The iTube is back and, yes, in accordance with the cliché, in black. It’s also now in one piece, rather than being broken into a separate amp and iPod dock. But they’re just the obvious changes, with upgrades including more power and remote volume control for external sources, not just your iPod.

Built for a better tomorrow

The Carbon is a hefty beast, for sure, and the piano-black finish looks much classier than the standard version’s chrome. The remote has also had a black makeover, but it still feels cheap and nasty – helpfully, though, it offers full control of your iPod.

One thing that has gone missing since the original iTube is the headphones socket. That’s not a worry if you’ve gone iPod-only, but if you’re planning on using the two aux inputs for a CD player or turntable, that could be a bit of a disappointment.

Fitting your iPod to it is the same procedure as with the original iTube – a backstop slides back and forth, and is secured using a knurled knob. Just plug your iPod into the dock connector and slide the backstop forward until it’s resting snugly against your iPod’s rear.

No slowing ’em down

Onto the sound, those valves certainly add a dollop of body to brittle MP3s, but the great news is that they don’t bog down the dynamics of the music, so dance music still sounds fast and taut.

Buy it as a package with the matching speakers and you’ve got the best-sounding iPod dock around. Alternatively, invest another £500 for the Fatboys speakers and you’ve got a truly audiophile hi-fi system that marries old tech with new.


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Stuff says... 

Fatman iTube Carbon edition review

The best iPod amp you can buy, with a powerful sound and classy looks. Just add speakers