Cygnett Unison i-XT

A good value iPod dock.

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Cygnett Unison i-XT
  • Cygnett Unison i-XT
  • Cygnett Unison i-XT
  • Cygnett Unison i-XT

Pros

  • Excellent sound; stylish, minimalist design; S-Video port for iPod movie output; USB port for connecting to iTunes

Cons

  • Lacks clock, radio and equaliser functions

Bottom Line

The Cygnett Unison i-XT is an iPod dock that produces excellent sound and looks good but its lack of functions may disappoint users looking for an all-in-one device.

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The Cygnett Unison i-XT is an iPod dock and 2.1 speaker set. Although it lacks clock, radio and equaliser functions, it provides a helpful variety of connections like S-Video out as well as remarkably good audio.

The i-XT is a 2.1 speaker unit with only three buttons (for power and volume control) and a separate iPod connection station. The main speaker is solidly built and its featureless black design gives it a minimalist look.

The i-XT is compatible with any iPod that uses a dock port connector, which includes all iPods up to and including the latest iPod touch (2nd Generation) except for the iPod shuffle (Updated 2nd Generation). Although it doesn't officially support the iPhone, we tested the i-XT with an iPhone and found no problems using it.

The remote control's signals are received at the iPod dock, which is linked to the main unit via a DC cable and an Aux connection. An auxiliary input as well as analog stereo RCA connections can be found on the back of the speaker box. Other ports include an S-Video output that allows videos on iPods to be played on compatible display devices and a USB connection that lets iPods sync with linked computers without being unplugged from the dock. Both of these are welcome inclusions that are rarely found on this type of device.

Users can control their iPod's menu via the remote control, making it much easier to select and play music and movies. We found that keys took a little too much effort to push and that the menu refused to auto-scroll when we held the button down. This means that browsing through a large list of tracks will require either button-bashing or accessing the menu via the iPod directly.

Once a track has been selected, however, the audio quality provided by the speakers will quickly make you forget the negatives and think about the sound. The rich bass is supplied by a 4in subwoofer, which reproduced the bass guitar of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Run Through the Jungle" with excellent depth. The hollow and half-hearted sound produced by some iPod docks, such as the Altec Lansing iM310, is happily absent.

The mid-range and treble is also excellent thanks to the two 3in dome tweeters. Piano concertos sound great, with warm and well-defined notes, while Freddie Mercury's upper-range singing in "Bohemian Rhapsody" came through crystal clear. The lack of equaliser options on the i-XT is disappointing, but users can choose to modify their iPod's built-in EQ settings.

The i-XT is an attractive iPod dock with very good audio quality and advanced connection options for the reasonable price of $299.

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