iPod docks are ten a penny these days, so each new offering needs to bring something new to the table. Intempo have a range of iPod docks, but can the latest, the InSession, shine through?
The InSession is pitched as a compact dock, ideal for small spaces. Measuring only 230 x 122 x 94mm, that’s certainly true - it is small, but so what? Whilst there are other small-format docks available, not all of them feature a 2.1 setup found here, giving you two main drivers and one for the bass.
In terms of design, there isn’t much to the InSession. The front is covered in mesh whilst the rest is formed from black glossy plastic. The main body houses the drivers, whilst a small shelf provides the iPod dock and in the box you’ll get a number of inserts to ensure a secure fit to your particular model. The only controls you get on the dock itself are for volume, which sits on this shelf alongside your iPod.
Around the back you find the connections, including a line-in for connecting an alternative music source, as well as a USB connection, so you can hook straight-up to your PC or Mac and have your iPod connect to iTunes without having to use a separate cable. You’ll also find the DC power socket and a physical on/off switch.
Given the pitch for small spaces, the location of these connections has been slightly over-looked, as you’ll need to allow an extra inch on the dimensions to accommodate plugs. Had these been neatly tucked away to save space, this would have been a more valuable proposition.
Sitting in the middle of the back is the bass driver. Given its location, you’ll find that the performance of the InSession is much better when placed up against the wall, giving you a better overall bass delivery. The bass delivery itself is fairly good, but whilst average tracks have a rich bass sound, you’ll find that it can’t cope with bass-heavy tracks at any sort of volume, and it will soon descend into a flappy mess with lots of distortion.
Unfortunately the quality of music overall is not fantastic. The two front drivers don’t really deliver anything sparkling and the lack of tweeters is also disappointing. The overall effect is slightly muffled with a narrow delivery. Where some sound systems will give you a nice wide audio stage, the InSession doesn’t really step out and give you anything to get really excited about. It does give you pretty reasonable volumes considering the size, however.
You do get control of bass and treble via the supplied remote control, which means you can get a better balance, but turn the bass up and you’ll find it just turns into a persistent growl which doesn’t really do much for your music. The remote itself is a little boxy and cheap, but serves well enough.
The remote control does give you full menu access and navigation, so you never have to touch your iPod when it is on the dock, which is nice, as some docks don’t give you this feature. It is also something of a necessity, because the InSession only has foam feet, rather than rubber, so if you touch your iPod, the whole thing is likely to slide away from you.
The InSession does give you a compact iPod dock, but in this regard it is not unique. The unit is basic, not offering any of the extras you find elsewhere, such as clock or alarm functions, which at £79 is a bit of a surprise.
If you are looking for a simple iPod dock that offers plenty of volume with reasonable bass and easy control, then the InSession might be worth a look, but you can get more features for the same money elsewhere.