We go back to May 2006 and Apple's inauspicious attempt to muscle in on a vibrant new market sector...

"It's taken a while". We could just as easily be talking about Apple's recently announced, clunkily named and late-to-the-party HomePod smart speaker, but back in May 2006 those were the first words of our iPod Hi-Fi review. And, in all honesty, it didn't get much more positive.

The iPod Hi-Fi featured a 30-pin dock for your state-of-the-art 30GB iPod, could be powered by mains or batteries (adding to the iPod Hi-Fi's already significant 7kg kerb-weight), and came complete with digital optical and analogue outputs, plus a remote control. And it went loud. Very, very loud indeed.

But "loud", as we observed at the time, "does not necessarily translate to good."

MORE: Read our Apple Music review 

And despite the tacit endorsement of the then-Prime Minister (the above photo appeared more than four years after our review, demonstrating the Camerons were determined to ignore expert opinion even back then), the iPod Hi-Fi went down as one of Apple's very rare failures. Virtually every 'Made for iPod' dock we tested at similar money outperformed it.

MORE: Read all our Apple reviews