A generic monitor not specifically designed for photography isn’t going to deliver the colour quality we seek. Processing images on the BenQ SW271 gives the user a stunningly vivid colour range.
- Attractive design, portable
- Incredibly limited sound quality, disjointed control system
An appealing choice for those interested in style over substance, anyone else should probably steer clear of this product.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
Astone's iCrib is yet another product in the range of portable speaker accessories designed for iPods, although the only model supported by the iCrib is the Nano. While the speaker system does boast an attractive design, we found both its practicality and sound quality to be severely lacking. With a relatively high RRP in comparison to other models, the Astone has very few redeeming features.
We found the sound quality on the iCrib to be quite limited, with both upper and lower ranges being drowned out by a dominating mid range. At higher volumes this led to significant distortion, whilst at lower volumes it left the music sounding thin, with bass and treble barely identifiable. For the price, we weren't expecting anything revolutionary, but the sound quality delivered by the Astone iCrib makes most music almost impossible to listen to at anything but low volumes.
Probably the most redeeming feature of the iCrib is its aesthetics. The design is quite clever, and the black and silver finish actually made it look quite attractive when supporting a black iPod Nano. Connecting your iPod to the dock is a simple process, and unlike several other similar accessories it doesn't leave the iPod sticking up in the middle, where it is likely to be knocked or bumped off. A power button and two volume buttons adorn the top of the system, forming the entirety of the unit's controls.
While volume is controlled by the iCrib, and not the iPod, all other functions such as play, pause, skip, etc are accessed through the iPod, which is a little odd.
The unit is powered by either three AAA batteries (not included) or a DC power adapter (included). The unit also comes with two short adapter cables, allowing other music players to be connected to it through their headphone jacks.
Despite its sleek design, the iCrib really doesn't deliver a good enough sound quality to justify its price. Its portability and ease of use may appeal to some users, but most will find themselves better served by other products.
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