Portable iPod dock
Sporting a small, slick design, the Edifier iF330 is one of the more portable iPod docks we've looked at recently. It doesn't weigh much, it's easy to carry and it sports a battery slot to power it when on the road; however, the lack of a remote control and some sound quality issues mean this device isn't all it could be.
- Small, video output, low cost, detailed sound
- Bass very weak, sound flat, distortion at medium volume, sound needs to be tighter, no remote
A fairly average iPod dock, the Edifier iF330 certainly has a small price tag but it produces fairly poor quality audio with no bass presence and no remote control is included.
The key issue with the audio is not something confined to this device. It is an issue we've encountered with a lot of smaller speakers on the market: poor bass performance. The bass on this unit is extremely weak and quite hollow. It was relatively detailed, but with no impact or power music felt flat and boring. It also means the treble and upper mid-range are strongly emphasised, leading to a slightly tinny sound.
We found the mid-range to be decent but not outstanding. Like the bass it was detailed and it had a somewhat gritty sound that will be suited to some musical styles. However, it was lacking in control and cohesion, so during complex passages that contained guitar riffs, drums, bass, vocals and other instruments like piano and violins everything sounded somewhat scattered. During simpler passages this wasn't an issue and that was definitely where the iF330 excelled.
There was excellent separation in the mid-range, with things like cymbals and violins strongly isolated from the main body of sound. However, there was some sibilance noticeable on snare drums which became distracting at times.
Treble notes were reasonably good. They extended nicely and weren't too bright or harsh. We'd have liked them to be a touch richer but they were satisfactory considering the cost of the unit.
Volume was fine for a small device; it won't fill a big room but it's adequate for small or medium spaces. However, we found there was some distortion at medium volume and above, which many users will find irritating.
Aside from having a regular dock for iPods and the obligatory set of adapters for all the various sizes, shapes and generations, the iF330 sports an auxiliary jack for connecting other music devices. A standard stereo cable comes in the box and simply plugs into your player's headphone jack.
There are no bass or treble controls, just a volume knob that doubles as a power button. The only other noteworthy feature is a composite video output that allows you to output video footage to a TV. The quality is unsurprisingly quite poor, but it might prove useful for people after an easy way to share video from their portable device.
The unit is fairly small and the dock slides in for easy transport. It has an AC adapter but can also run off six AA batteries.
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