If you think it’s foolish to drop $200 on a docking station for a $300 iPod, we won’t even mention iPort’s $1,100 model FS-5. Whoops. In any event, we’re reviewing the model FS-2 here, and we think its price tag is warranted.
This is the best-engineered docking station we’ve laid hands on. Spring-loaded arms hold any model iPod snugly inside the weighted base, so there’s no worry of damaging the iPod’s docking connector.
The large button in the center of the dock glows white while streaming music, and red while transferring data; a button-push toggles between the two modes. This means you can remove the iPod from the dock without first soft-ejecting it within iTunes. The other illuminated multifunction buttons control volume and track selection. A hidden infrared receiver can be used with the optional remote control ($50) or any programmable remote.
A multi-pin cable carries analog audio and video from the base to a connector block outfitted with stereo RCA and line-level audio outputs, as well as composite and S-Video outputs. This block can be discretely hidden behind an A/V receiver, while the ripcord connector cable can be split to reach your PC as much as six feet in the opposite direction. Expensive, but worth it.
Month Reviewed: August 2006
+ GOLD LEAF: Impeccable design; superb quality and expandability.
- GILT LEAF: Expensive; remote control costs extra.