CNET: Apple iPod Hi-Fi is a ‘box of delights’

“We’ve been playing (pictured) with the iPod Hi-Fi for a day now, and considering the price of the unit (£249, US$349), sound performance is very impressive. Though Apple has massively overstated the Hi-Fi’s capabilities — they describe sound output as ‘audiophile’ quality — it will impress casual listeners,” Chris Stevens writes for Crave at CNET.

“An Apple engineer talked Crave through the design of the speaker enclosure and amplifier stage. Apple has apparently designed the system with a very specific purpose in mind: to replace the living-room or bedroom mini-system. Judging from our cursory tests so far, it may have succeeded. The iPod Hi-Fi sounds equal in tone and clarity to many of the mini-systems we’ve tested from manufacturers like PURE and Yamaha,” Stevens writes.

“In our listening tests so far, the iPod Hi-Fi does extremely well at reproducing classical or acoustic music with a wide dynamic range. By this measure it far outdoes the competition in the same price range… on the whole we’re impressed by Apple’s stylish white box,” Stevens writes.

Full article here.

Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related articles:
Detroit Free Press: Apple’s new iPod Hi-Fi delivers ‘powerful, room-filling sound; mighty tempting’ – March 07, 2006
PC Magazine Editor’s Choice: Apple iPod Hi-Fi ‘this one’s a winner’ (4.5 stars out of 5) – March 04, 2006
Review: Apple iPod Hi-Fi – March 03, 2006
The Inquirer reports on attack of Apple cultists, blames MacDailyNews for inciting ’email fatwa’ – March 03, 2006
CSFB: Apple iPod Hi-Fi a harbinger of things to come – March 02, 2006
Inquirer writer: Apple Mac, iPod users are gullible saps – March 02, 2006
Apple iPod Hi-Fi photos from all angles – March 01, 2006
Videos of Steve Jobs introducing Mac mini, iPod Hi-Fi – March 01, 2006
Apple debuts iPod Hi-Fi speaker system, leather cases for 5G iPod, iPod nano – February 28, 2006


  1. Oh no! Not this topic again!

    The last time MDN covered the Hi-Fi, a ton of people who had never listened to it flamed the hell out of me and others for liking it.

    For what it’s worth, I have one in my kitchen and it is awesome. Sounds great – clear even at low volume – fills the room – looks good (my opinion) – and easily travels to the deck too. Plus, with no external power brick, the cor isn’t an issue in the kitchen.

  2. me—
    Exactly. People complained that it was not black, like “real” audio components, but it was obvious that the Hi-Fi was meant for places like the kitchen, bedroom or even bathroom where a white color is better suited.

    It’s a good product. If only Steve hadn’t implied audiophile credentials there wouldn’t be the uproar.

  3. “Will you be having any humble pie with that crow?

    Why? Since when did CNET reviews matter? Just because some obscure person puts his stamp of approval on an item, that doesn’t mean that the opinion of others who believe it is an overpriced marketing ploy are not justified in having that opinion.

  4. Yeah I got flamed by all the ‘audiophiles’ just for saying they should at least hear it before damning it to the fires of audio Hell.

    So far all I’ve heard is good reviews of this product. Scream about all the specs and definitions you want but if people like it, who cares.

  5. Not that there aren’t good things about the Hi-Fi, but one review’s overall opinion was:
    “we consider iPod Hi-Fi to be a missed opportunity for Apple”

    “The Apple iPod Hi-Fi sounds only marginally better than its competition but costs much more. Despite the remote’s menu button, you can’t navigate the iPod’s menu. There is no video line-out, headphone jack, or dock-connector output. The Hi-Fi’s weight and size take away from its portability. Poorly encoded audio sounds terrible, and the speakers sound much better with higher-quality files/sources…

    The bottom line: The pricey Apple iPod Hi-Fi portable stereo speakers are well built and sound great, but they don’t bring anything new to the table.”

    There are good things about the Hi-Fi, to be sure, but it can hardly be considered reinventing home stereo.

  6. I have a pair of 12 year old “Apple Powered Speakers” which have great sound. Surprisingly good bass considering there is no subwoofer. I’ve thought about replacing them but why bother. I’m not surprised to hear that the sound quality of the iPod Hi-Fi is as good as it is.

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  7. Frankly,

    I’d think a pair of wireless speakers integrated with your home stereo would be a better alternative. Fully-encoded audio instead of lesser-sounding lossy-encoded MP3/ACC files, too.

    The price/benefit ratio just isn’t compelling for the HiFi in my opinion.

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