iPod Gizmo of the month: Bose SoundDock Portable

Matthew JC. Powell
11 December, 2007
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What’s so special about the SoundDock Portable? Aren’t there tonnes of other similar iPod-docking speaker systems, most of them a whole bunch cheaper than this one?

Yes and no. Yes, the Bose SoundDock came out a while ago, but no, this is hardly a comparable device. Yes, there are other similar cheaper devices, but none offer anything like the sound quality (or even the sheer volume) of the SoundDock Portable.

Bose has gone right back to the drawing board with this system, trying to overcome the multiple problems plaguing devices in this category (including the original SoundDock). Namely: how do you get such small speakers to produce a good, rich sound, including powerful bass, and once you’ve solved that one, how do you get decent battery life? Bose co-opted the speaker technology from its renowned Wave system and added heavier, denser magnets to increase the acoustic output. A rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and switching amplifiers maximise battery life.

But even that’s not the coolest part. The speaker vent doubles as a handle, making for a more efficient design, for one thing. Plus the Dock rotates back into the body of the device for carrying — like the entrance to a mad scientist’s secret lair.

And the best thing? The SoundDock Portable can charge the iPod’s battery even when it’s not connected to mains power. That is, as far as I’m aware, unique in this type of device.

And all this for $549 (an optional carry-case costs $99). Yes, it’s pricey, but there isn’t a device like it that comes near it for sound quality and the convenience of charging your iPod on the go. Contact Bose on 1800 023 367 for more details.

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