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Smooth Operator

Author Jacqueline Detwiler

Rock Around the Block
Portable speakers punch up a picnic

Although it’s not quite as portable as some iPod docks (see: 2, 3 at right), Parrot’s Philippe Starck–designed Zikmu looks like a giant red chess piece and is an ideal conversation starter if you’re looking to chat up the cute neighbor at your barbecue. $1,600 / http://zikmu.parrot.com/en/introduction

This palm-size, Bluetooth-enabled speaker is like the boombox of the future. Its name — the Jawbone Jambox — is also impossible to say (Jawbox? Jambone? Jawjam?), so you might as well turn it on and let the Jambox speak for itself. $200 / www.jawbone.com

Despite its retro dial and classic shape, the Supertooth DISCO is very 21st century. Using Bluetooth, it can stream loud, rocking audio from a computer, iPad, iPhone or MP3 player through a 12-watt subwoofer and two 8-wa stereo drivers. Groovy, baby. $170 / www.supertooth.net

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