So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
TDK iWave iPod dock and speaker system
A TDK iPod dock and 2.1-speaker system
- Responsive touch-sensitive controls, rich sound, built-in subwoofer
- No battery option, doesn't officially support the iPhone
The TDK iWave is a great option if you want a reasonably priced iPod dock speaker system that can deliver rich and powerful sound.
Price$ 139.00 (AUD)
The TDK iWave is a 2.1 stereo audio system and iPod dock with a remote control. It uses two 5 Watt speakers and a 10W subwoofer, and these deliver great sound.
The subwoofer produced rich bass, while the two 5W speakers emitted smooth treble and solid mid tones. It even withstood our ‘houseparty’ test, in which we turned up the system to its maximum volume. There was no distortion during this test and the overall sound quality of the iWave was impressive. The system has five preset equaliser settings: Flat, Rock, Pop, Classic and Jazz. There are also boosts for surround sound and bass (X-Bass), which can only be turned on and off using the remote control. It would have been a plus to be able to access these functions on the iWave itself.
Like the one bundled with the TDK iClassic, the iWave's remote control could be improved — it felt flimsy during our tests. A 3.5in auxiliary input is available so that you can connect a non-Apple MP3 player or a CD player to the dock, and there is also a video out jack for connecting to a TV.
The iWave is specially tailored for use with an iPod. Supported models include the iPod Nano, Shuffle, Touch, Classic and even the first-generation iPod. The iPhone is not officially supported by the iWave, but during our tests we were able to connect our smartphone without any problems. When your iPod is docked, the iWave will charge it automatically. The iWave also has an alarm clock so you can wake up (and snooze) to your music and there is also a built-in FM tuner, so you can tune in to your favourite radio stations.
When you first look at the system, you can see why it’s called the iWave. The body looks sleek and has a curved design, similar to the crest of a wave. The front panel of the speaker system is encased in stainless steel, which is a nice touch. The rest of the unit is finished in a black plastic, which matches the stainless steel well. The dock is the centrepiece of the iWave, and there is a substantial LCD screen above it that's illuminated by a warm, blue glow.
The large size of an iPhone or iPod Touch will slightly cover the LCD screen, and this takes away from the stylish design of the unit. The LCD screen adjusts its brightness according to how much light there is in your environment and it does this by using a dimmer sensor that's located on the left side of the speaker system. Touch-sensitive keys are located along the bass of the speaker system. These were easy to use and very responsive — most importantly, we didn’t have to bash the iWave repeatedly just to increase the volume!
Another handy design feature of the iWave is the holes on the back that allow it to be wall mounted. You can use two screws to hang the iWave on your wall, but because it isn’t the thinnest system on the market (16cm wide), it might end up looking a bit out of place.
One minor letdown of the iWave is that it's not a portable system. There are no batteries and it needs to be plugged in to a wall outlet to work.
Overall, the TDK iWave Sound System for iPod delivers brilliant sound at an affordable price. The built-in subwoofer and sleek design definitely make it a winner.
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