No controls on the speakers – don’t lose remote
If you like design, you’re going to like Tannoy’s i30 iPod speaker system. And rightly so: it’s sleek, small, black, and shiny. It’s the kind of product that inspires gadget lust in those prone to it. But that lust may be diminished a bit by a few shortcomings and a high price.
The i30 connects to any iPod with a dock connector and plays loud, pleasing music through cloth-covered speakers on either side of the device. The i30 is a solid-felling, sturdy device that is portable in the house, though its weight and lack of batteries will probably keep it there. It’s controlled by a remote and has a few auxiliary jacks on the back of the small, wide speaker set.
The sound generated by the i30 is generally good. It’s clear (though some track separation feels a little muddy from time to time) and doesn’t distort even at very loud volumes. Even still, somehow the sound doesn’t feel quite as good – maybe it’s not bright enough or sharp enough – as other speakers. Still, most people will find it more than high enough quality to enjoy almost all music on.
Something users may not enjoy, though, is the remote control. That remote itself is fine – it controls volume, power, and can move forward and back within playlists (though being able to navigate the iPod’s menus would be a nice addition) – but it’s the only way to control the i30. There are no buttons at all on the speaker itself. If you lose the remote, you’re out of luck, so keep it close at hand.
The other major problem with the i30 is the price. The lack of buttons and the slightly muddy sound aren’t really acceptable on a device with a US$400 list price. If the i30 was less expensive, I’d give it a four-star rating, but I’d expect a somewhat better device for $400.
If you can get the Tannoy i30 for less than the $400 list price (say, half of that), consider it. It’s very attractive and provides solid sound. At $400 though, the Tannoy i30 iPod speaker system is just too expensive to justify its somewhat skimpy feature set.