All things modern.
I went to the local Comet today to try out a few ipod speakers for my newly acquired iphone (see earlier post). I thought I’d share what I learnt with you. None were perfect, and this is why I left empty handed but I hope the following may be of some assistance to others.
There are two distinct categories of ipod speaker, and they seem to have a lot to do with price. There are a number of speakers in the sub-£50 range that look cheap, sound awful and are really not even bothered with. You all know these so I will not mention further.
Since most people buying a set of ipod speakers will be looking for good sound, I will start with the cheapest speakers that sounded any good. The LOGITECH S715i is a remarkable acoustic design consisting of two active drivers and two passive radiators per channel. High notes are crisp and sharp, mids well defined while the bass frequencies were deep and rumbling, albeit only as loud as you would expect from 2″ drivers. But volume aside, the sound was clean and flat all the way across the spectrum. This model also has the added advantage of having a built in rechargeable battery which enables the unit to be taken outdoors pretty much anywhere. If I were looking for clean sound and portability (perhaps at the expense of gross volume level) I would look no further than this model. Price £89.00
The Bose SoundDock was the best sounding system of the lot, in that it sounded as good as the Logitech above but was capable of going much louder. The price however is £350, and I question if the improvement in sound quality is worth that much extra cash. But if you want the best and money is not an issue, then by all means go for it and your chances of being disappointed are minimal.
JBL OnTime 5V
The JBL OnTime 5V was next on the adgenda. It has the distinct advantage of protecting your ipod within it’s ring. If you are like me and flail about at night then this may be the only dock for your night stand and will prevent your precious ipod/iphone from ending on the floor or with a broken connector. The sound is not as great as the Logitech and Bose above in that it lacks the really deep bass tones but it’s good otherwise, perfectly acceptable and goes loud to compensate. When the unit is on your ipod is bathed in a relaxing blue light from below the top of the ring. The downside of the speaker dock is that the build quality seems rather poor. The ‘placticky’ knobs coated in chrome made the unit look very cheap. The buttons responded to a press with a rather wobbly action and a loud clank. I am not sure if this is how they were designed to operate and look but I dont like it, not for £109 anyway. However if protecting your ipod from being knocked about is your priority, this is your speaker.
The Sony SRSGU10IP.CEK must be mentioned if only to talk about its abysmal sound quality. I am not sure why they did this as the unit looks sleek and elegant, has an good design that protects the ipod from the more major knocks and adequately supports the back, somthing that many speaker docks do not do. At £59.99 this would be a speaker to pass like a full bus. From the specifications on the Sony UK website, I have a suspicion that it only contains a single mono speaker (YUKKKKK!!!).