Another day, another iPod dock. Logic3 has turned up with yet another accessory for the world's most famous line of media players and this time the focus is on video playback, thanks to its unique built-in accelerometer.
This works alongside the accelerometer in an iPhone/iPod and as the player rotates the image to widescreen mode when you flip it, the speakers rotate the stereo image from the four built-in speakers to keep the left and right channels in the correct position.
To keep your player safe while swinging the speakers around there are two spring-loaded clips that will keep a 2.4-inch wide device (i.e., an iPod video, touch or iPhone) snugly in position. An LED confirms when the stereo image has been flipped and this sits underneath volume and power controls for local adjustment. The supplied remote control offers a lot more though, including bass, treble and navigational controls to move around the player's menus from afar.
The dock takes 4x AA batteries or mains power and the battery compartment also acts as a cable-tidy for the power lead and supplied 3.5mm adaptor for connecting other players. There's also a Composite video-out for hooking it up to a TV and the remote control includes a video-output button that switches your iPod to TV-out mode without you having to trawl through the menus. For the most part this works well, though we'd have liked to have seen a full AV Composite connection here so that you can listen to audio through a TV's speakers; as it is you'll simply be pumping sound through the iStation itself.
In terms of performance we found this varied quite a bit depending on how loud you want the audio. 8W of total output is hardly enough for a party environment and though we were quite impressed by the clarity and audio range in a quieter “easy-listening” situation, dial things up to the top 20% or so of the speaker's capabilities and performance starts to slip. Bass becomes less pronounced and mid and high tones converge into a bit of a messy noise, so while it can be described as capable, those looking for a high-performance solution are unlikely to find it here.
The headline feature of the iStation25 is undoubtedly the ability to flip it 90 degrees to make the most of widescreen video. If you don't have a compatible player you'll lose this functionality and since there are bags of other speakers out there that are cheaper and on-par or better in terms of audio performance, it restricts Logic3's market somewhat.
Despite this it's still a tidily designed, capable solution that offers a nice degree of control and provided you're not expecting any serious noise should suit quite nicely.