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Top iPad Speaker Docks (30-Pin)

OnBeat Xtreme  
Fidelio DS8550  
RDP-XF300iP 
Fidelio DS7700 
Octiv Stage MP450 

Top iPad Speaker Docks (Lightning)

OnBeat Venue LT 

The list of iPod and iPhone speaker docks is amazingly long. So, it shouldn't be too surprising that many of those same manufacturers are starting to produce some for the iPad. Even better, most of those docks work equally well for all those iDevices.

You'll already have noticed that the sound from the tiny speakers of the iPad itself is far from impressive. You may have concluded that the tablet simply can't pump it out, right? Not so!

Plug in a good pair of headphones and you'll soon discover that the iPad actually can create a fine audio experience. Slide one onto an iPad speaker dock and you'll learn that "fine" really means "outstanding".

Not every dock is the equal of a pair of standalone audiophile speakers, even the smaller versions. But what is surprising is how many come so close. Bass response even from a pair of two inch neodymium drivers set close together is often full and rich. Trebles are crisp, mid-range frequencies are usually clean and ample.

Also a little surprising is how low the signal-to-noise ratios are on the latest generation of iPad speaker docks. They also offer good dynamic range for such small units.

Here, "small" really does mean "tiny", comparatively speaking. Most are much smaller than boom boxes of days gone by. Some have speakers that stand guard on each side of the iPad. Others enclose the drivers in a base barely wider than the tablet itself. Both configurations put out plenty of sound while providing a stable base.

Controls on the latest iPad speaker docks tend to be minimal, usually just a Power button and Volume controls. That's fine. With all the controls on the iPad itself (and a remote control), you hardly need them on the base itself.

Most models also typically offer an 3.5mm Aux jack for plugging in other MP3 devices. USB ports are an option on some models. A few come with Bluetooth to take advantage of the dock's amplifier and speakers. You can enjoy the improved sound with or without using the base as an iPad support.

Whichever model iPad speaker dock tickles your fancy, you're likely to be more than pleased. You'll be impressed :) !