Cambridge Audio iD100 hi-fi dock
Digital-only interface for audiophiles
Review The Cambridge Audio iD100 is a dock with apparent delusions of grandeur. Brushed aluminium bodywork and a surfeit of serious connectivity signal a determination to squeeze every last drop of performance from any iOS device that comes its way. Clearly it takes the music on my iPod far more seriously than I do.
Cambridge Audio's iD100 accommodates all but the earliest iOS devices
The iD100 works with Pod, Phone, Touch and Pad, and ships with a selection of docking adaptors to ensure all are sitting comfortably. The largest cushion predictably accommodates the iPad, but there are also rubber stabilisers for the iPhone 3G/3GS, iPod Touch (generations one to three) and Nano (3G-5G).
Frankly, parking an iPad on a puny iPod dock seems a recipe for disaster, but this unit holds it well. The iD100 is low and heavy, and has meaningful rubber boots.
The iD100 is nothing if not versatile. In addition to coaxial and optical digital outputs, it sports an AES/EBU XLR connector. This rather esoteric option is more likely to be encountered in recording studios and is designed to interface with a matching balanced digital input on a DAC, amp or mixer.
No analogue outputs here, it's digital-only with three interfaces to choose from
There is also a component and composite video output. A little rocker on the rear toggles between the two. Using the component output you can watch your 720p iTunes downloads in HD. Helpfully, Cambridge Audio bundles a mini-jack to component cable in the box. If you provide your own mini-jack to s-video lead, you can even output SD with separated luminance and chroma. Bit of a forgotten trick that one.
Other ports include an IR remote input, for use with an IR repeater, and a USB B connector which allows you to sync when using the dock.
Next page: A good feed
It's an iDevice dock.
It goes from digital to digital and as far as I can tell it does no audio processing en route.
Please explain what "technology" you think is changing the quality of the sound passing through this device. Otherwise the previous poster is quite correct and that statement is purest woo.
"I was also struck by just how rounded my BBC podcasts sounded. Vocals are consistently warm and believable."
More hi-fi review woo. I have a range of great value oxygen-free copper cables you might like.
What are the audible characteristics of a "warm and believable" sound? How does such a sound differ from a cool, implausible one? Describe what is meant by a "rounded" sound.
I'm all ears.
Magical "HiFi" mark-up.
This is just a translator from the iPod connector to a selection of digital AV connectors using standard off-the-shelf components. What is the other £125 for?
The rubber feet and brushed aluminium paper weight that they're built into? Or is there something magical hiding in here that you forgot to mention?
Why do you think that the Apple DAC is involved at all?
It's taking the digital feed that would have gone to the Apple DAC, bypassing it completely and feeding instead to whatever HiFi grade converter you might have. That Apple connector has digital pins also you know.
High bit-rate AAC or lossless audio played back via a quality DAC, Amp and speakers is a treat easy to distinguish from jacking your iPod headphone socket into your amp.