Dock o' the day: JBL radial

I need an iPod dock. Strike that, I need a bunch of them. I've been putting up with a pair of puny multimedia speakers for far too long. It's time to

I need an iPod dock. Strike that, I need a bunch of them.

I've been putting up with a pair of puny multimedia speakers for far too long. It's time to raid the Stuff and What Hi-Fi? stock rooms repeatedly until I find exactly the right speaker to sit on my desk and entertain me while I work.

And when I find perfection? Hand it back and move on to the next one. That way I never have to buy an iPod speaker dock - and as every gadgeteer knows, there's always something better around the corner anyway.

This is not an objective test. In fact, it's a personal as they come. My criteria are, in particular order:

1) Style. Hey, I'm a superficial guy.

2) Sound quality. I do actually like music, too. (superficial music, naturally - I'm too shallow to discover the depths of jazz, classical or - god forbid - opera.)

3) Apple iPhone compatibility. Don't tell me you're still using a standalone player?

4) Desk compatibility. I have a laptop and monitor already cluttering up my desk, and I'm a minimalist at heart. So as few cables as possible, but also as much of a stereo soundstage as I can muster.

Dock o' the day no.1:

First thoughts: Takes the concept of the 'iPod Halo Effect' a little too literally. When podless, it looks like you have a desktop CATscanner. I can't work out if this is a good thing or not.

The good stuff

- Well connected: line input for iPod refusniks, USB docking connection and S-Video out.

- Excellent sound plus desk-shaking bass.

The not-so-good stuff

- S-Video out doesn't work with iPhone, and USB docking functionality is temperamental

- The remote control (left) seems to have been designed to play alongside Cinderella in last year's panto. Ugh.

Born to play: Underworld - Banstyle/Sappy's Curry

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