SLIDESHOW

Dorm room entertainment system: Paying your own way

In the first of a three-part series, we offers suggestions for outfitting your dorm room as an entertainment hub (we'll assume you have a laptop already). Our first slideshow is geared towards the budget student.

Maximo iP-HS5

With a street price of $50-$60, Maximo’s iP-HS5 canalbuds include a remote and microphone that you can use with the iPod or iPhone. They provide excellent sound with tight, deep bass and detailed high frequencies. The midrange didn’t call attention to itself like the bass and high end, but still sounded very good. It’s also easy to get a good fit that provides strong noise isolation.

iPod nano

The 5G iPod nano is a great all-around iPod. It plays your music and your video, and is small enough to fit any pocket. Its inclusion of a video camera, a built-in microphone, and a buffered FM radio make this iPod nano a far more functional, flexible, and entertaining iPod than its predecessor.

M-Audio Studiophile AV 30

The $100 Studiophile AV 30 desktop speakers from M-Audio are perfect for sharing your music with a roomful of people or making your games come to life. They are compact, and include a bass-boosting feature to add increased low end when so desired.

Pandora Radio

If you get a kick out of your friends telling you, “if you like this band, you just have to check out this one” then Pandora Radio might be for you. This free service suggests and plays songs based on your favorite songs and artists. It works on your computer, or on an iPod touch or iPhone, so you’re never without music to enjoy.

Hulu

Hulu can provide you with hours of TV- and movie-based entertainment, for free. You do have to put up with commercials, but in return you get to watch shows like Burn Notice, Chuck, Family Guy, and more.

iTunes 9

With Apple’s iTunes software, you can enjoy thousands of streaming Internet Radio stations free of charge, as well as download free TV show episodes and even music. And you can use it to rip and store of all those used CDs you picked up at the local record store.