You’ve paid out enough for your iPhone or iPod, and enough for the music housed on it, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to play your tunes through plasticy crap. If you can afford to, it’s well worth shelling out on a decent iPod speaker system, so to help you decided just where to spend those precious pounds, we’ve rounded up 5 top options.
Whether you’re all about the bass, value designer looks, or want extras like DAB radio, there’s a dock for you in the list below.
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin - £390
The airship-shaped Zeppelin is a cloth-covered, all-in-one iPod speaker dock from high-end audio co Bowers & Wilkins. Its unusual looks set it apart from most solutions on the market, as does its high price tag.
So what do you get for your money? Some seriously powerful audio thanks to the high-quality components and a design that is every bit as thought out as the iDevice you’re docking into it.
The Zeppelin is an investment in terms of space as well as money - although can be wall-mounted, it has a big footprint - but if you can stretch to it on both fronts, your music collection will thank you for it, although it’s doubtful your neighbours will. Full review.
Philips Fidelio DS9000 - £370
Matching the Zeppelin for cost, and almost matching it for bulk, the Fidelio from Philips (which makes washing machines!) lacks that sexy audio heritage brand name to help ease splashing the cash.
It does however, boast some gimmicky features that will appeal to gadget-lovers, one of which is the companion iPhone app that lets you control some of the speaker’s functionality and the other is the proximity sensor that sees the volume controls light up as if by magic when your hand draws near.
As far as the audio goes, the two 1-inch tweeters and two 4-inch inverted dome woofers, delivering 2x 50W RMS make for big, bold, room-filling sound. Full review.
Creative ZiiSound D5 - £208
The Creative ZiiSound D5 comes dangerously close to being a one-trick pony, but just about pulls it off. Its one-trick, and its sole USP, is the fact that thanks to the included Bluetooth transmitter, you can wirelessly beam your tunes from your iPhone, iPad, iPod or in fact, any Bluetoothed up device, through the speakers.
This obviously mean that you can keep your precious ‘pod to hand while enjoying music in great quality blasting out from the sleek black rectangle that is the ZiiSound D5 unit.
All controls are via the iDevice too, so you don’t have to fuss around with learning how to work a fiddly stereo system UI, the wireless range is around 10 metres (as long as there are no concrete walls in the way) and those minimalist looks aren’t going to upset any apple carts. Full review.
Vita Audio R2i - £249.99
Ideal for fans of good old-fashioned radio, the R2i boasts not just a FM tuner, not only a DAB tuner, but also a DAB+ tuner, leading to the claim that it’s a future proof option.
Your iDevice docks on the top of the unit, with most up-to-date models also charging while docked, and can be controlled either via the RotoDial interface or through the small-scale remote that comes bundled with the system.
As with all Vita products what the R2i offers for its not inconsiderable price tag is classic good looks, great build quality and some superior sound. All in all, it’s a great option for iPod-owning, radio-loving folk. Full review.
Harman Kardon Go + Play Micro - £279.99
The unusual-looking Go + Play Micro is designed to be portable, hence both the name and that stainless steel carry handle. All things considered though, it’s actually not that micro and rather weighty, so we’d suggest porting it around the house, rather than using it as some kind of Noughties boombox.
Your iPod or iPhone will nestle at a nice angle at the top of the dock, while there’s a remote bundled in so you can control your tunes from across the room.
H&K audio quality is of course built in and one really big selling point, for movie buffs at least, is the ability to hook the Go + Play Micro to a big screen (depending on compatible connections) although cables are not included. Full review.
Which of these would you buy first if you had money to burn and are there any quality docks we've left off? Let us know in the comments.