Sharp DK-A1 i-elegance iPod speaker system review

Sharp, more famous for its televisions and mobile phones than iPod speaker docks still believes it has the answer for listening to your iPod away from the headphones, but does it? We get listening to find out.

Large in its design, the DK-A1 iPod speaker dock from Sharp features two speakers, a subwoofer and a tanker load of buttons. The design, which will appeal to some, but unlikely to all, includes an AM/FM radio with RDS and the ability to either connect most other devices via a pair of phono sockets at the back in addition to the dedicated iPod dock on top.

Speaker wise and the model offers two-way bass reflex speakers with built-in subwoofers and E-Sound technology with a digital signal processor (DSP), which according to Sharp enhances the sound quality of the highly compressed audio files and claims to generate a dynamic 3D surround sound.

Hoping to improve the sound further there is an electronic 6-step equaliser that customises the sound to the music genre ensuring that all tunes are played at an optimum level, whether rock, jazz or classical.

Sound wise and the system is good in its performance with the equaliser actually making a difference rather than just being there for fun and although we wouldn't say it's as good as the Bose, Altec Lansing and JBL's of this world, for the price it's not half bad.

As with most iPod docks, your iPod will be charged when connected to the station and the docking station features a clear dot matrix display so you can see what mode you are in, the time, or the radio station frequency that you are tuned in to.

As we mentioned earlier the unit has a line-in function at the back of the stereo that allows users to connect other MP3 devices to the station, while the AUX input and video output enables connection to other home entertainment devices such as TVs, DVD-Player or notebooks, allowing the user to view iPod images and video content on television screens.

Other random facts include the speakers lighting up blue when on. We aren't sure why, but what we do know is that it is as tacky as a £1 shop in January.

Verdict

With an alarm function built in, the DK-A1 offers plenty, however its large size and design aren't going to do it any favours in the bedroom.

The sound is good, but for slightly more money you can do considerably better.