Buying a Speaker Docking Station

A speaker docking station turns your mp3 player or smartphone into a mini-home stereo. This guide to buying a speaker docking station will help you make an informed choice.

Speaker Docking Stations 101

Earbuds are great for private listening, but sometimes you may want to share your music with others, or simply feel free from wires or cords. A speaker docking station lets you fill a room with music from your mp3 player, smartphone or tablet. Docking stations come in different styles with different features. Some are even portable, which gives you the freedom to play your music aloud in different rooms, the backyard, the park, or even while camping. It is important to consider what type of device you plan to use with it and where you want to use it when you start thinking about bringing home a new speaker docking station. 

Types of Speaker Docking Stations

Portable

Portable

Portable docking stations come in a variety of sizes and are ideal for filling smaller spaces with your favourite music. Some portable docking stations are designed exclusively for iPods and iPhones; some use a standard 3.5mm connection that works with mp3 players or smartphone, and some can accommodate all the above. A portable docking station can operate on standard batteries, but lithium-ion batteries generally provide a longer-lasting charge. Most models come equipped with an AC adaptor for easy plug-in to a power outlet. 
 
Stationary

Stationary

Taking on the role of a traditional home stereo, stationary docking stations have the ability to offer undistorted bass, a clean midrange and transparent highs, resulting in great sound quality at any volume level. Bigger and heavier than portable docking stations, stationary models are also more powerful and have greater volume capabilities, making them a great choice to fill a large space for a party or family gathering. 
 
Clock%20Radio%20Docking%20Station

Clock Radio Docking Station

This unique twist makes waking up to a screaming alarm clock a thing of the past. A clock radio docking station lets you crack the dawn to your choice of song, be it classical, pop, rock or high-energy dance music. A clock radio docking station also includes AM/FM radio channels, easy to read digital display plus snooze and sleep functions, making it a versatile replacement for your traditional alarm clock.
 
Home%20Theatre%20Audio%20System

Home Theatre Audio System

Although not strictly a type of docking station, many modern home theatre audio systems with have the capability to connect mp3 players and smartphones via a standard 3.5mm jack. The potential for sound quality is limitless: you could easily have a 6-speaker set-up with subwoofer included. 
 

Speaker Docking Station Buying Tips:

  • Consider where you’ll use your docking station; to fill a larger area a more powerful model will be required
  • Check the connection compatibility between your device(s) and the docking station
  • When shopping in-store, listen to different docking stations before making your purchase to ensure that you’re happy with the sound quality
 

Speaker Docking Station Features

Video Output Connection +

Some speaker docking stations feature a video output connection that lets you play movies, TV shows and other video from your smartphone or mp3 player on your TV or home monitor. It’s an easy way to put all of favourite media and personal clips onto the big screen.

Remote Control +

Most docking stations come with a remote control, allowing to you to move around the room and still change tracks, adjust volume and control other basic functions on your smartphone or mp3.

Wireless Connectivity +

Bluetooth wireless connectivity gives you the freedom to move around with your smartphone or mp3 player while it remains engaged with the speaker docking station. It won’t be charging, but it essentially gives you remote control of your audio (and visual if outputting to a TV or monitor). Some devices and stations will already be compatible. For others you can attach a compact transmitter to your handheld device which sends signals to your docking station speakers. Some models also feature speakers which can disengage and be placed in an optimal location for sound coverage in your room or space.

Charging +

If you’re the owner of an iPod, iPhone or iPad, your device will automatically recharge its batteries when it’s plugged in to your docking station. If your device is plugged into your alarm clock docking station it won’t just wake you up with your favourite morning music, it’ll also be fully charged, ready for to you to use throughout the day.

USB Connection +

Some speaker docking stations can be connected to laptops or computers though a USB cable. This lets you update your music or content without having to disconnect from the docking station.

3.5 mm Audio Mini-Jack +

Most speaker docking stations are equipped with a 3.5mm audio line-in to allow connections with any type of mp3 player or portable audio device.

Radio +

Some models come with a built-in radio so you can listen to your favourite AM or FM stations in addition to all your favourite playlists.

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Speaker Docking Station Maintenance Tips:

  • Keep dirt, dust and sand away from your docking station
  • Keep food and liquids away from your docking station
  • Pull your device firmly when removing; do not yank
  • Keep your home docking station out of direct sunlight as the batteries will drain faster at a higher temperature
  • Clean regularly with a duster, but do not use liquid cleaners
 

Did you know?

Did you know?
Most docking stations have a headphone port so you can listen to your music without waking up the rest of the family.
 
 
Did you know?
You can now purchase weather-resistant docking stations, allowing you to enjoy your music outside whatever the season.
 
 
Legal
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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