Bose SoundDock

If you're an iPod owner with cash to burn, the Bose SoundDock is an attractive system with great sound.

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Brian Haverty is Editorial Director for CNET Networks Australia and is responsible for the company's, ZDNet Australia, GameSpot AU and Builder AU online titles. Brian has been editing and writing on an extensive range of technology subjects for 10 years in Australia but the areas he specialises in are digital publishing and production systems.

As a fairly recent convert to the iPod pheonomenon (I never thought I'd ever need anything more than my MD player), I am only now discovering something that a lot of you probably already know. Probably the biggest for me is that -- while listening to the thousands of songs I have on my iPod is great -- with all that music right at your fingertips, there is an incredible urge to share it with others. But how can you?

There are more and more ways appearing every day. And one of those is the Bose SoundDock. From the first moment you try one of these speaker docking stations out you can't help but notice how compact and easy-to-use the system is. But is that necessarily a good thing? Personally, I have never come across a "portable" sound system that has not been a disappointment when it comes to good sound. For a long time, boom boxes and other mobile sound systems could achieve sizes that would give back strain to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and still not be able to deliver good sound. It is always the bass that's missing, something you don't notice in a portable sound system until you try to use in a party situation where it has to compete with lot of background noise. Put the Bose SoundDock into that situation, however, and the difference is astounding. We've never heard such good bass sound from such a small unit. Granted, the "test scenario" get together was held in a fairly small space -- just that of a small living room -- but the quality of the sound drew everyone there around the unit (where they all began to pull iPods from their pockets and wrestle to get their set list played).

The other nice thing about plugging the iPod into Bose's SoundDock is that it all works just as you'd want it to: the iPod can be controlled via either the supplied remote, or by the controls on the front of the iPod itself. You can plug the headphones in and control the volume independently of the SoundDock volume. The iPod is continually charged as it plays, and the unit doesn't freak out when you plug or unplug the iPod while songs are playing.

The only possible negatives I managed to find had to do with the "brick" power supply that comes with the speakers. I know this way of doing things makes it possible for the speaker box to be smaller, but these things are still annoying. I think I'd rather have slightly larger speakers. The brick also got very hot after only a few hours of playing. I'd hate to think what would happen if it attempted to play the 3.7 days worth of music on my iPod. The one other drawback is the price: with an RRP of AU$499, it's way at the top end of the scale for these kinds of devices.

The bottom line is the Bose system is loud enough for you to enjoy good bass and clear sound in your living room or on the balcony at a volume loud enough to get your neighbours to complain. There are several other competing sound systems for the iPod, such as Harmon Kardon's Soundsticks II, but the all-in-one construction of the SoundDock sure is a lot more convenient than the three-piece format of the Soundsticks.

The SoundDock system works with third- and fourth-generation iPods, as well as the iPod mini. It measures just 16.89 x 16.47cm and weighs 2.1kg.

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Herman posted a review   

lgiegerich what kind of idiot pulls it apart


bbe posted a review   

The Good:The sound

The Bad:the price.

Some less expensive units have better standby power and similar, albeit not the same sound.


James posted a comment   



James posted a review   

The Good:Fantabulous sound quality

The Bad:The distance you have between the remote and the speakers

Fortunate enough that I was able to pick these up free of charge from Bose due to a special deal they had with their Lifestyle units and I know fully understand how much of a bonus it was to acquire such a stereo system. The quality that it produces is astonishing to say the least, it feels like you are wearing a good quality pair of headphones which, in my experiences with various other stereo systems, you just don't get.


Marty posted a review   

The Good:Great sound throughout the volume range. Standard Bose sexy looks.

The Bad:Volume buttons on the side play up occaisionally. Yep, the bloody power supply.

I flog this thing all the time. Beach, rain, heat - always performs as asked. Even my kids (4 and 2)know how to use it and can't break it.


dede posted a comment   

The Good:Looks great, crisp clear sound, easy to use, love that it is portable.

The Bad:massive power supply

I live in a one bed room flat. This fills the flat beautifully with crisp sound. The portable version is great for taking outside for BBQ’s etc. Just the perfect thing if you live in a small flat and don’t want to fill it with Stereo towers.


eveodeth posted a review   

The Good:loud,crisp,clear sound

The Bad:i have the older model would be good if bose would release a battery pack for this model for extra portability

great sysyem,no issues operating,needs a battery pack


lgiegerich posted a review   

The Good:none

The Bad:Stops working what crap

Just stopped working, ripped it apart trying to locate the problem, now its ruined. Thanks Bose!


common sense posted a reply   

you ripped it apart and ruined it. Thanks Bose? You should have taken it to someone that could fix it. It wasn't ruined until you ripped it apart. Never take personal responsibility.


Savannah posted a review   

Can I hook this up to my Mac & use them as computer speakers? I like sdmc's comment about the strength of sound :)

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