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Bose's new SoundDock digital music system works with your third- or fourth-generation Apple IPod (or IPod Mini) music player, simultaneously charging it and blaring your tunes to the world. The sleek, shoebox-size device produces solid sound, but at $299 it's rather pricey.
The SoundDock unit itself has a mere two buttons (for up and down volume), but Bose includes a credit-card-size remote to control volume, select tracks, play or pause songs, and turn the power on or off. To dig deeper, you have to manipulate the IPod itself.
Once I plugged my IPod into the SoundDock, I found the audio quality good and the volume plentiful. I did find, however, that the unit's small size precluded it from achieving any significant stereo separation.
Unfortunately, despite its modest size, the SoundDock isn't especially portable: It doesn't run off batteries, and it doesn't feel particularly durable (tug downward on the front section, for instance, and you'll see internal wiring peeking out).
If you're looking to turn your IPod into a modern-day boombox, consider Altec Lansing's more portable InMotion or IM3, which costs much less and also lets you sync your IPod with your computer (see IPod Anywhere). But if you can swallow the price, the SoundDock may be the way to add music to a bedroom or other space using your IPod.
DW Verdict: Sleek, but pricey and not portable.
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This story, "Bose's Pricey IPod Speaker Dock" was originally published by PCWorld.