capsule review

Tannoy i30 Speaker System for iPod

At a Glance
  • Tannoy i30 Speaker System for iPod

    TechHive Rating

    Like a Miss Teen USA contestant, the i30 looks good on the outside--but things go downhill when it starts making sounds.

When you spend four Benjamins on an iPod speaker system, you expect it to look and sound sublime. Tannoy's i30 certainly looks fine, but its audio quality doesn't befit a high-end device.

Measuring 18 by 5.4 by 5.5 inches, Tannoy's glossy black box is about the size of a classic loaf of Wonder bread, but it weighs 8 pounds. The unit has no buttons whatsoever; you control everything through a small black remote that has buttons for power, volume, play/pause, forward, back, and mute. Though the buttonless design enhances the sleek look, it prevents you from adjusting the volume if you lose the remote.

For the price, the sound quality is mediocre. The unit pumps out good, thumpin' bass, but it has limited overall range--specifically, a lack of upper-end detail. As a result, the sound isn't particularly crisp, though the unit generates plenty of volume to fill a room during a fiesta.

To ensure a snug fit, the speaker comes with five dock adapters suitable for iPods as far back as the Mini. The i30 juices your iPod when it's docked, and it features a USB port for syncing the player to your computer (you have to supply your own cable, however). It also has a 3.5mm input on the back, so you can use the included stereo mini-jack cord to plug in a Shuffle, Zen, or Zune. The device's video-out port lets you view movies and TV shows on a television (composite video cable not included), though this feature was not working on the preproduction unit we tested: Video from our iPod Classic never popped up on our television. (Video viewing will be functional when the final version ships, Tannoy promises.) A handle on the back makes carrying the device easy, but there's no battery power, so forget about slinging it along on picnics.

If you need a cool iPod speaker for your loft, the i30 definitely looks the part. But stylin' design can't compensate for lackluster sound.

This story, "Tannoy i30 Speaker System for iPod" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Like a Miss Teen USA contestant, the i30 looks good on the outside--but things go downhill when it starts making sounds.

    Pros

    • Sleek design
    • Compatible with most digital audio players

    Cons

    • Sound quality is mediocre
    • Expensive
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