I need an affordable iPod dock that travels well. Yes, I've searched other AskMe questions.
June 12, 2012 2:28 PM   Subscribe

I need a portable iPod all-in-one dock (like a boombox); something you put the iPod into and it just plays the music for about $50 or less. It doesn't have to have audiophile-quality sound. It just has to do its job, and be sturdy enough to travel a lot.

To head off this suggestion at the pass: yes, I have searched AskMe for questions about iPod docks, portable iPod solutions, and related tags. Most of the recommended products have been either too expensive or are no longer available.

I have an older iPod; it's one of the video ones from 2005. I teach ballroom dance to engaged couples (and sometimes their entire wedding parties). I travel to their homes and work specifically with what they want to do (much better than them paying for classes where they only get to do what is taught to the entire class and they don't get detailed personal attention).

So I need a way to play my iPod wherever I go, but I can't afford to spend more than $50. The sound quality is not as important as a) affordability and b) portability—we just need to hear the music and feel the beat. And it has to be able to accommodate my particular iPod. I don't care what it looks like.

It would be best if it can be plugged in (and charge the iPod while plugged in) because my iPod is old enough that it doesn't hold a charge for very long.

I don't want speakers&mdashnot even small ones—they're more unwieldy than a dock and I'd rather keep cords/wires to a minimum.

Anyone have a product they're happy with that fits my specifications?
posted by chonus to Technology (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Forgot to mention - a remote would be great, but a lack of a remote is not a deal breaker.
posted by chonus at 2:42 PM on June 12, 2012

There are original Apple iPhone/iPod docks for $3.99 on eBay.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:54 PM on June 12, 2012

Those docks have line out ports to go to your amp/speakers. You can plug in your usual iPhone/iPod charger at the back of the dock.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:59 PM on June 12, 2012

Those are all listed as "iPhone" only, as far as I can tell, and I don't have/don't want an amp or speakers--as I say in the question, this is for traveling to other people's homes.
posted by chonus at 3:00 PM on June 12, 2012

I misunderstood your question. But you can find "classic iPod" docks here for $15, and you can use similar search terms on other sites. You say you don't want speakers, so that should fit the bill. You plug the line out port to your amp/speakers (whoever those might belong to).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:04 PM on June 12, 2012

I've obviously phrased my question poorly. I want an all-in-one dock (like a boombox); something you put the iPod into and it just plays the music. I've seen Bose docks like this, but they're $300.

If i contact a mod, will they edit my question for clarity?
posted by chonus at 3:14 PM on June 12, 2012

My girlfriend has this Logitech one $40 on ebay. Sound is loud enough, it's portable and comes with a decent carrying case.
posted by sandmanwv at 3:26 PM on June 12, 2012

Perhaps take a look at Craigslist?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 PM on June 12, 2012

The Altec-Lansing IMT320 seems like a decent choice as it's quite compact, runs on batteries or on AC power, and charges your ipod.

To gain a remote, you could increase you budget by five dollars and grab the Logitech Pure Fi Express.
posted by Harpocrates at 3:27 PM on June 12, 2012

Strong endorsement of Logitech here. Very reliable travel dock, and surprisingly good sound.
posted by bearwife at 3:33 PM on June 12, 2012

I have this portable speaker box from Goal Zero, and it works with all iPods/iPhones. It can be very loud, the sound quality is decent, and it uses a USB-rechargable battery for 20-40 hours of playtime. It's $40 on their site, but every store I've seen it in sells it for $30.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:11 PM on June 12, 2012

I got this one off Woot for $50; there's a refurbished one available on amazon for the same price. It meets all your requirements: totally portable, a remote control (that slips into the back of the unit), a carrying handle that doubles as a stand, recharges your iPod while it's plugged in, and not the greatest sound in the world but completely serviceable.
posted by DrGail at 6:23 PM on June 12, 2012

I like my Skullcandy Pipe. Seems like it would meet your criteria, including remote.
posted by gnutron at 6:25 PM on June 12, 2012

I'm happy with the Memorex Minimove Portable BoomBox; decent sound, very portable, has a remote and charges the iPod.

I picked up a refurbished one for $25 a couple of years ago.
posted by zosime at 7:13 PM on June 12, 2012

If you can do $59.99 US shipping included, the Altec Lansing IMT620 (specs) is the one. New, includes AC adapter and remote. I can recommend that site. This model has great reviews for $89 on Amazon.
posted by caclwmr4 at 11:22 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Why not just get a hollow tube or hunk of bamboo and DIY it?

posted by tilde at 6:21 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Be aware, while the connector used on ipods appears as if it has not changed in many years, it has changed several times. Not all docks work with all systems. I highly suspect your ipod is old enough that it won't work with new docks. Reputable manufacturers will usually list what models will work with each product.

I would suggest something with a line input that you can plug the heapdhone output of the ipod (turned up to 90ish percent volume and than use the speaker to control the volume).

I have the Jawbone Jambox and thinks it does an acceptable job filling the space of a typical office/bedroom. It's tolerable in a typical family room. My level of happiness* with it is enough that if I were in your situation, I would immediately go buy a BigJambox and be done with it.

* there are likely equal/better sounding speakers for the less/same price. But it has the right combination of battery life, size, sound quality, volume.
posted by fief at 9:24 PM on June 13, 2012

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