Edifier Luna 5 iPod speaker

Dubbed the Luna 5, presumably because it’s big and round, can the latest iPod speaker from Edifier impress? We get listening to find out.

The new speaker, which goes under the title of the Edifier iF500 is large, round and black and sits on your desk, sideboard, or any surface able to take the weight and pumps out music into your room of choice.

Clearly taking note from the likes of B&W's Zeppelin, Bose's SoundDock and other bonkers-looking iPod speaker designs in the past, the speaker is bound to get plenty of "ooohs" and "aaahs" when you show it off to your mates at your weekly soiree.

Sitting beneath the large balloon shape - which is all speaker on the front, and high gloss black plastic on the back - is the docking station that you plonk your iPod into.

The actual dock is your average fair with a stack of plastic moulds in the box so you can fit the right one for the model you've got. To the side of the docking bay are a number of touch-enabled buttons and here you get a chance to change the volume, input and skip options. Inputs offered include iPod (of course) aux so you can connect it to another device or computer and FM radio.

The radio offers you 18 preset stations over three groups. You get to scan for channels or manually tune, however with the preset button the same as the scanner button getting the two to work without interfering with each other is frustratingly annoying.

The other frustration is the lack of a positional aerial for the radio meaning you've got to physically move the entire speaker to ensure a good signal. This might be forgiven with a small device but with something so large it could mean the difference between making it on to that sideboard and actually not having anywhere to put it at all. There isn't even a socket to plug in an additional aerial, and we are also confused as to why the Edifier iF500 has opted not to have a DAB radio.

Luckily the iPod interface isn't as bad, well not a complete failure. Plug your iPod into the dock and the speaker springs into life though with only skip buttons on the speaker itself you're left to use the included large remote. The remote is bigger than most - it's like a TV remote rather than one of those credit card offerings - giving you full control over your iPod's menu interface.

The main controls are awkwardly split in two different places - it's not hard to use, it just takes a bit of getting used to. Basically the up and down buttons for menu navigation aren't on the central d-pad. Elsewhere on the remote you get volume, treble and sub controls.

When it comes to performance the Edifier iF500 produces a good sound, but it's no Zeppelin. The speaker features a three-way, fiver driver speaker system with a magnetically shielded 5.75-inch woofer, two 2.75-inch midrange drivers, two 2.5-inch tweeters and delivers a total power output of 55 watts.

Volume is loud enough to fill a room without distorting sound, however it lacks oomph in the bass and the treble does get lost on some of the tracks we played.

Verdict

It might look snazzy, funky and impressive, however the Edifier suffers from a number of features that will make you frustrated.

It's not that it performs badly, it's just for the money we would rather spend it on the other options available. A case of one with plenty of potential that just failed to deliver.