted by black8 at 8:03 AM on November 23, 2004


black8: Here's a solution!

Except for being, you know, not a solution. The BOSE device is just another portable device that can interface with personal players via some sort of "AUX IN" function, docking cradle or otherwise. The whole thrust of this thread is to find something with all of those functions (including a flash reader/HD) built in.
posted by Sinner at 8:55 AM on November 23, 2004


MobiBLU DHH-100-5 (5GB) - built-in stereo speakers
posted by boost ventilator at 3:51 PM on November 24, 2004


I don't see the speakers on that one, boost ventilator. But I just spotted this release notice:

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/article-11562.php
posted by rushmc at 7:47 AM on December 6, 2004


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