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ipod speakers for playback

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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 15:16   #1
Jhanlon
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ipod speakers for playback

This query relates to playback rather than recording - hope I've posted in the right section.

I'm in the process of synching all my bird call CD's to my wife's spare ipod nano but need a speaker for it. I need something that has enough power to broadcast the sound a fair way but is small enough to fit in a pocket. Any ideas?

thanks in advance
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 10:38   #2
Xenospiza
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I'd advise to get the Radioshack speakers from Birdguides* (*of course, other sources are available).
They can make a lot of noise. The accompanying cables are a bit stiff & sensitive (I broke two on holiday): get spares from a store.
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 11:32   #3
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I'd advise to get the Radioshack speakers from Birdguides* (*of course, other sources are available).
They can make a lot of noise. The accompanying cables are a bit stiff & sensitive (I broke two on holiday): get spares from a store.
Agreed. Excellent sound reproduction and very loud!!
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Old Thursday 27th May 2010, 10:49   #4
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Thanks guys. What's interesting is that the Radioshack model is listed as a mini amplifier, whereas I had been looking at speakers (which presumably don't amplify the power??). Some of the speakers are a lot smaller and easier to fit in a trouser pocket. Can anyone confirm this? Do I need an amplifier instead of a mini speaker to generate enough reach? And can this 'reach' be converted into desired output power eg 1 or 2 watts, etc?
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Old Thursday 27th May 2010, 11:58   #5
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I've used the Radioshack speakers for well over 15 years: they are small, extremely durable and easily carried in a pocket.

Even with tons of use, I've found the required 9V battery will last for several months. If you plan to use your set-up abroad on short holidays, one battery should be all you need (worth bearing in mind given that 9V are not necessarily so easy to find). I carry spares with me as I typically go abroad for 3-5 months, but often still find that I don't need a replacement.

One thing you do need to carry with you, however, is a small screwdriver, which is the only way to easily take the back off and change the battery. Using another suitable object to unscrew the back will eventually "screw the screw"!

As an aside, I've found the 3G nano iPods, at least, to be much worse as playback devices compared to "classics". My two classics have "crashed" once (between them) in a total of three years use, whereas the nano has been consistently problematic over the same period. My local Mac store knew nothing about any increased risk in "freezing" with nanos, so maybe I've just been unlucky.

If you do have problems with an iPod, take it into a Mac store if you can. They replaced my problematic nano with a brand-new one for 35 (which was particularly good given that I bought the other one second-hand). Just for the record, the classics I bought were second-hand too.
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Old Thursday 27th May 2010, 12:07   #6
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Most U.S. birders I know use an iMainGo with their IPods. I think it's the most compact option, and has decent "reach".

http://www.imaingo.com/

Best,
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Old Thursday 27th May 2010, 12:21   #7
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The built in amp in an iPod is only designed to drive the headphones simply plugging speakers in will be barely audible.

All external speakers available have some sort of amp to produce the volume they do, which needs power, you can get some that run off you iPod battery but most use a separate battery.
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Old Friday 28th May 2010, 15:36   #8
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OK, I think the Radioshack model wins over the imaingo on account of its smaller size. It seems to be out of stock everywhere except on Birdguides. I'm wondering if the model is exactly the same, as BG lists it with slightly different (smaller) dimensions but also charges twice as much as most other outlets (maybe they have the only ones left so have upped the price!)

What's interesting is that the 'generic' advert used everywhere has picked up on its adoption by the birding community listing this type of use as its 'most unusual application'!
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Old Friday 28th May 2010, 15:55   #9
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OK, I think the Radioshack model wins over the imaingo on account of its smaller size.
Well, the imaingo fits perfectly in my coat or birders' vest pocket. It's the size of a small field guide, and the ipod is contained within it, so you don't have to juggle multiple items.

Best,
Jim
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Old Wednesday 6th October 2010, 00:47   #10
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IMO the most user friendly speaker (and the one I use for 90% of calls) is the Macally MYTUNE for the ipod nano - it has a reasonable range - but they are specific for which version of nano -fits comfortably in a jean trouser pocket.
I use the Imain go when I need good base. You have to remember to turn it off though as it chews up batteries when on standby.
The Radioshack mini amplifier comes out when I need the volume.
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Old Wednesday 6th October 2010, 02:19   #11
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I hope I'm not taking this too much off topic, but another possibility is an iphone. Since I acquired iphone4 a month or so ago, I've been leaving the ipod/imaingo combination behind. The iphone's built-in speakers aren't quite as good (or quite as loud) as the the imaingo's, but they're pretty good & for portability & convenience of use the iphone can't be beat. For sound files, I've been using those bundled with the various North American iguides--the big Sibley, the NGR, the Audubon's, others. There's lots of overlap & there's some variation in quality, but as a group these files provide excellent coverage of the regional songs & calls.

And, of course, the iphone's usable with external speakers, though I haven't tried it with these as yet.
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Old Wednesday 6th October 2010, 02:51   #12
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fugl I use my iphone (3GS) sometimes with the radioshack mini amplifier. but it requires two hands. Generally I only use my iphone to show the pictures of birds to inquiring passers-by.

I can use my preferred method - the Macally MYTUNE (with nano) with only one hand comfortably - I actually have 4 of them now and can use three at once fairly comfortably (if I am really twitchy and pushed for time) - very user friendly
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Old Wednesday 6th October 2010, 08:20   #13
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Just received a prize of a headphonie speaker - small, powerful and clean sound.
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Old Wednesday 6th October 2010, 23:03   #14
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The volume from this little golf-ball sized speaker is pretty impressive... http://www.amazon.co.uk/XMI-X-mini-I...6406094&sr=8-1. Reviews on Amazon show I'm not the only one impressed with price and performance. I liked it so much I bought three more to give as Christmas presents.

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Old Sunday 17th October 2010, 08:34   #15
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Has anyone any experience of using a dictaphone? You can get them with a usb to upload bird calls. Might be more reliable and cheaper than an ipod or iphone. Speaker function might be loud enough, or an external battery operated speaker could be used. I'm not yet decided whether to go down this route.
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Old Tuesday 19th October 2010, 18:40   #16
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Originally Posted by bitterntwisted View Post
The volume from this little golf-ball sized speaker is pretty impressive... http://www.amazon.co.uk/XMI-X-mini-I...6406094&sr=8-1. Reviews on Amazon show I'm not the only one impressed with price and performance. I liked it so much I bought three more to give as Christmas presents.

Graham
Aldi also sometimes sell a similar product. Can't remember how much it was but peanuts. Does the job fine. I also use my (Nokia) phone, but it does drain the batteries and I prefer using mp3 player and speaker.
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Old Sunday 5th December 2010, 21:17   #17
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Has anyone identified any good speakers lately apart from those above? I've just bought an Edirol R-09HR and need something to playback the recordings.

Thanks, alan
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Old Sunday 5th December 2010, 22:33   #18
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Can't go wrong with the Radioshack speaker Al - works perfectly, is small and runs off a 'normal' battery. Used it in SA and had no probs (just remember to turn it off

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Old Sunday 5th December 2010, 23:43   #19
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Can't go wrong with the Radioshack speaker Al - works perfectly, is small and runs off a 'normal' battery. Used it in SA and had no probs (just remember to turn it off

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Yep, brilliant piece of kit.

In fact the Edirol's superb also and I'd recommend Audacity for editing.
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 08:46   #20
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Yep, brilliant piece of kit.

In fact the Edirol's superb also and I'd recommend Audacity for editing.
Thanks all - Edirol on the way in the Xmas post and been using Audacity for some years (great to boost the volume of quiet cuts and clean up noise). Will order a couple of the Radioshack speakers today.

cheers, alan
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 17:24   #21
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one is enough.
A couple of Radioshack speakers and some surround system will enhance the bird's listening experience, but not its ability to come closer to the source of sound.
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Old Friday 10th December 2010, 22:10   #22
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one is enough.
A couple of Radioshack speakers and some surround system will enhance the bird's listening experience, but not its ability to come closer to the source of sound.
Temmie

Thanks - cheap speakers pack up regularly; hence two

Back to that Edirol - nice bit of kit but how do I set it up so that my sennheiser works with it; I'm praying I haven't got a dodgy mike connction and that it is set up related...(currently selected mono microphone, limited). I can't work it out at all.

thanks in advance, alan
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Old Saturday 11th December 2010, 17:41   #23
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Temmie

Thanks - cheap speakers pack up regularly; hence two

Back to that Edirol - nice bit of kit but how do I set it up so that my sennheiser works with it; I'm praying I haven't got a dodgy mike connction and that it is set up related...(currently selected mono microphone, limited). I can't work it out at all.

thanks in advance, alan
Only ordered one speaker - that was a mistake; it's knackered!!

Sorted the Edirol (although the mike connection seems to be a real weakness on them) - a new battery in the Sennheiser was all that was required

cheers, alan
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Old Monday 23rd April 2018, 10:03   #24
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Hi All

I know this thread is somewhat old but my old speaker has given up the ghost. Can anyone recommend a replacement to use for audio playback. One which is available in the UK, small and portable.

Many Thanks
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 06:53   #25
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Not claiming it's the best, but I use an Aker speaker, which is impressively loud and clear, and the rechargeable battery seems to last forever (typically several weeks of fairly heavy use).
[https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aker-MR1505...Q6Z5MRC2NZZPJR
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