Today, we're going to take a look at three weird and wonderful products at once: an iPod dock, known simply as 'the dock'; the Micropod SEs, a pair of mini speakers; and the Minibass, a stylish subwoofer for use with the aforementioned units. Together, these three make up an estimable audio system for your iPod, worth just over £500. All three can be bought separately though, should just one of them appeal.
These stylish, modern speakers come from Danish company Scandyna, which has been making professional speaker gear for 50 years. What does half a century of speaker experience sound and look like? They look rather odd, actually.
The Micropod SEs and the dock boast a much more inspired design than the multitude of square-edged boxes we so frequently see. Their rounded bodies project a Scandinavian charm you'll either love or hate. The Minibass, too, dances on the heads of more conventionally designed subwoofers, with its curvaceous design and three-pronged stand system, leaving a large bass reflex port free to exhale.
Aesthetics aren't the only thing Scandyna has put considerable thought into. The seriously impressive speaker-wire bindings are rarely seen on consumer-grade sound systems like this. The 5mm holes through the centre are ready for audiophile-approved heavy-gauge speaker wire, allowing you to get the most impressive sound possible from your iPod. These bindings feature on the dock, the Micropod speakers, and also on the Minibass. Also unusually for a system such as this, the 70mm main driver features a Kevlar piston.
The build quality of all the units is superb. They're so heavy and solid they feel as though they've been built from the Earth's core itself. A 5mm screw mounting socket is fixed into the Micropod's base, should you feel the need to fix it to a ceiling with a Scandyna bracket or something.
Sound quality of the two small speakers on their own, while punchy, is surprisingly average. To begin with we threw Glosoli by Sigur Ros into the mix. A song that relies on crystalline atmosphere and powerful, driven bass, the Micropod SEs lack the depth needed to bring it to life. Worse still, the speakers' attempt at producing bass resulted in a murky hum that leached value from the song. Plug the Minibass in, however, and the tables turn. Glosoli sounded how it should -- crystal-clear bass shook the room while the Micropods filled it with atmosphere and the haunting falsetto vocals of lead singer Jónsi Birgisson.
Some heavy drum and bass tracks from Pendulum exploded from the system, leaving windows and ceilings shaking. The complex and powerful concoction of metal from Dream Theater came equally close to destroying our office, while at the same time the Micropods reproduced accurate ambient detail.
As we mentioned, the main issue with the Micropod SE speakers is the lack of bass. Small speakers naturally tend to lack the low-end power that dance aficionados crave, but hooking up the powerful Minibass revolutionises the overall sound performance. For anything more than desktop use, the Micropods won't impress on their lonesome.