Portable speaker systems for portable audio players are nothing new and are handy when you get tired of your headset or want to be more sociable with your music. What makes these products iPod-centric is their inclusion of a docking connector that lets Apple’s little moneymaker nestle safely in a custom-made niche to support a cable-less connection while getting a refreshing battery recharge. Some offerings even include an acknowledgement to products non-iPod and include a line inputs for connecting other digital music players.
Apple’s recent introduction of its Hi-Fi system begged the question of whether the company had produced a speaker system worthy of being a partner to its run-away best seller. So we tested not only it, but two offerings from Klipsch to round-out a selection of pricey iPod add-ons.
We tested the systems using both an iPod and via the line input with the system described below, using the same tests that we have used in the past for computer speaker systems. Note that Apple and Klipsch are both tight-lipped about specifications, such as amplifier power ratings. This leaves the impression that they want to avoid comparison with other equipment.
Processor : Athlon 3000+ Memory : 1 GB of DDR Sound card : E-MU 1820 OS : Windows XP Home SP2
dBpowerAMP, audio files using FLAC lossless compression Apple iPod 30 GB
DAAS audio measurement system, Neutrik 3382 mike