Stereophile senior editor: Apple iPod Hi-Fi ‘produces glorious sound’

“When Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new iPod Hi-Fi on Feb. 28 by saying ‘I’m an audiophile. I’ve had stereos costing — well, I won’t say — but a lot, [and] I’m actually getting rid of my stereo,’ he offended the tender sensibilities of audiophiles worldwide. To disappointed, tech-oriented ‘gadget-geeks,’ the iPod Hi-Fi appeared to be nothing more than a bulky, white boom box — and at $349, an expensive one,” Michael Fremer, Stereophile senior contributing editor, writes for The Record.

“Serial ‘Apple haters’ gleefully dismiss it as a new ‘white elephant,’ and the beginning of the end of Apple’s innovative reign. But make no mistake: This device produces glorious sound. The iPod Hi-Fi no more replaces an expensive home stereo system than the Bose Wave Radio ‘fills a room with concert hall sound,’ but Steve Jobs is to be forgiven for being enthusiastic about the iPod Hi-Fi’s sonic performance,” Fremer writes. “The dual-ported box, fitted with a robust 5-inch woofer, outputs surprisingly deep, supple, musical bass. A pair of rich-sounding 3-inch midrange tweeters deftly integrate with the woofer to deliver the rest of the music with equally smooth composure.”

“Unlike its smaller, perhaps more stylish competition, the iPod Hi-Fi doesn’t suffer from ‘boom/tizz syndrome,’ and driven by powerful digital amplification it can play loud and fill a relatively large room without sounding strained or compressed,” Fremer writes. “Like any piece of purpose-driven audio gear, the proof is in the listening. So go listen!”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Fortune: Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi delivers ‘big sound from a small package’ – March 22, 2006
Pioneer Press: Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi ‘sets a new standard, the iPod speaker setup to beat’ – March 18, 2006
Consumer Reports: iPod Hi-Fi ‘mildly disappointing’ – March 17, 2006
Chicago Tribune writer: ‘Don’t be duped’ by Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi – March 13, 2006
Time Magazine’s Gadget of the Week: Apple iPod Hi-Fi – March 13, 2006
CNET: Apple iPod Hi-Fi is a ‘box of delights’ – March 09, 2006
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. Like I’ve been saying to everyone who doubts it…this device will SELL and sell well. It’s a device to fill a need in many situations. It’s not meant to be portable in the same sense as a boom box…perhaps “transportable” is a better term. It sounds very good if you listen to it in right environment.

  2. a senior contributing editor from Stereophile thinkst the iPod Hi-Fi is worth a listen? hmmmm…. i guess that gives all the audiophile snobs ’round here a reason to take pause… or at least go listen to the darn thing before further comment.

  3. Oh I don’t dispute it sounds ok, it’s just for the price you might as well add a few hundred more and get yourself a quality 5.1 system which has more features, hookups and abilites.

    You see this is the problem, the iPod HiFi introduces the budding audiophile to better sound, but the value for the money spent is a rip off.

    You’ll see what I mean in time, especially when you’ll see similar devices for considerably less.

    For instance my 5.1 surround sound system, just one satellite speaker, just one, produces 124 db at one meter as compared to the iPod HiFi’s 4 speakers producing 108 db at one meter.

    I have 5 satelite speakers at 125 watts each and a 200 watt subwoofer for 800 total watts. When I want to rock, I’ll drown out 5 iPod HiFi’s in a second.

    My 5.1 system fills my room with loud powerful sound, the iPod HiFi couldn’t, so it was useless for parities. plus I have two remotes, 5.1 decoding, AM/FM reciever, hookups like crazy for TV’s, DVD players etc etc.

    I got all this for only a few hundred dollars more than a iPod HiFi.

    So pay attention, I’m trying to give good advice.

    Shop around.

  4. …and comparing the HiFi to a full blown amp/speaker system isn’t fair. It’s all about having it all in one beautiful and simple (and semi-portable) system. The fact is, when I am having a bar-b-q this year, I will take it out into the yard for everyone’s enjoyment. And the bar-b-q will be an iPod invite – everyone bring your iPods with an approx 45 min playlist. Can you do that with your system Mac Dude? Also, my living room is gonna clean up so well with this, I can get rid of a bunch of stereo equip – which I’m moving to the basement, and open up a whole shelf for plants or whatever. Aesthetically the room will be much nicer. As with all things Apple, it’s more than about specs, and if you don’t know that by now, then forget it and buy damned Dell already.

  5. I have a really expensive setup with many speakers and wires. Whenever I want to move it, I cry. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cheese” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Since when did playing loud become synonymous with high-fidelity sound???

    Surround-sound is great for what it was designed for—movie soundtracks. No self-respecting audio enthusiast would expect genuine high-end stereo sound from ANY consumer-level stereo product, no matter how wonderful it sounds compared to its competition. VW’s are great, but let’s not delude ourselves that a VW is a “budget Mercedes.”

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