Bluetooth speakers are a wonderful thing- until they don’t work. And boy do I have issues with them when pairing an iPad. Maybe it’s just bad luck on my part, but I never can seem to sustain a pairing between the speaker and an iPad for a sustained period of time. So, unless you’re willing to spend a minimum of $800 (USD) on an iPad Pro (with 4 speakers instead of 2), you might just find yourself in a number of situations where a boost in loudness is called for (AAC apps anyone?).
My quick and dirty pick for the non-bluetooth alternative is the NudeAudio S Wired Portable Speaker ($15 at the time of writing). It’s not meant to provide high definition sound, but it will nicely amplify most audio so as not to be drowned out by competing background noise in the typical classroom. Yes, you have to plug it into the headphone jack of the device you’re using, but at least you’ll be guaranteed of no interruptions (so long as it is charged). It’s not meant to use while moving (say walking down the street) as there is no obvious place to set the speaker other than the palm of your hand. On at tabletop, however, it’s footprint is small.
The NudeAudio comes with a mini USB charger. I can’t say what the battery life is exactly, but I’ve gone weeks with light use and no charge required. These days, I’m using the speaker chiefly to provide feedback of clients’ speech sound productions (after using either the voice recorder or camera app in the iPad/iPhone).
What are your favorite speakers for tablets and phones? Have you found a solid bluetooth speaker? Please share!