In May, I wrote reviews of four MP3 speakers I had tried on my bike
- My favorite, the Active Tunes i-RIDE PRO
- The Active Tunes i-RIDE Classic and the Byco WRX1
- Also-rans the SanDisk Sansa Shaker and the Boostaroo.
- I also threw in some playlists that I listen to on the road.
What do they sound like?
Reader Mark Hoagy was interested in buying something, but he was curious about how loud the speakers were and how they sounded.
I explained to Mark that I wasn’t sure how to quantify “loud” nor “good,” since I’m going deaf and I’ve spent most of my life listening to police radios, not high fidelity sound.
He suggested doing a video
When I told him I didn’t want to run afoul of the Music Police by using copyrighted music, he offered to send me a sample of home-brew music.
Mark is a very persistent guy. (Sounds a lot like my Bro Mark, now that I think of it.)
A vacation and home repairs got in the way, but I finally got around to producing the Great MP3 Speaker Shootout.
First, I had to collect the i-RIDE Classic from Son Matt and the SanDisk Sansa Shaker from Grandson Malcolm. They wanted them right back, so I had to shoot the test on the dining room table under less than optimum lighting conditions.
The Great MP3 Speaker Shootout
Take this comparison with a whole shaker of salt.
- It wasn’t under anything resembling controlled circumstances.
- I suspect the video camera has some kind of auto volume control that tries to make everything sound the same.
Here’s what my ears tell me
- Best and loudest sound: i-Ride Pro
- Second place sound and volume: i-Ride Classic
- Third favorite: Byco WRX1 (not available as far as I know)
- Distant fourth: SanDisk Sansa Shaker, just cause it’s cute.
- Not even dug out of the junk box: Boostaroo.
How do teenage girls do it?
I took a ride along the Palm Beach Lake Trail Saturday and got the bright idea of trying to hold the video camera pointing back at me while the iPod was hooked up to the i-RIDE PRO. That would give an idea of what the speaker sounded like on the road and how I have it mounted to my CamelBak M.U.L.E. (Note: the i-RIDE PRO is the device at the top of the CamelBak strap, right under my ear. The object below it is my Verizon cell phone.)
Every teenage girl has managed to master taking a picture of herself and her 42 closest friends while holding her cellphone camera at arms length.
After trying to ride a bike and duplicate that feat with my video camera, I am convinced that the current generation of teenage girl has some genetic mutation that gives them arms that are six feet long and fold in at least three places that mine won’t.
OK, Mark, does that help out?