Had a press release not accompanied the bizarrely sculpted Saitek Audio A-200, we would have been convinced that it was a miniature satellite tasked with searching the universe for new life forms.
In fact, the strange object that lay before us was the Audio A-200: Saitek’s latest intergalactically styled portable speaker system, designed to propel your iPod or PSP into next light year.
For 80 notes you’ll get a black globule, sporting funky orange and red accents, as well as tiny Mission tweeters at each end and a subwoofer hidden away inside. Round the back there’s also a 3.5mm line-level socket and a mains adapter.
To power up the Saitek, you’ll need to give the teardrop-shaped switch a firm prod. And once it’s on, the A-200 will keep going for 20 hours thanks to the help of four AAA batteries.
Dock and roll
While it may be difficult to take the A-200’s extrovert looks too seriously, its sonic clout demands instant respect. We hooked up an iPod and let rip with Maximo Park’s Our Velocity – and the results were impressive.
The Saitek carves out intricate, defined sounds, with a bright, dynamic tone. Even at high volumes, the A-200 remains focussed, sharp and crisp – avoiding the unruly fuzz that most of its competitors suffer from.
If you fancy a more conservatively dressed portable speaker setup, then take a peak at the JBL Encounter (£100), which sounds as good as, if not better than, the Saitek.
But we’ll take the A-200 thanks very much. Having seen enough dull, white iDocks or boring rectangular portable speakers, we’re smitten with this oddball, and we’d happily let it date our iPod.