First Look: Marware Remote Docking Station / iPod Dock with Remote
Model: Remote Docking Station
Compatible: iPod 4G, 5G, mini, nano
This black iPod dock comes with an infrared remote control, standard USB-to-USB cable, AV cable, and folding AC wall adapter. You can use the AV cable with the dock to output iPod audio and video to your home entertainment system, and control the docked iPod from a distance with the remote. Alternately, you can connect the USB cable to the dock and your computer for data synchronization and/or charging, or to the dock and the wall adapter for charging. No sizer inserts are included for the dock, which is advertised as compatible with the iPod mini, nano, 4G and 5G.
Brief testing of the Docking Station revealed easily-heard noise in its audio signal when the power supply was connected without an iPod; the noise thankfully disappeared when the iPod was connected. Our test iPods fit in the dock without an issue regardless of thickness, and performed audio and video without a hitch. Charging also worked properly, as did the remote control, which isn’t up to the standards of Apple’s official Remote, but works fine within the dock’s line of sight. Besides the standard five buttons (play/pause, track forward/backward and volume up/down, which adjusts the dock’s variable line-out level), there’s a remote power button to turn off the dock, which as previously noted you’ll want to do when your speakers are on and the iPod’s not docked. A bright blue light can be seen through the dock’s top; it’s intended to be viewed and filtered by a small circular lens on the dock’s front, and flashes when the remote is used.
Also note: the dock isn’t made to be compatible with 3G iPods, and will neither charge nor remote control them. Audio can be heard through the dock, however, the iPod’s controls won’t work properly, if at all. If you’re using one of these older iPod models, don’t test your luck. Otherwise, this is an inexpensive alternative to Apple’s official parts.