When Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi first arrived at Toybox headquarters, I thought it looked a bit big and bulky, but when I witnessed the sound it is capable of, I didn’t care about size any more. It is actually quite stylish-looking and easy to carry around thanks to the handles on each side, nicely built into the overall design, of course.
After some extensive testing over the weekend I am very impressed. We have had an Altec Lansing iM7 for a couple of years, and once when we had a party one of our neighbours — we’re still not sure who — called noise control, which we thought was a good testimony to how loud that little puppy really is. But the iM7 is dwarfed by Apple’s boombox.
The iPod Hi-Fi is a lot more powerful. A lot. Even outdoors, the speakers are really loud and can be heard a long way.
When taken out on field trips the Hi-Fi runs on six D-cell batteries.
According to Apple, the sound quality is due to double-walled construction which provides maximum stiffness, the sealed and tuned enclosure for clarity and precision and the separate cabinets for wide-range cones. The Hi-Fi has two 80-mm wide-range drivers and a 130-mm woofer.
The iPod Hi-Fi measures 167.6 by 431.8 by 175.3 mm (including grille). It weighs 6.6kg without batteries and 7.6kg with batteries — so you won’t be carrying it too far.It is compatible with all iPod models with a dock connector through the integrated Universal Dock. Dock adapters are included. It is also compatible with the iPod shuffle and iPod models without a dock connector through the audio input port. An audio cable is not included. The iPod is charged via the dock connector when the Hi-Fi is on AC-power.
There is also a remote control for the Hi-Fi. The only buttons on the device are two volume buttons.
If you have bought into the whole iPod-iTunes thing and have ditched your CD collection, this is a great alternative to a full-on stereo, especially as it is portable as well. But call me old-fashioned if you like, I can’t help missing my big, old stereo sometimes. If only there was enough money and space to have both. The Hi-Fi costs $599 and is available online.