Macally IP-N112 Review
Macally has a knack for delivering accessible accessories at affordable prices. While you’re not going to get the most advanced technologies, you will get devices that work, and will be good enough for what you want to do. This black, plastic, circular speaker set for the iPod nano confirms that. They aren’t the loudest speakers available, they don’t deliver ground breaking sound, and they don’t have additional features.
What Macally does offer is a pleasing, lightweight product that’s easy to tote in your travel bag (just 3.5cm thick at the thickest point, and about 10cm in diameter). The sound is effective enough to enhance your nano’s potential as a portable music device.
The nano fits tightly into a socket at the front of the unit, leaving the screen visible and offering full access to the click wheel for changing tracks. Volume is adjusted on the iPod itself and there’s an on/off button to preserve the (somewhat slim) ten hours of operation you can expect from the three AA batteries supplied.
On its front the entire circular surface of the speaker system is covered with a mesh grille, with the exception of those areas surrounding or in front of the iPod itself. To the back you’ll find a protruding battery compartment, set at a slight angle. That’s clever, because when you install the batteries, their weight inside that compartment means it doubles as a stand to keep the unit upright, set at a slight angle.
The system doesn’t pack a whole heap of punch, delivering 800mW power output through each channel. There’s distortion at high volumes and the output lacks substance, though it remains listenable. This limited sound output means these speakers are fine for lazing with them close by on a beach or at a table, but they won’t do a lot to help you kick off a party. You can tweak the effect of the perceived volume by altering your nano’s settings using its built-in equalizer – selecting the ‘Small Speaker’ option offers the best sound clarity you can get from this set up.
The IP-N112 is best compared with those mini speaker systems that clip to an iPod’s dock connector. While larger, the sound quality beats what you can expect from those other systems without adding too much bulk. They’re not the best speakers, but they’re decent – and affordable – desktop, bedside or outdoor systems.