First Looks Special: Kensington SX2000 Speakers

First Looks Special: Kensington SX2000 Speakers 1

Fresh at the iLounge labs: Kensington’s SX2000 Speakers ($160), the second iPod speaker system we’ve received that claims support for Apple’s “Universal Dock” standard. Here are a few pictures and details to bring you up to speed before our review.

First Looks Special: Kensington SX2000 Speakers 2

SX2000 is a flat-panel speaker system based on NXT technology – which we’ve heard in the past, and not been especially impressed by. This particular implementation appears to be better than the last NXT we tested (Monster’s iSpeaker Portable) on audio quality, but still not mind-blowing. In a list of features, Kensington notes that the speaker features “bi-directional” technology (the ability to play audio from its back or front) – put it in the middle of a room and you’ll hear audio from both sides. The rear of the unit also includes a port for auxiliary audio input – devices other than docking iPods can connect through this if you have your own cable.

First Looks Special: Kensington SX2000 Speakers 3

The SX2000 system is also capable of outputting stereo sound – we’ve tested it and heard it, though the stereo field appears to be shallow, and isn’t being touted as a strength of the device. Rather, Kensington is focusing on iits “superior frequency response (better highs and lows) at higher volumes than similar speaker systems.” We’ll have to see. It’s a 16.2” wide unit, and non-portable, putting it in competition with a lot of other speakers that have recently been released.

 

First Looks Special: Kensington SX2000 Speakers 4

A major selling point, potentially, is the unit’s stated compatibility with Apple’s Universal Dock standard, which is designed to let people use plastic inserts that come with all new iPods to guarantee a perfect docking connection. Our unit had mixed results with the Apple Dock Adapters we tested, working properly with most, but not all. Specifically, Dock Adapters 9 and 10 (for 5G 30 and 60GB iPods) would not fit inside the SX2000’s dock. You can still connect a 5G iPod, but the molded Dock Adapter will not be as useful here.

First Looks Special: Kensington SX2000 Speakers 5

 

First Looks Special: Kensington SX2000 Speakers 6

Each SX2000 comes with a wall power adapter, two Dock Adapters (one for iPod mini, and one for 20GB/30GB color iPods), and the speaker unit. An iPod shuffle adapter, called the Accessory Adapter for iPod shuffle, will be sold separately for approximately $20. The SX2000 and Accessory Adapter will be in stores in mid-November and January 31, respectively.
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11 comments
  1. I am probably late on this idea, but it just came to me. I was watching a video on cnet, and was thinking, What about Video Reviews on iLounge?????

  2. haha cell phone junkie, i like how the iPod is on the side too. i actually like this design and hopefully it will have good sound in all ranges. i heard m coupes are so rare now.

  3. it does sort of look funky…and versatile but…

    I’m a huge fan of symettry (its beautiful) and would have liked to have seen speakers on both sides

    (I know Im fussy- I’m an iPod user, it raises standards ;))

  4. Funky Design. It’s nice to have a breath of fresh air with a new look, not at all like the other speakers with the iPod in the center.

    Personally, I think it looks smokin’. But what do I know, I drive an M Coupe;)

  5. Before I read the title for the article all I saw was the photo of it and thought, “Damn they came out with a LCD with dock just for the video iPod?!?” Might be cool…

  6. IMHO I still think iSongbook’s sound quality obliterate any similar iPod speakers… iSongbook actually sounds better than the Bose dock and Bose dock is decent! 🙂

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