The best-sounding dock by miles: an iPod extra with serious hi-fi cred
refreshingly sturdy metal finish
useful optional charger
only gives its full benefits when coupled with a Solo
The release of the impressive rDock, a five-star product back in May 2007, signifies Arcam's first attempt to daddy-splash its way into the iPod accessory market. No tentative steps for Arcam, oh no. The company is going all out, and has produced a dock that's closer to looking and sounding like true hi-fi than anything else we've tested. For starters, its chunky metal build is a refreshing change to the plastic finish of most docks. Coupled with an Arcam Solo, the rDock really comes into its own. The Solo's remote gives you complete control over your iPod, while track info is displayed on the system's screen. An S-Video out means you can view pictures and video stored on the iPod through your TV. A major benefit to owning an rDock is the intelligent charging system. This allows you to choose whether to charge your iPod or not while it's in the dock (most others charge by default). This should add useful life to your battery (and your iPod) by avoiding over-charging. Features and sound impress Sonically, this dock is the best we've tested by some disance, with excellent dynamics and resolution. The bass is superb, and the rDock effortlessly maintains the quality of even the highest bit-rate MP3s. True, the lack of a remote is a pain if you don't have a Solo, and it means only Arcam owners will get the best from the unit. The rDock comes with a weighty price tag, but it's worth overlooking for the sake of getting the best possible sound from your iPod.