What you may not yet have noticed is Apple’s comparatively sub-par sound quality. Competing manufacturers such as Sony and Cowon have built their brands on excellence in audio reproduction. Fantastic multi-media devices they may be, but I’ve never heard the iPhone or iPod Touch lauded as the best for music reproduction.
Enter the Pure i-20 Hi-Fi Quality Dock. This unassuming silver iPod throne looks like any other at first glance. In reality it’s got some rather cunning technology beneath the bonnet. The i-20 is a bit like an organic dairy – bear with me! By default the iPod generates rather tasteless but inoffensive semi-skimmed sound quality from its own sound processing dairy. The i-20 refuses to allow the iPod to use its own milk processing facility, forcing the sound through its digital-to-analogue convertor for rich and creamy sound quality. The effect, with classical music especially, is like removing a pair of earmuffs in a cinema – suddenly you hear every detail. Hi-Fi buffs will also love the digital optical (TOSLINK), digital coaxial (RCA) and analogue (dual RCA) audio connections allowing easy pairing with an existing stack of components.
Normal punters like me like the distinctly non-hi-fi price of £79.99. I’m not saying the i-20 is going to relegate your Marantz or Bang & Olufsen to the scrap heap, but it does succeed in transforming a sound mongrel into a pedigree performer.
• £79.99 from www.amazon.co.uk and www.amp3.co.uk, for more information see www.pure.com