Mini HiFi

Tivoli Music System compact hi-fi

The Tivoli Music System is a small, integrated hi-fi that will work wonders in a bedroom or small-sized living room. It has all you need in a sturdy, good-looking wooden enclosure. You might balk at the over-$1000 price tag, but exceptional audio performance and build quality rarely come cheap.

Sony SA-NS510 network speaker

The Sony SA-NS510 is a wireless, battery-powered hi-fi speaker with an interesting design. We’ve seen it likened to an upturned vase, a traffic cone, and a vertical wind tunnel. We happen to think it looks more like a futuristic trash can.

Pioneer XW-SMA4 wireless hi-fi speaker

In the past twelve months, dozens of hi-fi speakers with built-in Wi-Fi networking have popped up on electronics store shelves. While our gold standard is still Sonos’s excellent PLAY:5 speaker, we were recently impressed by Libratone’s Lounge and Live.

JBL OnBeat Venue iPod dock

JBL recently updated its mini hi-fi speaker docks with three new systems: the OnBeat Awake, the OnBeat Rize, and the OnBeat Venue. The Venue is the big brother of this group, with a body that hides four speakers and 30 Watts of oomph.

Libratone Lounge AirPlay speaker

Libratone is a small Danish audio company with three products: the mini Zipp, the midi Live and the maxi Lounge. Each speaker is exceedingly simple -- no volume controls or superfluous buttons, minimalist designs with exacting construction. They’re marketed at buyers who love their iPhones, iPads and iPods, and want to share their music.

Libratone Live AirPlay speaker

If you’re looking for a simple wireless speaker that can play music from your Apple iPhone, iPod or iPad, you’re spoilt for choice. Ever since the B&W Zeppelin Air came through our offices in early 2011, most of the hi-fi speakers we’ve tested have had AirPlay capability.

Samsung DA-E750 wireless audio dock

Samsung’s DA-E750 is a wireless audio dock that has taken inspiration from the past -- it’s got a glossy wooden finish, and two glowing valve amp tubes up top -- but it’s definitely up to date when it comes to built-in features.

Pure Contour 200i Air wireless speaker

The Pure Contour 200i Air is a beefed-up version of the Contour 100Di, with a slightly altered design, upgraded speakers, and Apple’s AirPlay wireless music protocol. It’s ditched the internal radio circuitry, though — the 200i Air is for streaming music only.

Samsung DA-E650 wireless audio dock

At the 2012 Samsung Forum, we had the chance to listen to Samsung’s new wireless audio docks. These speaker systems can dock both Apple iDevices and Samsung smartphones, making them a smart choice for a household that’s not committed to either Android or iOS.

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GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


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