“The Apple iPod Hi-Fi ($349 direct) is now part of Apple’s steadily growing repertoire of iPod accessories. I got my hands on one and took it for a spin in the PC Magazine audio lab, and I’m very happy with it. The one-piece three-way combination speaker and iPod dock looks a lot like a center-channel speaker from a home theater system, with horizontally set drivers. Though it costs about $50 more, it can thump, sing, and squeal with a lot more power than the Bose SoundDock, plus it’s portable. I’m glad Apple included a combination analog and S/PDIF optical digital input, but a video pass-through for outputting photos and video to a TV would be convenient,” Mike Kobrin reports for PC Magazine.
“The tech specs alone are pretty meaty: two 80-mm midrange drivers and a 130-mm woofer with dual voice coils, sealed double-walled enclosure, separate chambers and front-panel isolation for the two midrange drivers, a rated maximum sound pressure level of 108dB (at 1 meter) when it’s running on AC power, and a frequency response of 53Hz to 16kHz plus or minus 3dB. It can run on AC power without a huge brick (thanks to the internal power supply) or on six D batteries, though both of these mean the speaker is pretty heavy, at 14.5 pounds without batteries and 16.7 pounds with alkalines. It measures 6.6 by 17 by 6.9 inches (HWD)—perfect for a bookshelf or even a desk. It has dual integrated handles on either side, so it’s easy to move around, but it’s definitely not the kind of thing you’d throw in a backpack and take to the beach. The enclosure is a sturdy white resin, and the black speaker grille is easily removable if you want a brighter sound,” Kobrin reports.
“Listening to the iPod Hi-Fi, I could clearly hear that Apple paid a lot of attention to sound quality. I put on some music I had encoded in Apple Lossless format… On all tracks, the bass was tight and punchy with virtually no muddiness. Mids are prominent but not overwhelming, and highs are very crisp. Detail and articulation are very good, and the stereo imaging is impressive if you have the speaker properly placed (with side walls equidistant). If you’ve got the speaker in a bookshelf, though, you’ll still get very good sound thanks to the double-walled airtight enclosure, which keeps sound from leaking out in all directions. The Hi-Fi definitely deserves its name.,” Kobrin reports. “I wholeheartedly recommend this speaker if you’re looking for an extremely powerful single-cabinet speaker that’s portable (runs on batteries as well as AC), because this is about as good as it gets. It’s not cheap, you can’t throw it in your backpack, it’s not a 5.1 system, and it won’t take the place of thousand-dollar high-end floor-standing speakers. But it’s not intended to be any of those things… this one’s a winner.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The difference is striking between reviews by those who actually used, tested, and heard the iPod Hi-Fi versus the opinion pieces from some who’ve only looked at photos, text descriptions, and specs.
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