Dreamgear obviously knows that speakers are the single most lucrative segment of iPod add-on products: The company offers eight models, including the i.Sound Max.
This bowtie-shaped speaker doubles as an iPod docking and charging station, but its port connector mates only with iPod-style USB cables.
We won’t knock the i.Sound Max for its cable choice; instead, we’ll slap it around for its tinny sound, its lack of video output, and the fact that this pricey portable doesn’t come with a carrying pouch.
Four 1.26-inch neodymium drivers overemphasize high frequencies to produce annoyingly sibilant vocals, and they proved utterly incapable of displacing enough air to pump meaningful bass through the ear-canal-size ports on either side of the enclosure.
On the upside, we hope other iPod speaker manufacturers study the i.Sound’s remote: It controls not only the volume and playlist and track selection, but it can also activate the iPod display’s backlight.
Month Reviewed: August 2006
+ BOLO TIES: The best iPod remote we've seen; syncs your iPod.
- BOW TIES: Metallic highs and gutless bass response.