Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2 review: Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2

Boston Acoustics provides several iPod dock adapters for almost every model that sports a dock connection. The device will also charge your iPod whenever it is attached. While the iPhone isn't included in the product's compatibility list, owners of the phone will be glad to know that it does in fact work with the i-DS2--the only caveat being that the calling feature will automatically turn off once docked. We should also note that we could not get our iPhone to properly sync with iTunes when using the i-DS2 as a USB dock, but were able to with all other iPod formats including an iPod Touch.

The i-DS2 comes with a small seven-button credit-card-size remote. You cannot use it to navigate through your iPod's music library, but you can use to skip tracks forward and backward along with the usual functionality of play/pause, mute, volume, and power. The remote is small and feels a bit cheap, but it gets the job done.

In our testing, iPod playback was solid. Considering its compact size, the i-DS2 was able to produce a heavy, rich bass-laden sound while maintaining audible mids and highs as well. It filled up our 15x22-foot testing room well, easily letting us recommend it for a dorm or smaller living room. When we pushed the unit the loudest it could go we were happy to hear a lack of distortion; however, the sound became a bit clouded and muddy. Of all the music selections we chose, we were most satisfied with various rock selections on the i-DS2. Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer performed especially well in our listening tests as did classic Green Day tracks like When I Come Around and Longview.

We had no problem hooking up the i-DS2 to a TV for iPod video playback. Quality was acceptable considering you're only given the option of using a composite connection. Just be sure to place your iPod in "TV Out" mode prior to playing.

It's also worth noting that the i-DS2 needs to be plugged in at all times. That's too bad, because the inclusion of an internal rechargeable battery--like the one found on the Bose SoundDock Portable--would've been a nice distinguishing characteristic.

Overall, the Horizon i-DS2 from Boston Acoustics is a solid-performing iPod speaker that offers a better, beefier sound than many competing models. Unfortunately, it does little else. Priced about $180, we'd really like to see the unit offer more bang for our buck. If you're looking for bit more functionality, check out the i-DS2's companion product, the Boston Acoustics Horizon Duo-i. That model is pretty much a combination of the i-DS2's iPod dock and the AM/FM clock radio found on the Horizon Solo--replete with the replaceable color grilles. And with the Duo-i available for as low as $141 online, you'll actually be getting more for your money.

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    Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2 (mist/silver)

    Part Number: HIDS2MIST Released: Aug. 18, 2008
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    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Aug. 18, 2008
    • Type Speakers