Griffin Amplifi Speaker System w/ iPod Dock review: Griffin Amplifi Speaker System w/ iPod Dock

MSRP: $149.99

The Good The Griffin Amplifi looks expensive despite its bargain price tag and can really blast out full, powerful sound without any noticeable distortion. Auxiliary line-input allows for use with non-iPod players as well.

The Bad Compared with other iPod speaker systems, the Amplifi is bulky, devoid of features, and lacks some sonic sparkle.

The Bottom Line The aptly named Amplifi has a singular purpose--getting your iPod to really crank without putting a hole in your wallet.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7

The Griffin Amplifi is a stylish, powerful iPod speaker system that's offered at an attractive price ($149). Compared with the heavyweights in the iPod speaker system market, the Amplifi lacks the refined sound of the Bose SoundDock (at twice the price), or the portability of the Altec Lansing iM600 or iM7. What it does deliver is loud, balanced, powerful sound, with a sleek design and an outstanding value.

Griffin products always seem to have that Ikea-esque match of modern design and affordable prices--the Amplifi is a perfect example of this. The enclosure is relatively large, measuring approximately 14 inches wide, 5.5 inches tall, and 9 inches deep. Design purists will appreciate that the Amplifi's controls have been boiled down to a single knob, plus a remote control. With such a knob-centric design, Griffin pulled out all the stops and slapped a really nice, hi-fi style aluminum knob on the front and even illuminated it with blue LED trim. The knob is a little wobbly, but it gives the system a classy touch.

While the speaker grills on the front and bottom of the Amplifi are perforated metal, most of the enclosure is wood and plastic. It's also quite heavy, weighing around 12 pounds. The extra weight can be great for projecting sound, but it does make the system less than portable. Bear in mind that Griffin has simultaneously released a product called Journi, explicitly intended as an on-the-go iPod speaker solution.

The Amplifi's features match its design--spare. Unlike much of its competition, the Amplifi offers no EQ, stereo enhancement, video output, FM radio, or USB pass-through connection. On the back panel, you'll find a DC power jack and a stereo minijack line input--that's it. The six-button IR remote control (rated at 30 feet) is similarly restrained, offering basic controls for volume, play/pause, track skip, and power. Amplifi also includes six iPod dock adapters, as well as international plug fittings for the power supply.

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