Logic3 iStation 8

Logic3 iStation 8

istation_ipod.jpgThe iStation 8 has almost everything you could want in an iPod speaker system: It docks, syncs, and recharges your iPod; it has composite and S-Video outputs, a headphone output, and an auxiliary input; it’s portable; it comes with a remote control; and it even boasts a 16-character LCD display. Its designers neglected just one aspect: great sound.

In our mind’s eye, we see them excitedly leafing through a Chinese component-manufacturer’s catalog: “Wow, everything’s so cheap! We can put eight drivers in the box, and an absolutely huge woofer.”

Sure you can. But when critics like us audition systems like this, we just can’t muster the same enthusiasm. To be fair, the iStation 8 sounds only mediocre, not outright terrible; and it’s a bargain for all that it delivers. But bargains usually entail compromises, and this compromise impacts the product’s core mission: audio.

Four 1.26-inch neodymium drivers are stacked on each side of the enclosure, with a single 2.5-inch woofer in the middle. An amplifier squirts four watts per channel to the full-range speakers—one watt to each driver—and 12 watts to the woofer. The system produces acceptable highs, but slightly muffled and ill-defined mids and lows. Put them together and you get an unexciting musical experience; closer to listless than utterly lifeless, but boring all the same.

We’ve criticized many an iPod docking port for not providing adequate support for the player, and we level the same charge at this one. The iStation 8’s blue LCD, on the other hand, cranks up the hip factor with a feature we’ve never seen before: Song titles plucked straight from a docked iPod!

Month Reviewed: November 2006
Verdict: 7
URL: www.logic3.com

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