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First Look: Bose SoundDock 10

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First Look: Bose SoundDock 10

2:57 /

While it's expensive and isn't loaded with features, the Bose SoundDock 10 is classy looking and sounds excellent for a compact iPod/iPhone speaker.

[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:03 >> [David Carnoy:] Hi, I'm David Carnoy, executive editor for CNET.com, and I'm going to give you a quick tour of the SoundDock 10, Bose's premium speaker system for the iPod and iPhone. SoundDock 10 is bigger and more expensive than previous SoundDock models, but it's still relatively compact. Has a nice, clean understated design that gives the whole system a classy look. Though it's worth noting that since there are no buttons on the unit itself, you have to use the included remote to control playback. Lose that remote, and you'll have a problem, especially when it comes to adjusting volume. The centerpiece of the unit is a hefty, custom subwoofer and two Bose Twiddler transducers. No, that's not a new social networking site. It's a combination of a high-frequency transducer and a midrange driver. The woofer alone adds a lot of weight to the unit, and while the speaker can be moved around the house easily enough, the SoundDock 10 weighs in at a beefy 18.9 pounds. As far as extra features go, you don't get a whole lot here. There's no radio or clock, but you do get an audio input for other audio devices and a composite video output for showing images or videos when connected to a TV. We wish Bose had incorporated a component video connection because composite video really offers a mediocre picture, and at this price point if you're going to include video, you might as well make it decent. Bose has also equipped the SoundDock 10 with a proprietary interchangeable docking architecture, which it says is designed to future-proof the system and make it compatible with any hot media players or smart phones that might come along. Right now, however, it's only offering an optional Bluetooth dock that costs an additional 149 dollars. For 600 bucks you'd have hoped that Bose would have integrated the Bluetooth into the unit, but it didn't. As you might imagine, that Bluetooth dock allows you to stream music wirelessly from your iPod Touch or iPhone to the SoundDock 10 using your Apple device's remote. However, there's one drawback to the Bluetooth dock: if you have it plugged in you can't charge your iPod or iPhone in the SoundDock 10. In terms of sound quality, the first thing you'll notice is that the system plays loud and doesn't distort when you crank your tunes. Typically most compact iPod audio systems just can't fill a large room with sound. This model plays much bigger than it looks, and the sound is rich, detailed and well balanced. That specially designed woofer pumps out lots of bass. While it's not incredibly tight, it does have some good thump to it. We can say that this little system can definitely party. Of course there's that little nagging issue of price. Six hundred bucks is a lot to spend on an iPod speaker, and you can get home theater-in-a-box systems that sound better for the same amount of money or slightly less. If you're someone who's less concerned about price and really values the concept of a compact iPod audio system that looks classy, plays loud, and sounds really good for its size, we have no problem recommending the SoundDock 10. It's also worth noting that Bose does offer a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can test it out yourself and return it for a full refund if you don't think it's worth 600 dollars. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Bose SoundDock 10. ^M00:02:53 [ MUSIC ]

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