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Our dinner parties have been suffering. Not because the food isn’t good or the cocktails are boring, but because our once-mighty--and now unsightly--stereo system has been replaced by the tiny speakers on our laptop.

Convenient, sure, but we need something that does our pitch-perfect summer playlist justice. So we’re pumping up the volume and the design quotient with a pair of Little Horn Mini speakers.

Chicago company Specimen Products has sold high-end guitars and amps to the likes of Jack White and Andrew Bird for years, and at $1,850 for a set, the new Little Horn Minis are a relatively affordable (compared to the $3,200 version, that is) way to jump into the rock ’n’ roll fray.

The speakers are whimsical and gorgeous--the larger versions have even been featured in an exhibit at the MCA--and you can plug your iPhone or any other sound source directly into them.

To make the most of their top-notch sound quality, space the Little Horn Minis about six to ten feet apart on a mantle or table and angle them slightly inward. (The sound is robust enough even for large rooms.)

Turn up these tunes, whip up a round of citrusy Palomas and watch your guests get up and dance. 

Specimen Products, 1240 N. Homan Ave.; 773-489-4830 or

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