There’s a lot to be said for snappy product names: they are easy to remember, easy to say and generally a lot nicer to look at making them just generally better than a long series of numbers and letters… because really XDR-DS12iP means absolutely nothing to 99.99% of people, which is a shame really, as Sony’s latest announcement is probably worth a little bit of talking about.
Announced at the recent IFA trade fair the Sony XDR-DS12iP is an all-in-one clock/radio/speaker and iPad Dock that joins an already well crowded market of iPod speakers which already includes a few Sony examples such as the RDP-XF100iP iPod speaker dock and the SRS-GD50iP iPod dock/PC speakers. So will it really stand out?
The short answer is not really, but before you jump off to see what else the market has to offer let me justify it: whilst it may not offer anything amazingly new, it is a very good and solid example of what iPod docks (and clock/radio/speakers) should be like and is definitely worth a good look at if you are looking to invest in one.
Let’s have a look at what the Sony XDR-DS12iP has to offer, although it is firstly worth noting that technically this is a re-announcement of the same product that Sony showed us back in June although this time they have been courteous enough to tell us a little more about it!
Firstly not only is the radio DAB (although you’d have thought any new radio release would come with this as standard) but is also compatible with DAB+ broadcasts, which anticipates the future UK launch of the higher quality option making this a good bet for those who are worried about the future of radio; it is worth pointing out that this won’t be a necessity for listening to radio for years to come, but you may be able to benefit from the higher quality sound relatively soon.
Obviously one of the major selling points of the XDR-DS12iP is the iPod dock (as you’re unlikely to buy one if you don’t have an Apple iPod) and it offers the standard features of both playing the music seamlessly of your iPod as well as charging it, but you may want to check the compatibility as Sony only say that it works with the iPhone 3GS and “most of all iPod models” which does little to ease any confusion!
Moving onto the actual speakers and there are a couple of nice little features, namely the clock “Dual alarm function” which lets you wake up to either you iPod/iPhone, the radio or simply an annoying-sounding buzzer, and a sleep timer function which means you can go to sleep listening to your favourite songs or the radio safe in the knowledge that it will turn off at some point – there are other options on the market that do this kind of thing (such as the Retro iPod Alarm Clock), but few will have the quality that you get with Sony.
With regards to the actual sound the XDR-DS12iP sounds relatively impressive with Powerful 3.5W + 3.5W stereo sound with ‘MEGA BASS’ and ‘MEGA Xpand’ both of which are used via buttons on the front of the speakers which allow (and I quote) “rich, room-filling sound with extended low frequencies.” which, if you’ll excuse the pun, sounds pretty good.
So as I said at the start the Sony XDR-DS12iP clock/radio/speaker iPod/iPhone Dock is no world beater, but it is still a very good product and one that you will almost definitely enjoy; you will be able to pick it up exclusively in the UK (“Horay!” I hear you sarcastically cheer) from later this month.
Sony XDR-DS12iP iPod Dock – Features and specifications
iPod/iPhone functions – Dock/charge; music/video playback; FFWD/REW; Volume
Clock functions – Alarm (buzzer, radio, iPod or iPhone); snooze; single/dual alarm; sleep timer
Radio – DAB+/DAB tuner with 10 station presets, FM tuner with 10 station presents
Power output – 3.5W + 3.5W RMS (stereo) with MEGA BASS / MEGA Xpand
Display – LCD with alarm indicator, date display, backlight and brightness control
Weight & dimensions – 1.7kg; 290.5 x 152 x 139.5 mm (W x H x D)