Geneva Lab Sound System Model L iPod Speaker System Page 2

The Short Form
$599 / / 877-436-3829
•Stylish looks and superb build quality •Great sound from on- and off-center seats
•Expensive compared to other iPod audio systems
Key Features
•Integrated iPod dock •Built-in CD slot and FM tuner •Stereo input for external sources
The single-box Model L uses a signal-processing technology called Embracing Sound to deliver a wide stereo image from its two close-spaced two-way speakers. And it works: The soundstage from the stereo recordings I listened to extended well beyond the boundaries of the box. Not only that, the system's off-axis performance was strikingly good. For example, listening to the Coldcut remix of Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," the track's wave-like instrumental swells sounded just as dynamic when experienced from an off-center chair as when heard from directly in front of the Model L.

I popped Calexico into the CD slot to hear the track "Quattro." The system's midrange clarity was excellent, with the song's reedy vocals and intertwined guitar and trumpet leads all coming through distinctly. Bass was also surprisingly full and deep for a medium-size box, and it remained clean even after I cranked things up loud. With the treble control set to the system's default center setting, however, highs sounded slightly edgy. That was my only real sonic complaint, though, and it was easily addressed by backing the treble control down a notch.

BOTTOM LINE The iPod generation has plenty of single-box audio systems to choose from - some good and some bad. The Geneva Lab Sound System Model L iPod speaker system resides near the top of the good camp, and its design, features, and build quality push it well past the competition. At $699 with the optional stand, its price is in another league altogether, too, but if you've got the cash and want a slick-looking iPod audio system that sounds good from any seat in the room, here's your ticket.

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