Shelf-size stereo delivers massive sound from a tiny footprint

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So much sound in such a small package.
So much sound in such a small package.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Now that we’re in the era of the portable Bluetooth speaker, it’s hard to justify spending money on a stereo that just sits on a shelf at home.

That perception is exactly what this tiny stereo system from German audio giant Thonet and Vander aims to fight, though. The Rätsel brings old-school stereo sensibility to the modern age, with an absolutely room-filling sound in a tiny, tiny package. Why not have something that sounds this great right there on your shelf?

Bem’s Retro Radio-Style Speaker Separates Into Stereo Sections

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Bem-Speaker-Duo

Bem’s upcoming Wireless Speaker Duo is great in all kinds of ways. First, it looks like an old-timey radio, complete with rounded edges and simple bent-metal handle. Second, it has proper playback control buttons on the top. And third, it contains two speakers which can be popped out and separated to make a stereo pair, before being returned to the base for charging.

UE Boom Mini – Tiny Speakers, Huge Sound, Colorful Look [Review]

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Mini Boom

Ultimate Ears, owned by Logitech, makes my favorite portable speaker ever: the UE Boom. The cylindrical powerhouse of a speaker is rugged, stylish, and easy to use.

Mini Boom by Ultimate Ears
Category: Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Works With: iOS, Mac, Any sound source
Price: $99.99 per speaker

Imagine my utter joy when I received Ultimate Ears’ latest entry into the portable speaker market, the UE MiniBoom, and found them to be even tinier and equally rugged and easy to use. Oh, and they sound fantastic, too.

Earshots: Pocket-Sized Rechargeable Stereo Speakers For Your Devices

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standingsilver

I’m always surprised how much bigger and louder stereo speakers make music sound. It might be the fact that the 3-D space it creates fools our stupid brains into thinking that the music is surrounding us, but the difference is huge. Try it: take a device that’s hooked up to actual separate stereo speakers and flip between stereo and mono with your source.

And so I expect the Earshots Stereo Speakers to sound a lot bigger than their 34mm diameter would suggest.

One Ruggedized UE BOOM Bluetooth Speaker is Cool, But Two Gets You Stereo Sound

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It’s unlikely that the Jawbone Jambox will be shoved off its throne anytime soon; not necessarily because it’s the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker out there, but because it was here first, and it made a huge splash (in part because, yes, it sounds pretty good).

But I were to bet on a challenger, I might put my money on the smart new UE Boom. Not only is it ruggedized against drops and splashes, but it’s armed with two very unusual tricks.