If digital iPad docking is what you require, jump in – with a decent DAC, of course
Great flexibility, spec-wise
open, nicely focused sound
Bass could be better defined
treble is on the hard side
Docks that extract digital information from Apple devices are rare, so Cambridge Audio is to be applauded by also making its new iD100 digital dock iPad-compatible.
It’s well equipped, with S/PDIF, digital optical and balanced XLR outputs for connection to a DAC, AV amp or the like accompanied by switchable composite/S-Video/component video outputs for hooking up to a screen or projector.
There’s no doubt that listening to the likes of Foo Fighters’ Monkey Wrench via the iD100 and a dedicated DAC wipes the floor, in performance terms, with using your Apple device’s on-board digital-to-analogue conversion.
Detail, focus and staging are all superior, and timing is of a different order altogether. But while the Cambridge is better than no digital dock at all, it’s not the best-sounding one we’ve heard. Some rivals offer more detail, tauter bass and less splashy treble.
That said, no rival can dock an iPad, but if outright quality is your absolute top priority, the iD100 falls slightly short.