Music Sources Explained
Modern speakers include portable travel speakers, compact speaker systems and docking stations for Apple products. They give you a convenient way to listen to music from your smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or other device, depending on the type of connections they offer.
There are different speaker designs available for use at home or on the move, with a variety of technologies and features that improve the sound from devices such as your phone and tablet.
Some offer the option to play music wirelessly, while others include aux-in to play various music players – or you can choose a speaker with a physical dock that holds your Apple iPod, iPhone or iPad.
Speakers allow you to connect different devices and make enjoying music as convenient as possible. Below we’ve listed the key features to look out for when you’re choosing a speaker or dock.
Bluetooth allows you to play music wirelessly from any Bluetooth wireless technology enabled device, sparing you the need for audio cables, physical music formats and having to rely on a certain playback device.
Simply pair your device with the Bluetooth speaker and press play. It’s a convenient and sociable way to share music from different players, and can be especially useful when you want to listen to something specific or spontaneously change playlists at a party.
NFC (Near Field Communication) works with Bluetooth to make the pairing process simple and direct. It’s the same technology that’s used in contactless payment cards.
You touch your NFC-enabled device to the speaker, which sets up a direct connection between speaker and player. Then, simply select the ‘yes’ option when you’re asked to pair, and enjoy easy, uninterrupted music listening.
When buying a portable speaker it’s important to note its battery life, which allows you to use it in different ways.
Some speakers are designed to deliver a couple of hours’ music playback - ideal for a garden party or picnic. Other speaker models offer more than 15 hours’ battery life so that you can enjoy music on the move for a whole weekend from a single charge.
Choose the portable speaker with the battery life that best suits how you’ll use it.
Many speakers feature integrated docks for use with Apple products. Simply place your Apple device into the docking station and start playing your music.
Newer models featuring an Apple Lightning dock will usually charge your products while playing, so they’re always ready to go when you are. If you want a speaker that charges your phone, tablet or MP3 player, check that it’s able to do this before buying.
Some speakers have special features which allow them to be used in a variety of situations.
- Splashproof speakers are ideal for camping weekends, festivals or beach holidays. While you can’t swim with them, they are resistant to moisture from the rain or sea.
- Dustproof speakers are designed to be used in tougher environments than standard speakers - if you love the great outdoors then a dustproof speaker is a sensible choice.
- Waterproof speakers are made for use by the pool or wherever you know there’s going to be a lot of water. Look out for these cleverly-designed speakers, which are ideal for boisterous family holidays or outings.
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