[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.
Company and Price
Company: Apple Computer
Model: iPod AV Connection Kit
Compatible: All Dock Connecting iPods