It was actually all rather inspiring - one member of the Reg Hardware staff having to be physically restrained from yelling “Go on! Go on, White Rider! Gandalf! Gandalf!” out of the office window when Minas Tirith started to play.
Plug a PMP or a netbook into the Blok and use it provide the audio for your video collection, and those small speakers really come into their own, once again providing crystal clarity along with superb definition and articulation.
Is your lounge as dark as this?
If the Blok has a drawback, it's the lack of anything in the way of bass or treble adjustment. While we didn't find this to be an issue, some users may prefer a greater degree of control over their sound beyond that provided by their iPod's own EQ settings.
Incidentally, we found the Blok performed best with our iPod's EQ set to 'Off', giving a more natural sound. Like the Altec Lansing Octiv Air we tested recently, the Blok doesn't come with Apple's 'Works With iPhone' certification so you'll need to switch to Flight Mode to avoid any unwanted background interference from the cellular radio.
At £195, the Blok represents solid rather than exceptional value for money. Edifier's Luna5 can be had for a fiver more and, at the end of the day, it produces more volume, better sound quality and has an FM radio on board. But it's a lot bigger and heavier, and not quite as attractive, though admittedly this last is a matter of personal taste.
A word of advice: don't lose the remote - a replacement will set you back £30.
Who knew something thing this good was lurking north of Hadrian's Wall? The looks and build quality are superb, the sound is top notch for the size and the remote control unit will provide a talking point at dinner parties. It may lack the absolute audio fidelity of some the bigger and more expensive competition but it 's still a worthy contender. ®
More Speaker Reviews...
Altec Lansing Octiv Air
Edifier Luna 5
all the volume I'd need...?
Not that I'd second-guess a knowledgeable tech reviewer, but I can't help wondering... _all_ the volume I'd need? I mean, did you test it with "Slade Alive"?
OK, OK, I'll get my boots on...
Sounds like a Linn wannabee
It's a basic two-channel amp with tiny 4.5-inch speakers a few inches apart, no way is this worth two hundred quid. I suspect the iPod dock on the top more than doubled the price.
To give you an idea, these: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/shop/view_product.php?product=behms16 are roughly the same spec., you can move them apart to get a stereo image and they cost £40.
A pair of Wharfedale Active Diamonds (http://www.htfr.com/more-info/MR266129) will wipe the floor with this, and you'd still have plenty left over for an iPod dock.
Design considerations of the remote aside, they've rotated the "click wheel" controller 90 degrees from what's on the iPod. Rather silly of them.
iPod cock more like.