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Review: Tannoy i30 iPod Dock Speaker System

Contemporary Style, Simplicity and Smooth Sound

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Review: Tannoy i30 iPod Dock Speaker System

Tannoy i30 iPod Docking Station

There is certainly no scarcity of music systems for the Apple iPod. Shoppers can choose from a dazzling array of models. As an enthusiast and reviewer, I concentrate my attention on models that offer unique features, attractive style or just good sound quality. A new entrant to this brimming category is the Tannoy i30, a portable tabletop or wall-mounted iPod music system with simple, contemporary styling and easy to listen to sound quality. The Tannoy caught my attention because I’m familiar with their decades-long heritage as a respected speaker manufacturer in the consumer audio and pro sound categories.

Tannoy i30 Overview & Design

Tannoy is a U.K. based company known for their dual concentric, point source loudspeakers. Simply explained, a dual concentric speaker is actually two speakers in one, with the voice coils from the two drivers aligned in the same axis. The alignment of the voice coils in the same concentric plane produces a phase-coherent or phase-aligned output signal for a natural sound quality with wide dispersion characteristics.

The i30 uses iCT (Inductive Coupling Technology), a dual concentric speaker design with two 4-inch mid-bass woofers and a wireless high-frequency driver. The iCT drivers offer the same phase-coherent sound of a point source speaker with the added benefit of eliminating the need for a crossover. The high-frequency components of the audio signal are magnetically inducted to the 1-inch high-frequency driver (or tweeter) because of its close proximity to the woofer’s voice coil. Technology aside, the design achieves the desired results. The Tannoy i30 has a natural, well-balanced sound quality with a wide listening area and good sonic imaging. The dual iCT drivers are powered by a 50-watt (25 watts x 2) digital amplifier and backed by a digital sound processor to shape the sound quality of the 4-inch drivers.

The i30 is a vented system with a rear bass port that enhances bass performance, especially when placed close to a wall. The port also neatly doubles as a carrying handle.

Tannoy i30 Sound Quality

Tannoy iCT Driver

The i30s natural tone qualities make it easy to listen to whether sitting on your desk or across the room. When listening from a distance, its dual concentric design casts a wide dispersion of sound with good fidelity no matter where you’re sitting and can easily fill a room with sound. Vocals and instrumentals are clean and detailed and mid-bass is full. Whether played at low or high volume, the i30 brings out the best in an iPod music collection.

Notable Features

The i30s notable features include an optional bracket for wall-mounting the i30, the first

I’ve seen with that capability. Otherwise, it’s compact size makes it well suited for placement on a desk, nightstand, kitchen countertop or even a music system for a party. Additionally, the iPod can be synched with the iTunes music site while it’s docked in the i30 via the rear panel USB socket (cable not included).

The i30 comes with five dock adaptors for different iPod models, and the audio input on the back of the i30 can be used for other portable music players or iPods that don’t have a docking connector, such as the iPod Shuffle. The i30 also comes with a small remote control to operate the basic functions of the iPod.

Summary & Specifications

Tannoy i30 in the Home

The Tannoy i30 is great as a no-frills iPod music system. Some iPod systems may have more features, but if you’re looking for a stylish, portable tabletop system with a clean, detailed sound quality that’s easy on the ears, check out the Tannoy i30. It’s ideal for an office, bedroom, kitchen, den or studio, anywhere a compact iPod music system is needed.


  • Power Output: 25 watts x 2
  • Frequency Response (-6dB): 60Hz-22kHz
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 5.38" x 18" x 5.5"
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs.

Suggested retail price: $399


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