Have iPod Docks Completely Replaced the Hi-Fi?

Have iPod Docks Completely Replaced the Hi-Fi?

Joel Pirela
Sep 14, 2011

The problem with many iPod docks is quality, specifically audio quality. There are a gazillion cheaply made units with a propoensity for distortion once pushed beyond the middle part of the volume knob. But not all models befall this well known issue. We've been looking at the higher end category and discovered there are a few iPod speaker docks that offer above average to excellent sounds (though we'll likely stick with our Dieter Rams inspired DIY speaker for now).

Arcam rCube
Looking like a simple cube, the Arcam rCube does more than looking square. Very compact powered speaker and also portable with the added bonus of wireless convenience. It has a built-in rechargeable battery with an AC adapter too. Full 90 watts of music power and 270 degrees of sound field. Tweeters are clean and crisp and bass is deep and accurate.

B&W Zeppelin Air
The cool part about the updated Zeppelin, is the "Air" part. Thanks to Apple Airplay Technology, you can stream music direct from your computer to the B&W Zeppelin. Sound Quality is amazing, consisting of two aluminum dome tweeters, two midrange speakers and a woofer for the low tones. Each of these five speakers is powered by its own amplifier for a more accurate and responsive performance. And we just love the shape. Totally out of the ordinary.

Bose SoundDock 10
With a name like Bose you know you are probably getting a quality product. Now with a sleeker design, it just let you slip your iPod or iPhone into the docking station and you are ready to enjoy deep bass and sharp tweeters. It does feel and sound like a bigger system. You also have an aux line in for all your non-apple products, like mp3 players, CD players or even to connect it to your TV and use it as an impromptu home theater system.

Geneva Model M
We are very excited with the Geneva. The look is amazing and the sound is even better. We are sad that it doesn't support wireless streaming out of the box, but we are working on a sleek way to incorporate at least bluetooth streaming. Two of the features that we get more excited, has nothing to do with the sound quality: The motorized dock station (that resembles the pop-up headlight of a Lamborghini Miura) and the LED behind the grill indicator, that let us know the mode where the system is at the moment.

Other great audio alternatives:
Philips DS9000
Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8
Parrot by Philippe Stark

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