The Mint 220 Wireless Digital Music Station offers us something that we haven't yet seen in an iPod speaker dock. Instead of combining iPod playback with a CD player or AM/FM alarm clock radio, the Mint 220 gives you the ability to wirelessly stream any audio from a PC or Mac. All that's involved in this process is the simple attachment of a USB key.
Before we look at the Mint 220 in detail, however, let's talk about the unit's somewhat confusing pedigree. When we last looked at a Mint product, the DMS300, it was being distributed by a company called "Mondo USA." Fast forward a year later and now Digital Signature, out of Santa Ana, Calif., is behind the reigns of this Mint product, even as the DMS300 appears to be alive and well on the Mondo Web site. That sort of corporate musical chairs doesn't exactly inspire confidence, and may make it tough to get support for (or even locate) the latest Mint product. That's unfortunate, because the Mint 220 fills a nice niche in the increasingly crowded iPod speaker arena.
The 220 is pretty small--about the size of a loaf of bread. It's encased in a glossy black plastic that is quite the fingerprint magnet. Mounted on the front of the speaker is an iPod dock that is compatible with any iPod with a dock connection. Yes, this includes the iPod Touch and the iPhone.
On the dock is where you'll also find all of the 220's controls. Stealthily positioned on the left side of the dock are the power and input buttons, while the volume controls are on the other. Facing front are four blue LED-lit icon indicators, letting you know which function is active--unfortunately, however, these cannot be clearly read from a distance.