Editors' note: The Sony RDP-X50iP is essentially a less expensive version of thethat sacrifices features such as battery operation, FM radio, OLED screen, and EQ.
There are a few design tweaks, as well, such as the use of mechanical buttons along the top instead of touch-sensitive controls, and the addition of a bass-boost button to make up for the lack of EQ presets. Sonically, both systems use identical components and enclosures to achieve a similar sound (accounting for differences in the integrated EQ). If you can spare the extra $50, we recommend buying the RDP-XF100iP over this model, for its added features and portable flexibility.
The following review is a modified and abbreviated version of our review of the Sony RDP-XF100iP.
The Sony RDP-X50iP speaker dock may not have the catchiest name, but its sound is unmistakable. Compared with other compact systems we've tested in this price range ($199), this little Sony speaker dock packs a low-frequency punch that seems impossible for its size.
The RDP-X50iP has all the hallmarks of a Sony product. The design is clean, modern, and restrained, using a mix of high-gloss black plastic across the top, matte black plastic around the back, and a satin-finish metal speaker grille on the front. Total dimensions are 6.5 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 4.75 inches deep.
A traditional scooped universal iPod/iPhone dock cantilevers out from the front; it can be flipped up and out of the way when it isn't needed. The dock includes two plastic inserts that conform to the iPhone or iPod Touch, but they really aren't necessary unless you're a stickler for a snug fit. Since the dock conforms to Apple's universal standards, it accepts any insert you may already have for your iPhone or iPod.