Review Round Up: iPod Docks

What is there left to say about iPods and iPhones that hasn't already been said? These are truly iconic products that exemplify what modern music listening is all about. If the compact disc launched digital audio, then the iPod raised the sails and navigated that boat to every faraway place in the world.

Why are iPods so popular? Style? Portability? Storage capacity? It's probably all of those things. The combination of the above plus the iPod's potential for good sound quality makes it a simply astounding pocket-size playback device. More than a source for mobile earphone listening, it is also well suited for home playback. Your iPod probably holds a large chunk of your music library, so why wouldn't you also use it as a music source at home? That, of course, is what docks are all about.

Almost as popular as iPods themselves, iPod docks have become a major force in home audio. By supplying quality speakers and sufficient amplification in a compact package, a dock can deliver both good performance and convenience. To evaluate the state of the art in iPod docks, we rounded up a quintet of new models, docked our iPod in them, and put them through their paces. For starters, we discovered that the designers of the docks are just as innovative as the designers of the iPod itself. Each brings something unique to the party and, depending on your specific preferences, might be just the home port your iPod/iPhone is searching for.