What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Sat, 23 Jan 2010, 3:00pm

Bose SoundDock II

Tested at £250
100100
5

A talented iPod dock that shows Bose has more in its arsenal than high-end kit

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For

  • Price
  • rhythmic delivery
  • broad yet cohesive soundstage

Against

  • Very little at this price

Given Bose's reputation for expensive kit, you might be surprised to find this dock sitting at the affordable end of the market.

And, seeing the price tag, it comes as no surprise to find that features and functionality are thin on the ground. Apart from a basic remote and 3.5mm auxiliary input, there's little to get excited about.

Then again, the main focus of this test is on sonic ability, not which unit has the most features.

The Bose feels reasonably sturdy and well-built. Look closely and you can see the twin drivers and other components behind the grille on the front of the unit.

Simplistic remote
This is either interesting or offputting, depending on your preference. The iPod dock protrudes from between the unit's speakers and finds itself flanked by a volume button on either side.

The remote is simplistic but the large, round, rubberised buttons are responsive and allow you to skip through playlists.

Unfortunately, the remote doesn't let you navigate through the other menus on your iPod and select tracks by artist or genre, which would be of more use.

Affordable and musical
For its size, SoundDock II produces an impressively broad and expansive soundstage, even when the source music is relatively compressed.

Rock out to 320kbps of Guns N' Roses' Paradise City and guitars, vocals and drums are tidily organised.

The Bose does a great job of keeping all the elements coherent and distinct.

The SoundDock II is also surefooted with its timing. Spin The Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition and the agile, rolling drumbeat has your toes tapping.

Bass notes sound solid and defined, although other docks in this test can delve deeper and exhibit a greater sense of scale. Having said that, the SoundDock II has no problems filling an average-sized room and just about retains its composure at high volumes.

If you're looking for an affordable, musical iPod dock then the SoundDock II is a good place to start.

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