Bose SoundDock digital music system for iPod (Black)

Bose SoundDock digital music system for iPod (Black)
From BOSE

List Price: $249.99
Price: $229.68

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14 new or used available from $150.00
Average customer review:

Product Description

The Bose?? SoundDock?? digital music system was specifically designed to expand and enhance your enjoyment of the music stored on your iPod. Just slip it into the docking cradle for the sound quality your favorite songs deserve. The iPod charges as it plays, so you enjoy music without interruption. Its sleek, slender design, in White or Black, fits almost any room's d??cor. And the included remote lets you control the SoundDock system from across the room. Enjoy the songs on your iPod like never before. The SoundDock system is designed to play your favorite tracks with crisp clarity, allowing you to discover subtleties in your music that used to simmer beneath the surface. A host of proprietary technologies adds vitality and realism to your tracks. With Bose proprietary acoustic design, you enjoy a full, rich sound that's greater than you'd expect from a system this small. The SoundDock system is easy to operate. Just plug it in, pop in your iPod and play. Your iPod works as long as it has a dock connector on the bottom. There are no extra wires or adapters. The remote allows you to control your music at the push of a button. And a stylish, sophisticated look means it can be the center of attention or blend in wherever you place it. The SoundDock system and your iPod share a commitment to simplicity, quality and above all, music. Now just introduce them and watch this pair become best friends.

Product Details

  • Color: Black
  • Brand: Bose
  • Model: 40250
  • Dimensions: 15.00 pounds

Customer Reviews

Great Sound at a price, with one major design flaw4 Pros: Great sounding speakers with plenty of power to fill a room. Excellent Bass & Treble response. The best I've heard for its compact size and small footprint. Cons: 1.) The SoundDock uses an external transformer. You have 13 feet of power cables to tuck away. Five feet of cable from the wall outlet to the converter (which is 4.5"x2.5"x1.5") and another 8 feet of cable to the SoundDock. It's not as neat or convenient as it should be, were the converter built into the unit. For a Bose designed product, this is a major fault if you want to use it on a countertop in a kitchen environment. It also makes the SoundDock a bit less "portable" for anyone who would like to move it between the Kitchen, Patio, Bedroom or Family Room. 2.) No external input for a second audio source. 3.) The price. In additon to that, Bose products are never discounted and always seem to have the same price no matter where you shop. (So are Apple products for that matter, how is that NOT some kind of price collusion?) Overall I couldn't be happier with the sound, but that happiness comes at a price. Best Sound, Highest Price: 3 Way Ipod Dock Comparison4 Three Way Comparison, Bose SoundDock vs. Griffin Amplifi vs. Altec Lansing IM600: Design and Features: Bose Sound Dock: Cabinet made of plastic. Appears to have two 2.5" acoustic suspension (enclosed) drivers under a metallic grill, with a whole bunch of added physical structures that look to be waveguides and / or signal processors. Bose keeps details on this pretty much obscured, but wattage estimates I've seen on the net put power output at roughly 50-60 watts and based on my own comparative experience, I would agree. Some commentators think the unit has four drivers rather than two, but I see only two beneath the grill and I am not going to disassemble the unit. Some Bose haters on the net claim frequency response on the SD is capped at a mere 10,000 kHz, which I personally doubt, as treble rich music I've played on this sounds fine, and no reliable net source makes this claim. Ipod docks in a front-mounted bay. My 5.5 G 30 GB feels rather loosely supported, but no major issues. No line-in or out. Indeed, no console controls at all except a volume up and volume down button. Simple remote, though very reliable and with good range. The power wart is bizarrely large and bulky, plus is also in two sections, making it seem like you're going to be powering up a railgun or supercollider rather than a relatively low powered music player. The design is sturdy and attractive overall, but the lack of any special features whatsoever is dismaying, perhaps symptomatic of Bose's condescending "electronics for idiots" philosophy. Charges Ipod as long as it is docked, when playing or when off. Griffin Amplifi: Cabinet made of wood, looks like small shoebox. Has two 2.75" drivers front mounted and a bottom mounted 5" woofer with a bass port. Griffin in the worst Bose tradition refuses to disclose many tech statistics on their unit, but my power estimate puts this at about 30-40 watts, not really much different from the Bose. (To sound twice as loud needs a 10 times (1000%) increase in wattage, so the Bose advantage of maybe 33% more power should not really give much real world benefit.) Frequency response per mfgr is 50-16,000 kHz which seems a bit unbelievable on the low end, but feasible enough on the higher end. Ipod docks on top and sticks awkwardly out of the unit like a control tower, but fit is snugger than on Sound Dock which makes me feel more reassured. There is a line-in and not much more. Big blue-lit knob controls on-off and volume. Remote is a copy of the Bose's with the same simple functions. Range and aiming tolerance is inferior to both the Bose and the Altec, but certainly adequate. Annoyingly, the Amplifi only charges an Ipod docked in it when the Amplifi is on; if the Ipod is docked and the Griffin is turned off, no charging. Either Griffin's engineers are idiots, or they decided to save a few pennies in the design. Altec Lansing IM600: Smallest unit, with plastic cabinet and cool fold up dock that also has on / off switch. Has two 2" acoustic suspension drivers, and a separate subwoofer out line that I did not use. Also has video out and line-in ports, plus a decent FM tuner and telescoping antenna. Tons and tons of features in comparison to our other competitors. Plus unit has an internal rechargeable battery which lasts for roughly 7 hours, and an "SFX" stereo expander DSP switch. Altec is honest enough to give the power stats on the unit of 14 watts. Though this is less than either other dock, as stated above the actual volume difference is not reflected in the numbers. Frequency range is not specified, but it seems to go as high as either of the other competitors, with perhaps less bass extension. Front mounted dock that gently leans the Ipod against a reinforced acoustically neutralized spot on the unit so vibrations will not affect the Ipod during playback. IM600 also has a beautiful backlit display which stays lit while the unit is plugged in to AC power. The Altec charges Ipods as long as there is an AC connection, whether or not the Altec is turned on. The IM600 does not charge Ipods when the dock is running on its own rechargeable battery. The remote is also IR like the others in the test, and is somewhere between the Bose and Griffin in terms of range and responsiveness. Remote lets you control SFX mode and access four radio presets. (Though if you lose the remote, you will have no preset control at all, so try not to do that.) Sound: Bose: Excellent deep bass, controlled and accurate, never boomy. Mid-range is emphasized, so guitars and vocals sound especially fine. Treble appears a bit less impressive, but trebly stuff like Vivaldi and Tallis sounds just fine. The Bose sounds better with rock and jazz than with classical, but not dramatically so. The Bose sounds equally good at both low and high end, and the unit can be played at max volume with no distortion, probably due to Bose's manipulation of the source signal. Nevertheless, the Bose sounds very good at all volumes and with virtually any type of music. The Bose can also fill up any small or medium room with sound, and can even be a decent sound system for a reasonably quiet large room. Stereo separation was the best of all three speakers, unimpressive when compared to a formal stereo with speakers a couple of yards apart, but certainly very much a feat from speakers separated from each other by less than a foot. Detail is excellent with many-layered music like works by Nine Inch Nails and Dead Can Dance being expertly and precisely performed. I am no fan of Bose, finding the sound from their home theater systems to be artificial, inaccurate, compromised, pricey, and over-hyped. However, in the case of the SoundDock, with the goal of creating generally acceptable sound from lossy sources, Bose has executed the concept impeccably well. The music as played may not be dead-on accurate, but it is not noticeably deficient and sounds loud, detailed, and clear at any volume. Kind of like McDonald's fries, the SoundDock is by far the jewel in the rather uneven portfolio of Bose equipment. Even if you hate the idea of Bose, or have disliked their other audio products, the SoundDock may well amaze you. Griffin: Bass is about as good as the SoundDock, maybe lower extension, but roughly the same precision and balance. Griffin is to be commended for not going crazy and letting the big 5" woofer run roughshod over the sound of the Amplifi. The big woofer does not make the Amplifi sound better than the Bose at the low end, but on the other hand it doesn't sound worse, and it is also much cheaper. Griffin was not aiming to beat the Bose here, but rather to equal it with a lower price and simpler design. Mid-range is another strong point here, and treble is also a bit lacking, like in the Bose, but not too much so. Classical pieces still sound very good on the Griffin. Where the Amplifi does lose ground to Bose is in the fancy stuff. Stereo separation is non-existent, and detail is nowhere near as precise as on the Bose. This sounds like a big loud mono speaker. Low volumes especially lose a lot of fine subtlety, and distortion is heard at the very highest volumes (though to be fair, no one would really play this unit that loud, as it is probably 100 dB or more.) The acoustically tuned all wood cabinet adds little to the sound signature of the Amplif vis a vis the plastic cabinet of the Bose. The lack of stereo separation, detail, and full clarity throughout all volume ranges is where the added cost of the Bose is most evident and justifiable. Most users will like the Griffin though; it mimics the sound signature of the Bose convincingly, has a retro wood cabinet design, and has at least one important feature that the Bose lacks, a line-in, all of this at a street value of 1/3rd of what the Bose goes for. This will make the Amplif a great solution for most users, especially those on a budget. However, the added price of the Bose does create a noticeably superior sound in at least some aspects. Altec Lansing: The IM600 takes a different path than its rivals, aiming for a more treble oriented sound, with adequate bass and very good mids. The IM600 sounds crisp and detailed, but lacks the low end punch of the Bose or Griffin. The 600 has a separate subwoofer out line and a 3" sub is available separately from Altec Lansing for $50. No idea how it sounds. This is the best of these three units for classical music reproduction, but most music sounds fine on it. Even bass heavy music is more than acceptable for most listeners; you just don't feel the low end as prominently as you do with the other two docks, but depending on your expectations, this may be just fine. Stereo separation is not especially strong on the Altec, to be expected when the drivers are all of 7" apart. The SFX mode is helpful in this regard, and does give some stereo sound effect, and really does not hurt sound reproduction in any way, so I normally leave the effect on. Stereo is far more noticeable than the Griffin, but less pronounced than the Bose. (However, even the Bose offers far less stereo than one might get from properly placed PC satellite speakers, let alone a true home stereo system...) Clarity and detail on the IM600 is excellent, rivaling the Bose in many cases. Brass and drums sound a bit more real and crisp on the Bose, and this plus the better low end will give the nod to the SoundDock over the IM600 for most listeners, unless you listen to nothing but classical. The IM600 distorts a bit at maximum volume, but not terribly so. It sounds as good at low volumes as it does at normal (medium level) settings. Value: Bose: Normally listed at $300 and almost never discounted. The new "portable" SoundDock just came out as of this writing and sells for $400. If Bose can maintain this exceptionally high price for the newer model, SoundDock prices may stay at $300, but if the newer unit needs some price adjustment, the original SoundDock may fall in price (or even be discontinued.). I purchased my Bose as a reconditioned by the factory model for $250 and then caught a sale at the Bose store for an added 10% off, $225 total. I think Bose stores are the only place where you can get the "factory renewed" models for the lower price. Griffin: List of $150, normally seen online at roughly $115-$125. I picked mine up at Circuit City for $100. Altec Lansing: Listed at $150, seen online at $120-$130 average. I got mine from an Amazon vendor for $108. Summary: Bose: Probably not worth $300, the price I paid of $225 feels like about what the SoundDock is worth. The sound is audibly better quality here, though probably not two to three times better than the Griffin or the Altec, which is what the pricing would indicate. The lack of a decent feature set makes the Bose seem like even less of a value. Again though, if style, quality, simplicity, and excellent sound is your goal, and price does not matter that much, the Bose is a fine choice. Special note to all the Bose haters: take a listen to this before lumping it in with such atrocities as the Acoustimass and StereoEverywhere technology. The SoundDock sounds unusually good, does not mangle realism of the sound unpleasantly, and is really the cutting edge of what can be done with reproducing Ipod sound from a small one-piece unit. Griffin: Aims for the SoundDock's sound signature, and generally succeeds. Lacks a bit of polish in both physical and sonic characteristics, but overall is an excellent value. If you want Bose, but can't afford it, the Amplifi will not leave you with many regrets. The wooden cabinet and big bass driver are not utilized very distinctively, but there are no glaring missteps here either. However, if you can afford the SoundDock, the Griffin has no real advantages as its clone philosophy and minimal feature set offer no advantage over Bose except cost. The bigger and better sound of the SoundDock justifies the added cost as long as price is not the main consideration. Altec Lansing: The excellent design, wonderful feature set, and portability of this unit distinguishes and separates it from the other two. Sound is generally well done, crisp and appealing, and the treble emphasis gives the Altec its own sonic niche. The power difference in watts is not really noticeable except if you are trying to fill up a big room with sound, and why would you be doing that with a wee tiny Ipod dock anyway? Most users will be very happy with the IM600's sound and the quality FM tuner is just the icing on the cake. If you are on a budget, I would say get the Altec as it sells for roughly the same price as the Amplifi, and has many more features including portability. The IM600 has somewhat less bass than the Griffin, but better stereo sound and detail clarity. Big sound/Big price5 The Bose SoundDock is as advertised. I compared it with a number of other speaker systems, and it was hands down the clearest sound of any, and it will fill any room in your house. The one that came closest was the Apple hifi system. It actually builds in a sub-woofer which does give it more bass response. However, unless you listen to a lot of hip-hop or techno, I think the overall sound of the Bose is superior. The size makes it easy to place in any room, (I use mine in the kitchen) but it has enough weight that I don't feel like it will fall over with an accidental bump. (a good thing for me!) Obviously, the price is pretty high. However, I have been impressed with Bose for years (I have an Acoustic Wave Machine from 1989 that still works great), and if rich, clear, true sound if important to you then I would go with the SoundDock.