The Good Solid-sounding iPod speaker; doubles as a syncing dock; replaceable speaker grille; includes remote.
The Bad No clock, alarm, or AM/FM radio; expensive, considering its barebones feature list.
The Bottom Line While the Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2 packs a punch, other iPod speakers will deliver you a better bang for your buck.
Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2
With iPod docks becoming more common in everything from PC speakers and TVs to home theater systems, it's becoming quite rare to find an iPod speaker system that just plays music from the iPod--no bells or whistles like a radio or alarm clock. And that, in a nutshell, is the Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2 (actually, the i-DS squared--but we're not into the whole superscript thing). The product is a throwback to the original Bose SoundDock--it plays the iPod's audio while recharging the music player, and doesn't do much else. As such, it's pretty much intended for those who prefer their tech simple and straightforward--the exact opposite of the "jack of all trades, master of none" school of product design.
The Horizon i-DS2 is available in either mist (silver) or midnight (black), but you can completely switch out the front-mounted speaker grille with one of nine interchangeable replacements--available for about $15 a pop on Boston Acoustics' Web site. Colors range from chili pepper red to olive green. It's the same sort of "Personal Options Plan" customization angle found on the Boston Acoustics MCS130 surround speakers as well as the company's Horizon Solo AM/FM radio.
We were happy to see that the body of the i-DS2 is composed of polished heavy-duty plastic, a welcome departure from some other iPod speakers we've seen. However, we'd imagine the black version of the i-DS2 to be quite the fingerprint magnet. The unit--about the size of a loaf of bread--is quite hefty, weighing 5.5 pounds, letting it fit nicely on a nightstand or shelf. It'll also stay in place with its rubber feet and strip that run along the bottom of the speaker.