Name: Cambridge Audio Minx Go
What it is: A wireless portable speaker that will play your tunes from any source equipped with Bluetooth, including Apple, Android or PCs. Its 18-hour battery charges via wall socket (quickly) or by USB port. Measuring about 9 by 5 by 21/2 inches, it's armed with two 2-inch woofers, two 3/4-inch titanium tweeters and a rear-firing bass radiator that seems to hold down on vibration. Between that and the rubberized base, the speaker seems less likely to creep its way to destruction from high perches. The Minx automatically powers off after 30 minutes without input.
The good: This is the most oomph I've heard from a speaker that you can pack away. The sound can own a room, meaning you won't be able to talk over it on full blast. But even at its loudest, the sound is true. The bass is satisfyingly deep; you'll never hear tin from this thing. You can even pick up the incidental sound of a guitarist's fingers sliding over the texture of the strings. Gift alert: I think lovers of symphonic music will be especially pleased. Be ready for a hearty hug.
The bad: Packing an additional 21/2 pounds is something I really would have to ponder if traveling by air, because of stricter weight limits for baggage. As much as I love to travel with music, I think I would go for one of my smaller options, which range down to the size of a small Vicks VapoRub jar. But for a cruise, a rail ride, a road trip, even a picnic, this baby is mine.
Cost: $149 (actually hard to believe with such high quality).
Available from: cambridgeaudio.com, amazon.com and crutchfield.com, among others.