Mon, 31 Oct 2011 iLuv ArtStation Pro review
Art for art’s sake, but classic design doesn’t come cheap
- Manufacturer: iLuv
- Pros: Rotating arm for iPad screen; good bass output; compact design
- Cons: Higher frequencies can sound harsh at times
- Price: £100
- Star rating:
The iLuv designers are clearly trying to take a leaf out of Apple’s old-school design book with the ArtStation Pro. This new speaker system is designed primarily for use with the iPad, and when you slot the iPad into place, the whole unit ends up looking rather like the dear old G4 iMac, which had its monitor mounted on a similar adjustable arm.
There’s also a more expensive ‘Pro Plus’ model that comes with a Bluetooth keyboard and effectively turns the iPad into a little desktop computer (which is almost certainly more powerful than the old iMac it pays homage to). The adjustable arm can be rotated into either portrait or landscape mode, so it’s handy for watching video as well as simply listening to music. There’s also a small holder that fits an iPhone or iPod, along with an Aux-In connector around the back for other types of audio device.
The audio quality is good, with stronger bass than we’d expected from the relatively compact 107x300x145mm speaker unit. It’s not quite loud enough to power a full-scale party, and the higher frequencies do start to get a bit harsh as you approach maximum volume. However, it’s more than adequate for listening to music at home in the evening or for setting the mood when you’re having some friends over for drinks or dinner.
Our only minor complaint is that the remote control is a bit basic. It simply provides volume and playback controls, with no options for navigating through the various music menus on your iPad screen.