JBL SoundFly Air
When you free your sound from wires, you can easily bring music to parts of your home that have lived in silence for too long.
Take the pint-size JBL SoundFly Air, for example. At about the same dimensions as a hoagie roll (about seven inches long and three inches high), the SoundFly can go just about anywhere you have an electrical outlet and a WiFi signal. There's no need for an audio-video receiver or speaker wires.
The speaker plugs directly into a wall socket and uses Apple's AirPlay wireless technology to stream music from your iPhone, iPad, or iTunes software (the same technology used in the McIntosh McAire that was one of our favorite gadgets of 2012). Need music in the kitchen? Plug it in and you're set.
If you take advantage of the multiple speaker features built in to iTunes software, you can chain together a few SoundFly Airs to play the same sounds throughout your house (iTunes can send audio to up to four AirPlay devices at the same time). There's no simpler way to bring multiroom music capabilities into your life.
With 20 watts of power, the small speaker can get loud. It reproduces treble tones well, though it lacks bass and can come across a bit thin as a result. You can improve the overall sound a little with the JBL OnBeat iOS app. That said, these speakers are more about convenience than audiophile quality. Initial setup requires a bit of work to connect to your network, so make sure you read the manual first.