Monday, October 10, 2011

A Great iPhone Dock

I have long had a mini hi-fi in my bedroom, and for the last 10 years my Onkyo that I bought in Japan has served me well. Initially, I bought it to play mini-discs, which were hugely popular in Japan before mp3s became the the force de jour. However, the Onkyo was versatile, and the “Aux In” allowed me to connect my iPod with relative ease. Unfortunately, the power supply recently packed up, and I decided it was time for an upgrade.

My requirements were simple:

  • iPod/iPhone capable
  • Good sound, but high volume not an issue
  • Solid build
  • Subtle styling
  • Reasonable price

Enter the Yamaha PDX-31. This little desktop audio system ticked all the boxes, and then some. The case, available in black, dark red or light grey has clean, simple lines, but houses a pair of 3.25-inch speakers that sound awesome, despite only a 15W x 2 digital amplifier.

The dock handles iPods and iPhones with a 30-pin Dock Connector, but there is also an auxiliary input for those other media players. The minimalistic design means the only buttons are volume up and down - the unit has auto power on and off, which is ideal for me. I can set the alarm on my iPod to play a specific playlist, and wake up to my favourite music, without having to leave the unit switched on all night. It works like a charm! There is no need for a "mode" switch - the unit will play from whichever source is connected, and will play from both simultaneously if both are connected. Included in the box is a very basic remote, which unfortunately feels a bit cheap, but gets the job done.

Priced at $169.99 from Amazon, but available for as little as $123 if you Google it, I was able to find one in South Africa at R1,770, after tax and duties, which wasn't too bad. Thanks to the great staff at Audio Excellence on Umhlanga Ridge for your patience and assistance!

Thanks for reading!