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Eton Soulra review

Eton's Soulra is a dock that's ideal for those outdoor excursions - it comes with solar charging facilities - but the sound's not up to much Tested at £149.00

Our Verdict

It's a specialist iPod dock for the great outdoors - if it wasn't the sound quality would cost it another star

For

  • Solar panel can provide power
  • rugged, splashproof design
  • works with iPhone

Against

  • Disappointing sound

In an ideal world, you'd probably want to investigate this clever little unit in what we jokingly refer to here in the UK as ‘summer'.

Why? Because, the Eton Soulra is solar powered, just in case the mains or rechargeable battery power is just too damn last century century for your liking.

Your best bet for solar charging is the great outdoors, of course, so it's no surprise that this dock has a rugged, rubberised, splashproof aluminium body, with satisfyingly tough rubber buttons and a smart, minimalist orange and black remote control.

Eton treats you to an auxiliary input and headphone out, too.

That said, the rugged build might be necessity rather than choice, as it's not the sturdiest on its feet thanks to is upright stance.

Lightweight sound
Select your power method of choice – an indicator light tells you which power source you're using – and you're soon up and running, with your iPod or iPhone protected behind the solar panel when it's folded down, out of use.

Sadly, the sound isn't great: it's lightweight, seriously lacks clarity and could really do with the Eton being a great deal cheaper all things considered.

The sound of Lone's futuristic house should be punchy and crisp but is thin and muddy here, while the syrupy soul of Teddy Pendergrass lacks detail and body. You can turn the bass control on for a bit more power but we're still underwhelmed.

Made for the outdoors
It's made for the outdoors, portable, versatile and built to last – and it's not often you see solar-powered kit.

If the idea of all that floats your boat (it's splashproof, too), then this weak-sounding dock might make sense; for everyone else, we're not sure…

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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