iPod docks are everywhere, in your car, on your DVD player, appended to just about every piece of home entertainment equipment. The RothDock wants to keep things simple by giving you the freedom of a wireless dock that you can connect to anything you like.
The system consists of a sender and receiver unit, which work on a 2.4GHz frequency as many of these things do. The dock itself is the sender, while a small receiver unit features a 3.5mm jack that you can connect to an aux input on any other device. There is also an adaptor in the box so you can connect to analogue stereo inputs too.
Both the sender and receiver units have their own power supply and feature a red LED which flashes to let you know there is power. We found the connection was almost instantaneous and it didn't suffer any interference from our other wireless devices in the vicinity. (Should you encounter conflict with another device, there are 11 channels available that you can manually select.)
Drop your iPod or iPhone into the top of the dock and it will charge whilst you beam your music to your speakers of choice. The dock has a range of about 10m, the idea being that you can sit with your iPod near you, rather than having to dock it wherever the rest of your audio setup is.
You get a remote control in the box (surely if the dock is next to you, you don't need the remote?) which is your standard cheap tiny remote that is all too common. It is a little limited in range and seems to have a rather narrow field of reception, so you'll have to aim right at the dock to get it to respond.
The remote gives you the normal play/pause and track skip options, as well as mute, volume control and thankfully, complete menu access too, so you don't have to fiddle with the iPod once docked. The volume control means you can turn-up those anthems and turn-down those dud tracks without having to use a separate hi-fi remote.
If you are using this with your iPhone, you could have quite a shock when a call comes in, as it will ring over the speakers and cut out the music. If you want to use the RothDock with another MP3 player, there is also a 3.5mm input on the back of the sender unit.
So it all sounds good. Well it is. It is simple and it works, but it is a little too plasticky, especially when you consider the price. We showed it to a number of people who agreed that is didn't look like it was a penny short of £100.
It would have been nice to have an output on the back too, so you could use it without the wireless element if you wanted to - a simple 3.5mm output could have been easily added.
Overall it's a convenient solution that works well enough: we're just not totally convinced by the choice of materials and the price.