Anyware Corporation i-Rocks MP3 Case
- Convenient, doesn't need to be charged, small and compact
- Not enough CD storage, no controls, sound quality below average, distortion evident at higher volume levels
The i-Rocks MP3 case is a below average sounding unit, but its draw-card is the convenience factor
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
The i-Rocks MP3 case provides portable storage for your favourite music CD's, as well as an opportunity to play music from your portable media player through its in-built speaker system.
Essentially a 12 CD carry case with speakers, the-Rocks is aimed at the ever expanding portable music player accessory market and would appeal to frequent travelers who like the convenience of taking their music collection with them. However, most users today spoiled by gigabytes of available memory, will probably feel that the supplied storage space for only 12 CD's isn't nearly enough. Furthermore, why would most people carry around CD with their MP3 player in the first place?
The i-Rocks MP3 case uses a zipper around its edges to open and close the case and has a convenient elastic pouch on the inside right side, which can be used to store your portable music player. You simply connect the i-Rocks MP3 case speaker jack into the headphone jack of your MP3 player and music is played through the built in speaker, which is hidden in the left hand side of the case. The i-Rocks case can also be used with portable CD players, minidiscs and even FM radios.
There are no controls on the MP3 case - you simply use your MP3 player controls to change track and volume settings. We would have liked to have seen built-in controls on the case itself just for the added convenience and we found the lack of even a simple volume button mystifying to say the least. If you store your music player inside the case, you will have to open it each time you want to access the controls which is an unnecessary hassle.
The i-Rocks MP3 case runs on three AAA batteries which are housed in a small plastic compartment located on the lower hand of the left side of the case. And On/Off switch preserves battery life when the unit is not in use, while a green LED lets you know that when the i-Rocks MP3 case is turned on. Battery life is approximately 5.5 hours, which is fairly good considering the portability factor.
What is most interesting about the i-Rocks MP3 case is the NXT technology used for the speaker system. Recently seen on TDK systems such as the NX-02, NXT is a flat panel speaker technology which claims a larger sweet spot. Taking this into account, we were expecting big things in terms of sound quality from the i-Rocks MP3 case, but it wasn't to be. For most part, the sound quality of the unit is slightly below average, with noticeable distortion at high volume levels and a lack of bass particularly evident. While this is not a device designed for constant playback, we found the sound quite disappointing overall. Perhaps this is due to the speaker being concealed inside the case, but nonetheless, we wouldn't recommend the i-Rocks MP3 case purely for its audio capabilities.
We must say though, we can't work out why anyone would want to carry around CD's with their MP3 player when it simply doesn't play this media format. The i-Rocks would be much more appropriate for those who still have a CD-Discman and haven't yet made the jump to MP3 music.
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