Cambridge Audio iD100 hi-fi dock
Digital-only interface for audiophiles
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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