Tabletop audio systems offer great sound quality and come with many advanced features. Here are a few of my favorite picks.
IPod docking stations and stereo speaker systems are popping up everywhere, but many don’t perform up to very high expectations, with a few exceptions. One notable exception is the new AktiMate High Fidelity Active Speaker System, a two-way speaker system that takes iPod and MP3 sound to a truly respectable level of high fidelity. The AktiMate is the adept design work of the Aussies, backed by UK-based Epos Speakers and built-in amps from Creek Audio.
The new Zeppelin from B & W is a powered stereo iPod docking station with audiophile sound quality. It employs a DSP circuit to maximize sound quality from its three-way speaker system. The Zeppelin has a 50-watt amplifier for the five-inch woofer and 25-watts for left and right channels. The dock accepts the latest iPods and a floating arm makes it easy to operate the docked iPod. A digital input accepts non-iPod audio sources and video outputs allow viewing iPod video on a larger screen. The Zeppelin has a remote for most functions of the iPod and when the iPod is docked a five-position EQ is activated to fine-tune the sound for individual preferences or placement. The Zeppelin is available now at selected Apple stores for $599.00.
Denon has introduced the S-52 compact tabletop audio system with iPod docking, networking capabilities, an HD radio tuner and a CD player. The S-52 features a top-loading iPod dock with a scroll wheel for control of iPod and Internet radio functions. The S-52 allows streaming music wirelessly from Internet radio sources, PC and Mac computers and other audio sources connected to the network. In addition to CDs, the S-52 can also play MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and FLAC music files. For robust sound quality the S-52 features Audyssey Bass-XT and Dynamic EQ software. The Denon S-52 has a suggested retail price of $699.00.