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Review of Speakal iCrystal Stereo Docking Station with Two Speakers for iPod
The Speakal iCrystal Stereo Docking Station is a speaker system that can be used with several iPod and iPhone models. It's compatible with all the following: iPod nano 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G; the iPod classic 4G, 5G, 5.5G, 6G; the iPod touch 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G; and the iPhone, 3G, 3GS, 4. It will charge your iPod or iPhone. It also has a 3.5-mm auxiliary input, so you can use it with any other mp3 player or any device that can use a 3.5-mm input connector. The Speakal docking station comes with both a remote control and buttons on the unit itself. And, of course, it looks really nice. It's available in either black or white.
The system is small and light, so it can easily be carried from room to room. It comes with an AC adapter. It isn't a completely portable system though. It has to be plugged in. There isn't any battery compartment, so don't expect to take it to the beach.
When I first used this system, I was amazed by the great sound quality. Music was loud and crystal clear. I didn't expect this kind of audio quality from a cheap (I only paid $60) and tiny iPod dock (the dimensions are 4.7 x 11.6 x 5.3 inches). The Speakal iPod Dock will definitely fill a large size room with sound. If you have a lot of parties with a lot of people and lots of noise, this may not be the best option. It might not be powerful enough to be heard over a lot of noise and chatter. It might not be great in a large outdoor area either. But if you want something to listen to when you're cooking or working in the office, the sound from this system will be exactly what you need.
I did end up returning my system because it went bad in about a week. This is a very highly rated system on amazon.com, so it may be that I was unlucky and got a bad unit. I loved it so much, I was unhappy about having to return it. I got a more expensive Bose system as a gift but I was willing to take a chance on another Speakal system.
The first problem I had was with the iPod connector. After a few days of use the iPod dock wouldn't play until I jiggled the iPod around on the dock. This happened despite the fact that I was very careful when I placed my iPod Touch on the connector and again when I removed it. A couple of times, the speakers actually stopped playing even though no one was near the unit. So, it was obviously starting to lose the connection. After about a week, one of the speakers went bad.
I would cautiously recommend this system. On amazon.com, it has about 50 good reviews and about a dozen negative reviews, so I do think I got a defective system. Overall, it probably is a very good iPod dock. Make sure if you do decide to buy it that you buy from a seller you can easily return it to. Also, test it extensively in the first few weeks after you buy it. That way you can return it within 30 days if something does go wrong. Sony also has a highly rated iPod dock in a similar price range; the Sony ICFCS15iPBLK Speaker Dock for iPod and iPhone that you can look into as well.