Company: Apple Computer
Model: iPod AV Connection Kit
Compatible: All Dock Connecting iPods
Apple Computer iPod AV Connection Kit
[Editors' Note: On November 1, 2006, iLounge published The 2007 iPod Buyers' Guide, with more than 30 brand new, capsule-sized product reviews - only for products we considered to be amongst the very best we've seen throughout the year. The short review below is excerpted from the Guide, which you can download here.]
The closest iPod dock to audio- or videophile in quality is surprisingly the least sophisticated: Apple’s Universal Dock ($39) provides clean audio and video signals, and also offers volume matching - the dock can reduce audio to the same level indicated on the iPod’s screen. To really use the bare Dock, however, you’ll need an AV Cable ($19), Power Adapter ($29), iPod-to-USB Cable ($19), and probably an Apple Remote ($29). Separately, they cost $135, so Apple sells them bundled for $99. A deal, right? Not really. The Remote works from 10-30 feet depending on lighting conditions, and gives you only iPod shuffle-style control of your iPod, steps backwards from all the other options here; despite the remote’s Menu button, there’s no on-TV or other iPod menu navigation. For the price, this is a good, not great solution overall; other docks offer more interesting features, but sometimes stumble on sound quality.
Note that our photos here don’t show the variety of Universal Dock Adapters included in the box: Apple provides adapters for 3G, 4G, and mini models, while newer iPods comes with their own individual adapters, and the company also sells additional adapters in three packs.