TDK iClassic iPod speaker system
The TDK iClassic iPod dock is light on features but it is not bad value
- iPod adapters included, auxiliary input, compact design, cheap
- No official iPhone support, doesn't take batteries, no telescopic FM aerial
TDK's iClassic iPod speaker system is cheap and easy to use. It doesn't have great sound quality but it doesn't have any major flaws.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
The TDK iClassic speaker system is a cheap, entry-level iPod dock. However don’t expect too much from the iClassic; you get what you pay for in terms of sound quality.
The TDK iClassic iPod speaker system supports a range of Apple iPods through a central dock. The iPod Nano, iPod Touch, iPod Classic and even the old-school iPod Mini can be used. The iClassic is bundled with eight dock adapters to suit iPods of different sizes. The iPhone is not officially supported but still worked during our tests. As well as providing passable sound quality, the TDK iClassic can give your Apple devices some juice before you hit the road.
The TDK iClassic only weighs 1.36kg and is just 24cm wide, and it has a squat rectangular design. The system is available in black, white, pink and red. It doubles as an alarm clock and has an FM radio with 20 presets. If you don’t have an iPod, you can connect another MP3 player by using the auxiliary input jack on the side of the iClassic. Given the small size of the iClassic, it’s disappointing to see that TDK hasn’t taken advantage of the potential portability of the device — you cannot just pop in some batteries and use it on the go. There is a remote control with basic functions, but all of the buttons are the same size and are difficult to differentiate between.
For our tests we used the iPhone 3G and iPod Nano 2nd generation, both of which worked fine (apart from the iPhone displaying a 'not made for iPhone' warning when docking with the iClassic). Sound quality is fair (keeping in mind that the iClassic is not aimed at audiophiles). TDK advertises the iClassic as having 'enhanced' bass, but we found that the stereo 2W speakers lacked some bite in that department.
Treble and mid-range tones were satisfactory and produce solid sound at low to moderate volume levels. Higher volume levels introduce distortion in bass frequencies. You can alter the sound to your liking with five equaliser presets — Rock, Pop, Classic, Jazz and a flat pass-through mode. We were disappointed with the lack of a mute button on the remote and the body of the TDK iClassic itself.
The alarm function was easy to use, and the large snooze button in front of the dock is easy to find — even in a sleepy stupor. FM radio reception was acceptable in our testing, but the lack of a telescopic aerial means regions with marginal reception may struggle to find a station. AM radio is not supported by the iClassic — talkback radio lovers may want to look elsewhere.
The TDK iClassic is easy to use and gets the job done. Although lacking a few features that we would have liked, it has no critical flaws.
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