A good feed
The iD100 works straight from the box. There’s no configuration to worry about, just choose your digital output and you’re good to go. The unit looks subdued in operation, with just some blue status lights, but at least you know the thing’s awake.
The remote handles routine operations but, alas, iPod menus don't appear on the video output
The supplied remote is a good deal more substantial than you might expect. Larger than a typical credit card sized zapper, it feels good in the hand. Digital audio is output direct from the docked device, that utilises some snazzy low jitter circuitry, to good effect.
320kb/s MP3s and Apple Lossless tracks both sound crisp and fulsome when routed into a resident Pioneer SC-LX90 AVR. Ultimately performance is down to the quality of electronics and amplification - as well as the original encoding - but it’s reassuring to know you’re starting off with the best possible feed.
But it’s not just high quality music files which impress. The clarity of low bitrate sources is also a pleasant surprise, and while it might appear an odd observation, I was also struck by just how rounded my BBC podcasts sounded. Vocals are consistently warm and believable.
Various adapters allow for a snug fit
The iD100 does have some limitations though. You’ll find iPod navigation stymied, as there’s no menu from the video connection. This also means the iD100 is unable to route album art to a screen.
Overall, I rate the iD100 highly. It’s beautifully built and offers versatile hook up. And with a price tag of £150, it’s an easy buy to justify if you want to make the most of your iTunes library or have a studio and a sampling habit. Just remember that you're going to need something good to plug it into to appreciate its capabilities. ®
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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.