If you are one of the many people who own an iPod or an iPhone, there is a pretty good chance you don’t just use it on the train or at the gym. The multitude of features offered by the Apple iPod touch and iPhone 3G, in particular, mean they are used as much in the house as out of it. With that in mind, here are the best iPod docks we have had pass through our Test Centre for people with all sorts of different needs.
Top iPod Dock for Audiophiles: Geneva Sound System M
Looking like the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Geneva Sound System M is glossy, black, minimalist and slightly unsettling. Upon activating the strange device, red lights glow from the front and music emanates from hidden speakers. It sounds great, as well — four separate speakers are built into the cabinet and they're powered by a 100W amplifier. It has a universal dock that fits all models including the iPhone 3G and the iPod touch. It doesn’t complicate matters with video playback or USB inputs — just an iPod dock, FM radio, CD player and great sound.
What’s Hot: Warm and enveloping sound, great bass.
The Final Word: As integrated iPod dock sound systems go, the Geneva is far ahead of the pack despite missing out on a few creature comforts. If you can overlook the narrow soundstage and lack of screen, you might just be won over by the sound quality.
Top iPod Dock for Crazy People: Amethyst iPig iPod Buddy
There’s no denying this simple point: this iPod dock is a pig. Our little porcine friend comes in white or black and puts out surprisingly well-rounded sound with plenty of bass. We don’t really know why you would specifically search for an iPod dock in the form of a pig, but even overlooking that the Amethyst iPig iPod Buddy is a great product.
What’s Hot: Good sound quality, low price, interesting design, good iPod menu control with remote control.
The Final Word: The Amethyst iPig iPod Buddy has a pig-like design that not everyone will like, but its sound quality is excellent considering its price.
Top iPod Dock for the Modern Home: Philips DC910
Designed to sit happily under your flat-screen television, the Philips DC910 offers powerful bass in a long flat chassis. With an iPod touch or iPhone you can even use the speakers while watching a movie on the iPod screen. A USB port, SD card slot and auxiliary input are also included for connection to other devices in your technology-rich modern living room.
What’s Hot: Slimline design, wall mountable, auxiliary input, remote control, USB flash drive and SD/MMC compatible
The Final Word: The DC910 is an appealing prospect, especially if you own an iPod touch. The bass can be overpowering, but for the price this nifty unit provides plenty of punch.
Top iPod Dock for Everyday Use: Altec Lansing iM600
With a built-in battery, a telescopic antenna for great FM radio reception and a sound-widening mode for punchy musical reproduction, Altec Lansing’s iM600 portable iPod dock is a good all-round choice and will suit the purposes of most users acceptably.
What’s Hot: Sleek design, portability, rechargeable battery, sound quality
The Final Word: Altec Lansing's iM600 packs quite a punch for its size, producing very reasonable sound quality.
Top iPod Dock for the Great Outdoors: Harman Kardon Go + Play
If you have enough cash left over after shelling out for one of these puppies, pick yourself up a whopping eight C-cell batteries (you may need some assistance) and take your iPod out for a day on the town. With massive power for a portable unit and no distortion until the loudest volume levels, the Harman Kardon Go + Play is great for a picnic or lounging by the pool on a hot day. Plus, it’s great for weight-lifting.
What’s Hot: Great bass, detailed mid-range, rich sound, powerful remote, handle makes for great portability.
The Final Word: Harmon Kardon's Go + Play is a brilliant high-end iPod dock. Its audio is well balanced and almost flawless. The design has one niggling issue, but the large, sturdy handle certainly adds to the unit's portability.