Portable amplification for an mp3 player
May 18, 2004 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Portable amplification for an mp3 player? (More inside).

I’m looking for a portable way to amplify an mp3 player outdoors with decent sound and some volume (backyard gatherings, not raves). I used to have a high-end boombox, now defunct, that had an AUX input for an external player. I haven’t been able to find any currently available boomboxes with the same option. Do any exist? If not, is my best bet a pc speaker system or another solution (some compact amp & speaker combo)? (It has to be moved quite frequently, but not far. This is for a rental house so I don’t want to install anything permanent).
posted by liam to Technology (7 answers total)
I vote for decent PC speakers, which can be had for reasonable prices, and can even come with a subwoofer. Definitely better than a boom box in most cases.

I have an old (very old) amp that I use sometimes with bookshelf speakers. I use it in the garage 'cause I don't care if it gets covered with sawdust.
posted by RustyBrooks at 11:46 AM on May 18, 2004

The problem with computer speakers is that they tend to not be all that loud - which will be a problem outdoors. And they're usually not battery powered. Much as I hate to recommend Bose, the Bose MediaMate speakers are pretty good and loud (not battery powered) and I hear good things about the Cambridge Soundworks speakers.

Forget about those "personal stereo portable speakers" - I've tried all sorts, including flat panel speakers, and they're all too quiet to have proper fun with!

So I would really say you want a boombox type thing. This Cambridge Soundworks PlayDock is a boombox designed for use with the Nomad players - it might well work with an iPod too.
posted by skylar at 1:23 PM on May 18, 2004

You can usually use a tape adapter for a car stereo into a boom box. You just have to kinda jam the door shut against the wire. Otherwise, look on ebay for old skool boom boxes. You can even find them with RCA in.
posted by badstone at 2:09 PM on May 18, 2004

I wasn't sure whether the car stereo adapter-cassette would fit but I'll give it a shot. I should also try using an iRock, although there isn't too much free space on the fm dial in the NYC area. Thanks for the suggestions.
posted by liam at 2:49 PM on May 18, 2004

I just bought these, and they work pretty well. The sound is relatively clear, and it fills my backyard space pretty nicely.
posted by danwalker at 7:28 PM on May 18, 2004

the Groove bag! (too girly?)

or the inMotion speakers.
posted by milovoo at 11:27 AM on May 19, 2004

OK, worst hackiest case, you just remove the door from the tape player altogether and hold the adapter in place with some aesthetically pleasing duct tape.
posted by badstone at 11:02 AM on May 20, 2004

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