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Audyssey Audio Dock review:

Audyssey Audio Dock

Aside from the Bluetooth, another nice extra is the USB syncing capabilities. There's a mini-USB port built into the back of the unit that allows you to sync your iPhone or iPod with iTunes on your computer (a USB cable is included for this purpose). That's good to have, especially if you plan on also using this as a computer speaker that sits near your computer. As we said, Bluetooth is an option, but you can also just connect the rear minijack auxiliary speaker input and microphone output to the corresponding ports on your PC (two minijack-to-minijack cables are included with the system).

A small remote comes with the system that controls the basic functions of your iPhone/iPod (fast-forward/back, volume control) and it also has buttons for muting the mic on the speakerphone and muting the speaker's sound. It can also be used to toggle into an incoming call.

To test the Audyssey's sound--and inspired by the South of Market neighborhood where this reviewer once had an apartment--we tested an eclectic mix of music with the speaker and came away pretty impressed. The Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca album sounded rich and vibrant, and the speaker was able to handle the heavy bass of Dan Auerbach's "I Want Some More" track on his "Keep It Hid" album with relative gusto for a system this small. We fired up Tiesto's "Elements of Life (Airbase Remix)" and cranked the volume, which made our test room sound clublike. In this regard, the Audyssey shares some similar traits with the Bose SoundDock 10 ($600), which can also play loud and fill a fairly large room with sound. (The Bluetooth option for the SoundDock 10 costs an extra $150, so the Audyssey is clearly the better deal.)

Alas, at the time of this review, Audyssey hadn't released its iOS app that allows you to adjust bass and treble levels and set custom EQs (it arrives in November, when the Audio Dock goes on sale). But we got enough sense of what the speaker is capable of without fiddling around with EQ settings to know that this is one of the best-sounding iPhone/iPod speakers in its price class.

True, the SoMa Audio Dock doesn't measure up to PC speaker systems like the Audioengine 5s or even the Audioengine 2s, which cost less. But to be fair, those are separate speakers that offer better stereo separation and overall sound. However, they don't feature a docking system, Bluetooth, or a built-in speakerphone. Those extras along with the PC-synching option make the Audyssey an excellent option for those seeking a compact, versatile iPod/iPhone audio system that sounds very good for its size.

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