The Philips SBD7500 is a portable iPod and iPhone speaker that appeals to our sense of utility. Like many of the portable audio gadgets we've seen from Philips, the SBD7500 deftly navigates the middle ground, balancing price ($99), design, and performance in an easy-to-use (somewhat boring) product.
From a design perspective, the SBD7500 is understated--a black tie alternative to the daring look of the Altec Lansing inMotion Classic. The rounded back and edges of the speaker are made of a high-gloss black plastic that shows fingerprints but succeeds at looking classy. A series of chrome buttons dots the top edge of the speaker, controlling volume, power, and a bass boost feature.
The front of the SBD7500 is covered with a stretched black nylon fabric, concealing the speaker's twin 1.5-inch speakers and a sealed bass reflex diaphragm. A piece of chromed plastic accents the lower half of the speaker grille, drawing your eye to the iPod- and iPhone-compatible dock connection.
The back of the speaker is relatively mundane, with easily accessible connections for aux input and a power adapter (included). An integrated kickstand hinges out from the lower half, which also conceals a battery compartment for four AA batteries.
Altogether, the SBD7500 is a lightweight (9.6 ounces) and compact speaker measuring 4.3 inches tall by 12.2 inches wide by 1.6 inches thick. Fitting the speaker into a backpack or carry-on bag shouldn't prove a problem, but Philips provides a fitted neoprene bag just in case you want to take it solo.