Lenco IPD-9000 docking station review
The IPD-9000 from Swiss audio specialist Lenco is a one box solution for iPhone and iPod users who still want to play CDs and listen to FM radio. The dock incorporates Lenco's own Sonic Emotion Absolute 3D chipset, which the company claims produces exceptional audio output. For a relatively small unit the iPD-9000 offers 65W output, which is spread across two 10W side-firing drivers and a 45W rear-firing subwoofer. That configuration means the dock needs space and placing the unit close to a wall or on a book shelve is not a wise option, as playback is muddy.
With the right positioning, sound is good, somewhere between a budget dock and quality Hi-fi, actually closer to the later. However, good ears will notice a drop in quality if you have music ripped at lower bitrates, noticeably128 kilobits or lower. CD playback fairs much better and the IPD-9000 supports MP3-encoded discs, which is useful for unabridged audio books. For those who like to fiddle, the dock comes with bass and treble controls and a rather attractive LCD display to see what you are doing.
The supplied, rather plasticy, remote is small but stout, which should suit most hands. It's well laid out with clear, well spaced buttons and a useful sleep option, which is essential if your make the IPD-9000 your choice of bedroom partner. The dock also includes a composite video output to connect to your TV or monitor to watch content from your iPhone or iPod on a bigger screen.
One disappointment is the IPD-9000 lacks DAB or Internet radio, which can be found on similarly priced docks. This is a pity, although the UK Government appear to have shelved plans to sell off FM frequencies for now. FM reception, with RDS function and 20 presets, did at least impress in what is a traditionally good reception area.
The Lenco IPD-9000 is a fine choice for iPhone and iPod users who want a step up sonically from the budget docks currently hogging supermarket shelves. As a lifestyle accessory it is also suitably stylish and compact enough to suit any location around the home.