The i30 is shaped like a giant medication capsule, its surfaces coated in super-shiny -- and -- piano black. With nary a square edge in sight, the speaker is decidedly softer-looking than the more blocky Griffin Evolve, Logitech's Pure-Fi Elite and the .
The most striking design feature of the i30 is the complete lack of buttons. There are no knobs, switches or keys to be found on the unit, as all volume and music control is handled by the teeny remote. This is fabulous if you are cultivating a minimalist aesthetic, but not so great if the remote's battery gives up the ghost in the middle of a raging party.
The central iPod dock -- compatible with all dock connector models thanks to the five included adaptors -- is flanked by two gunmetal grey speaker grilles. These are very tightly woven and non-removable, being built into the unit.
On the back of the unit are just two ports: a 3.5mm stereo socket for plugging in non-dock audio devices, and a USB connection for all your iTunes synching needs. The only other blips in the glossy black facade are the power socket and two screw holes for wall-mounting.
At 3.6 kilograms, the i30 is not in the portable class of iPod speakers, but it's not the heftiest of the all-in-one home dock line-up. Apple's own iPod Hi-Fi clocks in at a hernia-inducing 6.6 kilos, while the Pure-Fi Elite is equal at 3.6 kilograms.
The most notable spec is the depth, which measures 14 centimetres. If you're planning to mount the i30 on the wall, be prepared for it to stick out like the proverbial painful digit when you attach it to the similarly deep wall bracket. That's an optional extra, by the way -- such a blocky attachment wouldn't fit into Tannoy's slender treasure trove of beautifully packaged accessories. (We were appreciative of, though slightly perplexed by, the inclusion of two Union Jack badges.)
The i30's twin 10-centimetre drivers pumped out strong, enveloping audio, but bass levels lacked a certain oomph. Adele's piano-and-vocal track "Hometown Glory" rang out clear and full, with no background hiss to speak of. Tunes with a greater emphasis on the bassline, such as Kanye West's "Drive Slow" and Yo La Tengo's "The Summer", were slightly lacking in power at the lower levels. While we weren't searching for the bowel-percolating bass you get from your average hefty subwoofer, we occasionally found the bass a little, well, wimpy. This is not a dock to send the neighbours fleeing as their foundation walls crumble and fall.