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Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2 review: Boston Acoustics Horizon i-DS2

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The i-DS2 comes with a small seven-button credit-card-size remote. You cannot use it to navigate through your iPod's music library, but you can use to skip tracks forward and backward along with the usual functionality of play/pause, mute, volume, and power. The remote is small and feels a bit cheap, but it gets the job done.

In our testing, iPod playback was solid. Considering its compact size, the i-DS2 was able to produce a heavy, rich bass-laden sound while maintaining audible mids and highs as well. It filled up our 15x22-foot testing room well, easily letting us recommend it for a dorm or smaller living room. When we pushed the unit the loudest it could go we were happy to hear a lack of distortion; however, the sound became a bit clouded and muddy. Of all the music selections we chose, we were most satisfied with various rock selections on the i-DS2. Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer performed especially well in our listening tests as did classic Green Day tracks like When I Come Around and Longview.

We had no problem hooking up the i-DS2 to a TV for iPod video playback. Quality was acceptable considering you're only given the option of using a composite connection. Just be sure to place your iPod in "TV Out" mode prior to playing.

It's also worth noting that the i-DS2 needs to be plugged in at all times. That's too bad, because the inclusion of an internal rechargeable battery--like the one found on the Bose SoundDock Portable--would've been a nice distinguishing characteristic.

Overall, the Horizon i-DS2 from Boston Acoustics is a solid-performing iPod speaker that offers a better, beefier sound than many competing models. Unfortunately, it does little else. Priced about $180, we'd really like to see the unit offer more bang for our buck. If you're looking for bit more functionality, check out the i-DS2's companion product, the Boston Acoustics Horizon Duo-i. That model is pretty much a combination of the i-DS2's iPod dock and the AM/FM clock radio found on the Horizon Solo--replete with the replaceable color grilles. And with the Duo-i available for as low as $141 online, you'll actually be getting more for your money.

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