Memorex, yes, the people who made those see-through audio cassettes back in the day, have unleashed their latest iPod dock on the world in the form of the Memorex Sound System. But should this grab your attention?
The Memorex Sound System is conservatively designed and constructed from solid-feeling plastics, but lacks the premium looks that some docks give you. It stands approx 15cm high, is 35cm wide and 12cm deep, so is larger than some others too.
It does have an output of 30 Watts RMS, however, from stereo drivers and tweeter domes, which sit behind the front grill. The front also features a reasonably large display and a slot-loading CD drive.
The remainder of the controls can be found on the top of the Sound System and there are plenty of them. In the centre you have the iPod dock that also supports the iPhone, and your main power, mode and volume controls. To the left are five more controls that allow you to set the time, change the EQ and switch the the auxiliary input. Then there are a further four controls to select sleep, dim the display and set repeat and shuffle.
Across to the right you have 5 radio preset buttons, and then play/pause, stop and track forward and back controls. If you like buttons, you are well covered. This covers all the controls that you'll find on the remote, except those that you'd use to navigate the menus on your iPod.
With the controls clearly labelled, the Memorex Sound System is easy to use and we like the big iPod, CD and Radio buttons so you can just punch the button and listen to what you want. Several inserts are provided for the iPod dock at the top so that your iPhone will sit securely.
Navigating and controlling your iPod presents no problems at all, with an additional "B" button the remote to briefly but the iPod backlight on so you can see the menus. The remote is a little on the cheap side, with small buttons, particularly the volume controls which could have been more prominent.
In use and the sound quality is pretty good, with plenty of volume on offer and it remains relatively distortion even up at top higher volumes. The sound isn't perhaps as clear as some more expensive rivals, lacking the premium definition to your music that some docks offer. Bass is well represented with easy adjustment through the EQ settings so your tunes have a good meaty quality to them.
The FM tuner also performed well picking up local stations as expected. There is no auto scan feature, so you'll have to program in your 5 presents from the off and we would have preferred a DAB option to be included. The CD player takes a little time to get going after inserting a CD, but it isn't a major drawback.
Around the back of the Sound System you get an aux in, so you can hook up any other devices using a standard 3.5mm cable.
Unfortunately, despite the presence of a clock and a sleep timer, there is no alarm function, so as a single box solution for a bedroom or dorm room, you'll be missing this feature. However, you could always use the alarm on your iPod or iPhone. There is no headphone jack either which may deter those who on occasion want to keep their music to themselves.
Overall we were impressed with how easy to use the Memorex Sound System was. The audio performance was impressive without being exemplary, perfect for casual use.
There are a great number of iPod docks available and the Memorex is an inoffensive middle-of-the-road offering. You'll be able to get units that are cheaper or have a more interesting design, but there is little go wrong with here.