Kensington’s new Stereo Dock interfaces with your home audio system to play an iPod through its dock connector while charging the battery. The Stereo Dock comes with a 30 ft. infrared remote control. At an MSRP of $89.99 and street price of roughly $75.00, it’s far more expensive than just hooking an audio cable from your receiver to the headphone jack. Is it worth it?
The Stereo Dock is, like many iPod accessories, decked out in white to integrate seamlessly with iPod. It looks great with the colored Minis, too. The unit has a metal rest bar (with pads for soft contact) on the back that holds the remote in place as well as providing a place for iPod to lean as it sits cradled in the Stereo Dock. The provided cords and remote control are white as well.
Getting the Stereo Dock put together is a snap. I had it running in less than five minutes. Now, I’m a geek, so if you’re tech impaired, add 5=five more minutes to fumble with the back of your receiver, but that’s it. The 7 ft. RCA cable connects to the back of the Stereo Dock and then plugs into one of the open component spots on your receiver. The AC adapter plugs into the back of the unit as well. Once plugged in, the front plate glows red to let you know its ready to go. Stick the iPod into Stereo Dock, switch your receiver to the component now occupied by the Stereo Dock, and you’re ready to go.
Since the Dock Connector is used to transmit the audio, the sound is superior to that of the headphone output and the difference is noticeable. The remote control allows you to control the volume coming from the Stereo Dock. The remote is infrared, so you need to point it directly at the unit in order to get it to work. A minor nuisance, but nothing to get excited over. The remote itself is well-designed, with buttons spaced far enough apart to avoid pressing the wrong one. With appropriate tweaking of the remote and your stereo, you can gain optimal volume at whatever level you prefer.
At a street cost of roughly $75.00, the Stereo Dock will cost you anywhere from $35-$60 more than just getting an audio cable to go into your headphone jack. However, anyone who plans to use their iPod with their home stereo, even periodically, would benefit from this alternative. The ability to charge your iPod while getting premium sound from the Dock Connector input is well worth the cost.
The Stereo Dock is available at Macmall.
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