I love these speakers - yes they are cheap, and you get the sound quality that you pay for. But I would recommend these speakers for travel use, and for that purpose they are brilliant. They fold and so are easy to store and pack up. They are quite stylish in white. They feature a nice little stand for holding your device. They run off 4 AAA batteries which are pretty easy to come by. Best of all I feel comfortable leaving them out in my hotel room, or on the beach as I don't worry that they will get taken - partly because they are so cheap, and partly because people probably wouldn't bother stealing them as these aren't too hi-tech!! The sound goes quite loud - I use these in a squash court for example (and don't worry about them getting hit!). There is also an indicator light so that it's easy to know if you've left them on or not. All in all these get a thumbs up and if mine should break or anything I would definitely buy again.
Portable media players have stormed the developed world, and they are now one of the most commonly discovered electronic items found on passers by - besides mobile phones. This is good news for pick-pocketers who I'm sure have benefitted from the increase in non internet connected devices they can steal without consequence, but is it right to carry them round all the time, or is there a stationary way to use them? And what if that stationary element could become portable if required?
...well that's where this product comes in, the 'Alba IM8' - a much loved addition to the Ipod docking world which brings great sound quality along side multi-connectability and a portable element, with a digestable price tag suited to the wider consumer (not literally wider).
The quality of sound with this device is ear numbingly sufficient. You get a real taste of each songs recorded depth, the belowing bass and pearcing treble - both mixing consistently to create a musical atmosphere even the artists would generally accept (especially considering the circumstances of the device - portability). There are two speakers of equal build, and build quality. Made from a tough plastic and constructed to vibrate like full size speakers, these 1 watt RMS designs are reliable and require minimum energy to operate.
The foldability factor comes into effect for storage and transportation reasons. Each speaker is folded into the centre where the Ipod sits (the MP3 player has to be removed first of course). The hinges of the speakers work smoothly to fold together, but whilst open they stay rigid and resistent to minor movement. I like the addition of this to the product, folding them together prevents damage when carrying them about and means they more than half their total area to fit neatly into ruck sacks, hand bags and string bags - amongst every other form of bag actually!
*I should also add, the MP3 player is connected via a normal 3mm jack to the head phone socket of the player - it doesn't really dock into a connecter within the plastic housing of the Alba IM8... but this means any MP3 can connect!
These can be powered from either a USB cable extruding from the rear, or 4 x AAA batteries which can be purchased from most general retailers (...and there's always rechargable units to consider). The batteries seem to offer the same level of power to the product as with the USB connector which is good, and they don't need replacing too often, as long as you don't have the device on full power all the time.
I recommend this product for camping environments, car journeys if the car players broken, picnics and other outdoor events preferrably involving the drinking of beer by a barbaque on a hot summers afternoon. They are not water resistent in the slightest but seem to have a good level of resistence to the world around them, unlike some other electronic gizmo's - I'd even go as far to say the Ipod would have a lesser chance of survival in the same situations as these speakers!
I bought these portable speakers one summer as a sort of emergency when we were just about to go on holiday. I'd left my normal ones for my iPod at work, and only realised at the last minute. So on the way to the airport we stopped at our local Argos and purchased these Alba IM8 portable speakers for just under £4. We were intending to use them on the beach, so didn't really want anything too expensive, and hence I was looking at these being a sort of 'disposable' portable speaker because for only £4, I wasn't expecting much in terms of durability.
But let's firstly start by looking at what these Alba IM8's are. If you intending to play music in a hotel room, or on a beach etc from your mobile phone or mp3 player, without the need for headphones, you'll need some form of speaker or speakers, and if you are travelling around, you don't really want to be carrying a large heavy set of speakers. Ideally you would want a smaller more portable set, and this is where these Alba IM8s come in. The speakers fold up into a sort of little white plastic elongated cube which will fit into the palm of your hand, where the speaker cones are all protected when folded to save them getting damaged, meaning that the overall assembly can take some knocks in your baggage without too many worries. Folding the speakers out, you have a central stand for your phone/mp3 player with a hinged speaker either side. The overall dimensions folded out are 190mm wide by 67mm high by 62mm deep. So a very tidy, not too obtrusive size.
The speakers are powered by 4 AAA batteries (not supplied) which fit into the battery compartment at the back of the central stand to give a sound power amplification of 2 x 1.00W. There is also an option to have a mains supply to power them (charger not supplied), but I've yet to find a suitable plugging in point on a beach.
At the front of the central stand bit there is a small pull out tray on which you can stand your phone/mp3 player in between the 2 speakers. The tray is 62mm wide and can come out as far as 25mm, so should be more than enough to accommodate most phones, Ipods or mp3 players. Of note, the tray is totally removable, and has to be when you close the speakers up. But you can then slot the tray in from the back of the device and close it up against the battery compartment. This then ensures that everything is kept together when you store the speakers away.
Connection to your player is achieved via a short 18.5cm lead that has a 3.5mm plug on one end which can then be plugged into the headphone socket of your musical device. The 3.5mm plug is a standard connection for many phones, Ipods and mp3 players, but is also equally applicable to laptops, CD players and portable games systems. So these speakers can be used with quite a range of devices. Of note, some thought has been put into how the lead is stored on the speakers because a nice little groove has been created around the outside of the battery compartment at the back of the device. So when not in use, the lead can be safely tucked away in the groove without fear of it snagging on something.
Across the top of the device you have a simple sliding on/off switch, next to which is a small green LED to indicate when the power is on, and to complete the 'tour' of the top, you finally have the plug-in point for the external power supply. So everything is very compact and easily accessible. There is no specific volume control on these speakers because everything will be controlled from your musical device. So these speakers are very easy to operate - plug-in and switch on.
Now let's look at (hear?) the sound quality. For the price, I wasn't really expecting much more than a tinny tone with the odd base sound thrown in, and to be honest, with only 1.00W of speaker power, that was pretty much what I got. But to be fair, I wasn't intending to hold our own personal disco in the middle of the day on the beach, and hence, for what these speakers output in terms of musical quality, they are perfectly adequate for our needs to have something quietly playing in the background on the beach or in the hotel room. You can still distinguish the notes and hear everything clearly, and they are ideal to play in a kitchen or even a child's bedroom. They are much better that a simple mobile phone speaker, but not quite up to your Wharfdale disco speaker standards. They can play at a fairly loud level, enough to be easily heard across the room, but if you try and crank them right up with your device, the sound does start to distort.
In summary, I had initial concerns over the durability of these speakers, and yet, over a year later, my kids still use them in the garden and they still look like new (apart from a few minor scratches on the case). So they are well built and designed to last, which was much more than I was expecting for the price. The sound quality, whilst not 'thumping', is adequate for purpose and should satisfy the majority of people's musical needs. So balancing everything up of price against quality and against sound, I would give these a 4 star recommendation.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
I tend to stick to earphones when listening to my iPod, however I wanted a change and thought I would give speakers a try. I chose the Alba IM8 speakers as I got them for less than £5 online from Amazon so I wouldn't worry too much if they didn't get used very much.
I got these speakers and can't believe how much I use them, they've been everywhere with me.
They are each to carry as they are light and quite compact when folded.
They are compatible with a wide range of devices, including iPods, MP3 and CD players. They connect to your device using a 3.5mm jack which plugs into the headphone outlet on your iPod. This means that the iPod doesn't sit as neatly in the stand but it's not a problem.
The sound quality is good, it could possibly be a bit louder but it is sufficient for what I need.
The power comes from 4AAA batteries or through a USB cable, whenever I have used it with batteries they tend to last a reasonable amount of time, however this will depend on how much you are using the speakers.
The speakers are easy to use and the biggest advantage is the price, they are great value for money and I wouldn't consider changing to any other speakers.
I was looking for stocking fillers for my husband a few Christmases ago, and I came across the Alba IM8 portable speakers for a crazy £5 in Wilkinsons. Well, at that price I thought why not. And I'm glad I did! I now use the speakers more than he does (due to my laptop being very very quiet!)
The speakers are white, and fold into a cube. They open out to reveal two silver and black speaker cones, and the main unit which is where the batteries are held and the volume control / on/off switch are located. There is a small 'tray' to sit your device on, if you are using it with an mp3 player or mobile, but the connectivity is not via a dock, but a standard 3.5mm jack which plugs into the headphone port on many devices - I prefer this as it means I can use it with a wide range of items, whereas iPod specific devices are only for that one item. You can leave the white cable wrapped around the main body of the speakers or unravel it to reach your device.
The speakers take 2 x AA batteries, not supplied, but available in all good pound shops (!) and the batteries last ages. The sound quality and volume - well, for the money, it blew us away - it goes to a high volume with no loss, fuzz, or distortion of any kind. They are powerful little speakers, and they really have a great bass and range - as good as speakers four or even ten times the price as far as I am concerned. I use the speakers with my Apple Mac as I find the volume low. My husband uses them with his iPhone and also with his work laptop when delivering training, as he can sit the speakers in the middle of the table when he is presenting documents with sound. They're so versatile. We've taken them abroad, used them in the bathroom, on the beach, and yet two, almost three years on they are as good as new. If, ever, they do go, I'll be buying another set, absolutely no doubt about it.
For a fiver I would say these are essential for anyone with a music device who wants to ditch the earphones, or as an inexpensive travel companion. Absolutely stellar - well done Alba for not compromising on the quality when making a budget set of speakers. Excellent.
I needed a set of compact travel speakers so after a few moments searching on amazon I came across these for just £5 with free postage ! I thought that they must of been faulty but for just £5 I brought them anyway. They came in a small brown box. I took them out eager to test them out !
At first , I thought that the actual speakers felt flimsy. After getting used to them I relised that they feel flimsy but they were not at all. I could fold them all day long and I am pretty sure that they would still be intact! They were extremaly easy to set up. Just fold them out then put the plastic base on , put your I pod in and off you go !
I was expecting the sound to really let these speakers down. I was wrong. For £5 I was expecting the sound to get crackly when it was loud but that just wasn't the case ! The volume is quite loud for the size which was a nice surprise as well but it isn't load enough to have a party etc.
Personally , I think that these speakers look great. They look like they cost £20+. They have no parts that look cheap or tacky and the shinny speakers look good.
Overall , a excellent purchase for £5. Good sound , good looks and very easy to transport around.
I don't have a HiFi system in my bedroom and the room is quite small so i decided to buy some small speakers that would be just good enough for me to listen to my music when I'm doing things. I bought the product for £6 off Ebay brand new (including delivery) which was incredibly cheap I thought, and to be honest I thought I might have made a mistake as the price was so cheap.
However, when the product arrived and I opened the box I was impressed. There are no bones about it, the item is made out of cheap materials and looks flimsy (you get what you pay for). When I'm not using it I just fold it up and put the item in a drawer as it is so compact. What you will notice is that when you fold out the speakers is that you feel you could just rip off the speakers. The product feels like it could break pretty easily so I would be careful when using it.
You do need 4 AA sized batteries to use it, which is quite a lot, but you do get a lot out of your batteries. I've used mine for hours and they haven't run dry yet. You can use the system with you Ipod and the sound quality does travel quite far. It's highest volume is not amazing, you could not use this product for a group get together, however, if you are by yourself its perfect. The sound quality itself is good, the sound is not tinny and only at high volumes will you notice any issue of this.
The product can be taken with you travelling so you can listen to music at the beach or in a park etc which is good. I would recommend the product to anybody wanting a good cheap speaker system that you can travel with.
I received these as a free gift from a competition I won so didnt expect too much from them. However after using them I am extremely impressed with quality of this product. Firstly the sound quality is much better than I thought and they dont lose quality or start to crackle the louder it goes as with many other small portable products and it works with all types of Ipod's even the older ones. Its very small and compact and can fold away to store in a drawer making it is very useful to use around the house. I tend to use mine in the bathroom or kitchen, the type of places you dont normally have hifi's etc so it makes a nice change. It runs on 4 x AA batteries and as I use rechargable batteries it doesnt cost a fortune to run. The product is extremely cheap for the quality but visually it does look a bit flimsy and I wouldnt recommend giving to a young child to use as I can imagine it would get broken quite easily. When pulling out the two speakers you can feel as though you could pull them back too far and snap them. However despite this I feel the positives outway the negatives and I would recommend these to a friend. They are a great cheap present for a music lover.
Although my son has a small CD player in his bedroom he has recently been bought an mp3 player for when we are on the move. To go alongside the mp3 player he was bought some Alba foldable speakers which can be used in his bedroom or he could take them to his dads or something as well.
The alba foldable speakers are very basic to look at in all honesty. They come in a cardboard box and once opened you can remove what looks a lot like a white plastic alarm clock in size and shape. On the back of the product the alba brand name is prominent and on the top of the speakers you have the buttons for use.
To begin you need to open up the speakers. The two speakers are hinged and open easily yet feel secure and not likely to break. Once opened the speakers measure around 20cm in length and 7cm in height so they are not big or in your face in any way. You have an additional piece of plastic to attach to the bottom of the speakers when you unfold them and this also has the alba name on the front. Once this is attached it can hold the mp3 player or ipod safely.
On the bottom of the speakers there is the wire which will connect to your headphone socket of your mp3 player or ipod. When everything is connected you can switch on the speakers and your music playing device and you are ready to go. There is a volume switch on the top of the speakers and as my son is just like me he normally has it on full volume!
The speakers, at full volume, give a decent sound out to be honest. I can hear it clearly when I am in my room and my son has it on. I can just about hear that he has it on if I am downstairs and he is upstairs! The sound is clear, even at full volume and there is no crackling which I have experienced with other travel speakers.
The speakers do need 4 AAA batteries to work but as yet we have not had to replace them and my son has used them quite a bit and I have also pinched them the odd time when I am having a bath to blare some music out! I would say that the batteries seem to be working well in the product and I would advise investing in decent batteries if you are going to be using this product a lot.
These speakers can be picked up from amazon for just £4.99 and to be honest I think it is a real bargain. They are so small they can easily be packed into a bag if you are going on holiday and the sound is decent. Ok, it doesn't get as loud as how I would personally play my music if I was to be getting ready for a night out or something but for the price you cannot grumble at all. I think the speakers make a great addition to a mp3 player for a child who may occasionally want to blast their music out a little rather than use the headphones.
Thank you for reading my review!