Prior to 2001 if you wanted to carry 1,000+ songs with you, you would need a massive box of CDs or at best a clunky digital player. In 2001, however, the revolution began when the first iPod was released, making carrying vast amounts of music with you so very simple. With space for around 1000 song files, this new technology was viewed with trepidation at first but became a huge commercial success. Over the years iPods have advanced technologically as have the special docking stations that turn these portable devices into home sound systems.
The following is a list of the ten best docks based on heavy vetting and taking into consideration sound, style and overall quality.
1. Bose Sound Dock 10
With clean, stylish looks and the support of one of the most respected brand names on the market, the Bose Sound Dock 10 is a top ten no brainer. Offering full sound quality and being compatible with just about any iPod or iPhone, this is arguably the best sound dock on the market. Its slim-line profile and lightweight nature also make it a portable device in its own right.
The revolutionary technology that makes this dock a top ten device is known as “waveguide.” This is essentially a folded sound tube that allows for a smaller device while not compromising sound quality. It is one of the more expensive docks on the market but the quality and design make it more than worth its price tag.
2. Bowers & Wilkins ZEPPELIN AIR
If your iPod is full of Zeppelin or even if it isn’t, one of the coolest docks on the market is the Bowers & Wilkins ZEPPELIN AIR. This great looking dock is designed to resemble a zeppelin balloon and really creates a talking point. Offering reasonably good sound quality, one of the key selling points of this device is its wireless capability. This allows it to receive streaming from your PC as well as all your iPad, iPod or iPhone devices. Essentially, it is a great dock with extremely stylish looks that will add an element of cool to your living room.
3. JBL On Stage IIIP
The iPod started the trend of smaller is better, and this dock carries on with that concept. At a little over 1lb in weight, the JBL On Stage IIIP is one of the best quality compact devices on the market today. Featuring up to 12 hours of battery life, this great little dock can go anywhere with you, allowing you a greater level of freedom. Of course your iPod or iPhone are portable but they alone do not offer the sound quality that this dock can. It essentially makes anywhere feel like home even the most basic of hotel rooms.
4. Audyssey South of Market iPod Dock
Sometimes you want more from your iPod dock and with the Ausyssey South of Market dock you get more. Not content with having a unique, slimline, space-saving design, this dock offers something that most others do not. You can not only plug your iPhone into this dock, but because it features two inbuilt microphones you can enjoy improved hands-free calling quality. On top of those unique features this product is of the highest quality in terms of sound, which in itself would have made it a consideration for a top ten spot.
5. Sony iPod Dock
Of course at some point you knew a Sony dock would make it into the top ten, they are just too respected a brand not to have one of the best devices. The product in question is the Sony RDP-XA700IP, one of the best on the market in terms of quality and basic good looks. It is simple in design, but with its sleek, smooth lines it is just down right cool looking. Then we come to the tech bonuses of this device, which include magnetic fluid speakers which eliminate sound distortion. Also with this dock you get Airplay technology, meaning you can play music from your Apple device from anywhere in the house.
6. Monster Cable Tron iPod Dock
Sometimes what makes a product great is just plain coolness and that is certainly the case with the Monster Cable iPod Dock. Inspired by the movie “Tron,” this futuristic piece is a hit with Sci-Fi fans. The blue rings circling the front of this dock are reminiscent of the wheel on those speedy tron cycles, and it is just a hot-looking piece of tech that is fun and a major talking point. It is also a high quality product with amazing sound and comforting basic functionality.
7. SoundFreaq Sound Stack iPod Dock
The brand name may not be familiar but that does not indicate a lack of quality. In terms of iPod docks the SoundFreaq Sound Stack is definitely worthy of the top ten. Packed full of serious noise-producing kit, this dock is a must for audiophiles. The look is sleek but unassuming and the i-technology wireless connectivity makes it extremely convenient.
8. Altec Lansing Duo iPod Dock
Offering dual charging and playing options, the Altec Lansing Duo Dock wins a top ten spot for being just so darn handy. Most docks on the market can only handle one device at a time but this product can hold two and combine the playlists from both. A free music mix app merges the data from both devices, making it perfect for settling family playlist arguments or for keeping roommate harmony. Of course this also has high quality sound and playback, it wouldn’t be in the list if it didn’t.
9. Yamaha iPod Dock
Nowhere is it written that iPod docks have to be flashy, and Yamaha certainly agrees that less is more. The company’s best dock is the PDX31BL, a very basic design that favors functionality over aesthetics. Yamaha is, of course, a well respected brand name in electronics and this product bears out their commitment to quality. It produces great sound quality with crisp playback and does not look fussy while doing it.
10. Phillips Fidelo Primo Docking Speaker
The final dock in the list is from another well respected manufacturer, Phillips. Known for quality in electronics, Phillips has produced the Fidelo Primo Docking Speaker, an attractive wood-trimmed dock that is exquisite looking. The wood is not just for show either, because as audiophiles know the best acoustics come from wooden products. This makes the Fidelo Primo a truely premium dock with great sleek looks and top quality sound reproduction.