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(National) December 22, 2006 - Most people use a headset to listen to their iPods or other mp3 players. Another option is a speaker system, so you can listen without headphones or share your music.
Consumer Reports' Richard Hammond just tested six. They ranged in price from $200 to $300.
Some have adaptors so they also work with other kinds of mp3 players. And some have extra inputs for hooking up CD players and other devices.
To test audio quality, Rich fed each system with what's called "pink noise," which contains all audio frequencies. A computer showed how accurately the speaker reproduced the highs, mid-range, and bass.
Audio panelists also listened to the speakers to assess sound quality.
It turned out all the speaker systems did well in the tests, although a few were particularly good.
The $300 Bose Sound-Dock delivered the most accurate sound. The JBL Radial for $300 is a good choice if you want to hook up external devices, as is the Klipsich iGroove for $250.
If you have something other than an iPod, Consumer Reports says the Klipsich is your best option.