i-deck compact – Get That iPod Pumping

Written by: Dave Cryer

Categories: Reviews

ideck-compact-1-web.jpgHaving an iPod is something I have been lucky enough to be party to from the second generation release onwards, so I have enjoyed the simplicity in design, the superb interface, the usefulness and the power for many years. I use my iPod every day for music and podcasts mainly, but the odd video crops up every now and again.

About a year ago I invested in two separate speaker systems for my iPod in quick succession, the first I will not name, the second by Logitech was good and I still have it now. So it was with much excitement that I had the opportunity to review the ‘i-deck compact’, not only because it promised to be a step up from what I had been used to, but also because it is manufactured by Monitor Audio, who just happen to also make the home cinema speakers that I have now enjoyed in my lounge for the last two years.

You will hear many Apple devotees talk about how unpacking an Apple product is all part of the experience, the way things are cable tied, the box design, clever packaging and the smell. Yes, it sounds obsessive, but when you experience it you will know what I mean. Well, the i-deck compact gave that same feeling. OK, it was a big box, but the wrapping was perfect and unveiling the glossy white casing instantly made me very confident of the product.

This is a weighty unit and measures 42cm in length, which is great as it enhances stereo separation. The amplifier delivers 15 watts per channel, so when I say this thing goes loud, I mean LOUD! The design of the unit is no less than ‘spot on’ sporting nice curves and that all important glossy white finish. The grey grills that cover the speakers are of a very fine mesh and compliment the overall design of the unit. For those of you with a black iPod, the ‘ideck compact’ is also available in black with black speaker grills. Around the back, the unit is finished in silver and it sports the power socket, a connector for running to your Mac or PC so you can sync your iPod when it is connected to the ideck, a composite video ouput, s-video output and a 3.5mm stereo input jack, so you can connect other audio devices with the supplied cable to the ideck if you so wish. There is also an optional 12V car adapter available, so you could use this whilst traveling or on holiday. Also in the box you will find a selection of dock adapters, that snap nice and easily into the unit, they allow a nice snug fit for all of the current iPod range.

Down & Dirty
Enough of describing the ideck to you, let’s get this baby powered up and pumping out some tunes. Once connected to the power supply and inserting the correct dock adapter for my iPod (a 5G iPod with video), I powered the unit up. A nice blue LED glows on the front of the unit (nice touch) and I hit the play button on the supplied remote control. Adjusting the volume is not too sensitive, just right in fact and the sound delivered is nice and rich, very detailed and the bass is astounding. The bass is probably helped a great deal by the four inch bass drivers in the unit. I like my bass, but I hate distortion, so steadily increasing the volume revealed very nice control of the bass, no distortion, just real powerful low frequencies. Stereo separation is very good too, the drivers in the unit must be tweaked to perfection, as the sound really filled the room nicely.

So far so good, I am impressed with the sound quality. I am not keen on comparative reviews, but I feel I should mention, that compared to my current iPod speakers (mentioned earlier) the ideck is in a league of its own.

Remote Goodness
The little remote control supplied with the unit feels a little on the cheap side (compared to the speakers), but that said it does what it is designed to do very well indeed. All the main controls for navigating your iPod and the all important volume are there, with nicely spaced buttons. You can even power off the ideck unit and your iPod with the remote control. Don’t get me wrong, the important part of this package is sound delivery, but a nicer remote, even if it added $10 to the price, would not go amiss.

Experiencing the ‘ideck compact’ totally caught me by surprise, the delivery of detailed sound was awesome, but it was the control at high volumes that really impressed. Not only does the unit itself deliver very impressive sound, but the design really does compliment the iPod, it has that ‘Apple feel’ that I keep referring to, which equates to a very nice buying experience. If you are going to put this sort of money down on a speaker system for your iPod, then I would be happy to recommend the ‘ideck compact’ to be at the very top of your shortlist. Now I just need to find the cash to buy one of these babies for myself.

Product supplied by Monitor Audio UK
Retail price: $199.00
Contact: 1-800-667-6065
Link to product.

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