Docking station strikes the right note

The Life: Neil Parmer finds himself on a quest for a new iPod dock after frying his old one.
Merlin-Digital Wireless
Merlin-Digital Wireless

Gadgets often get the better of us, including those who write weekly technology columns.

My latest bumble with electronic devices occurred after I brought back a new C$185 (Dh716) iPod docking station from Canada and plugged it into an electric socket - without attaching the correct adapter first. Needless to say, it fried instantly.

Which is how I ended up at a local mall this past weekend with a new mission: to find a replacement dock that could clearly project music from my MP3 player but was small enough for the corner of a counter and even the bathroom. Most importantly, it had to cost the same or less than the price I paid for the original device.

Bang & Olufsen offered the most sleekly designed, best-sounding dock - by far - in the form of its BeoSound 8. It projected Nelly's Just A Dream in what seemed to be the perfect pitch, but at a cost of Dh5,200, even Nelly didn't need to sound that good.

Other stores seemed to favour JBL's offerings, from the On Stage IV (Dh649) to an On Air wireless speaker system (Dh1,499). Yet the last model I purchased from this brand was prone to crackling even when it was set to a volume suitable for dinner parties. Even if I was perhaps guilty of blasting tunes too loudly on other occasions, it was time to try out a new brand.

Easier said than done.

Lenco's 3ft iPod tower was too tall, while Bowers & Wilkins's Zeppelin and options from Harmon Kardon were too wide. iHome's futuristic-looking orb that changed colours while playing music was certainly novel but too similar to those lava lamps of the 1970s - and not in a good way.

After leaving three separate electronics shops, because one failed to list any prices while the other two didn't demo iPods so I could actually listen to their speaker systems, I settled on a retailer that delivered on both counts.

And that's where I found the winning model: the Merlin-Digital Wireless Soundstation.

The Quote Without the iPod, the digital music age would have been defined by files and folders instead of songs and albums. John Mayer, singer and songwriter

Published: July 26, 2011 04:00 AM


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