CES - iPod docks get audiophile touch

  By the time we've finished skipping round CES, I reckon we'll probably see around 50,000 iPod docks. At a rough estimate. Some manufactur

By the time we've finished skipping round CES, I reckon we'll probably see around 50,000 iPod docks. At a rough estimate. Some manufacturers, however, have cottoned on to the fact that what we need now is not wacky shapes or crazy gimmicks, but some half-decent sound from the things. After all, our pods are often the most accessible source of our music library.

Step forward the somewhat grandiosely named Bel Canto Ultra Dock. Utilising its own 'compressed audio refinement technology' to help correct compressed files and soundtracks to 7.1 channel quality, the Ultra Dock promises to re-create the nuances and subtleties of the original recording often lost in data compression.

This trailblazing tech doesn't come cheap - it's retailing at around $1995 and the manufacturers tell us that it'll probably be the same price in the UK when it arrives in April or May. And remember, because it's just a processor, you're gonna need an amp to hook it up to as well.

A little cheaper is the Cue Radio dock. At an estimate $400 it uses 4-channel amp architecture, each capable of 25w - which is a darn sight better than many tabletop pod boxes on the market.

Don't worry - we'll try to report on the other 49,998 iPod docks as we encounter them...