So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Teac PCD450iP boombox
A cheap ghetto blaster with an iPod dock
- Low price
- iPod dock
- Sound quality is not great
Teac's PCD450iP boombox takes the traditional cheap ghetto blaster formula and adds an iPod dock. This cheap mini hi-fi doesn't sound great but is versatile thanks to the radio, CD player and dock combination.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Teac has tacked an iPod dock onto a portable CD/FM radio boombox in making the PCD450iP. The $100 stereo is small and versatile, and we think it is decent value despite sound quality that isn’t excellent.
Teac PCD450iP: Design
Teac has stayed true to the old-school cassette boombox formula with the PCD450iP. While it doesn’t have a tape deck at the front — that would be a bit too retro — it does package two stereo speakers around a central CD player, iPod dock and control panel, with a carry handle up top.
Controls for the PCD450iP are distributed across the front and top of the boombox, with a large volume control and radio tuner dial sitting around the top-mounted CD tray. There’s also a toggle switch to change between radio, iPhone, CD and the boombox’s 3.5mm auxiliary input near the volume control.
The front of the Teac PCD450iP has playback buttons for the CD deck which also control any connected iPod or iPhone. A small LCD panel gives track information like track time. Around the back of the boombox a telescopic antenna handles FM radio reception, and there’s a battery compartment for six C-sized batteries.
Teac PCD450iP: Sound quality
We weren’t expecting a great deal for the Teac PCD450iP’s budget-focused price tag of $99.95. The two 3in speakers in the front of the PCD450iP are able to reach surprisingly loud volumes, making this boombox an acceptable choice for an outdoor family picnic or for a larger office or living space.
At low and moderate volumes the Teac PCD450iP sounds decent — not too far off any other mid-sized clock radio or portable iPod dock. Push the volume beyond half way and you can hear some distortion begin to make itself heard — bass notes quickly get cut off and clipped, and treble starts to clip during loud notes.
We wouldn’t use the Teac PCD450iP at full volume all day — not if you value your hearing &8212; so this distortion isn’t of huge importance. At normal listening volumes the Teac PCD450iP may not sound great, but it’s fine for radio or CDs.
We didn’t have any problems with the iPod dock of the PCD450iP. We tested it with a iPhone 4 and a and found all the controls worked as we expected. The CD player of the Teac PCD450iP also starts quickly and runs reasonably quietly.
The boombox’s radio had good reception in our testing — but this doesn’t mean a great deal since we’re in the centre of Sydney. The metre-long antenna should see clear signals in most areas within reasonable distance of a radio tower well catered for.
Teac PCD450iP: Conclusion
The Teac PCD450iP doesn’t have excellent sound quality, but its $99.95 price tag puts it well into impulse buy territory. We think it’s not a bad choice, unless you intend to run it at full volume 24/7.
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