Product Type: Amethyst digital audio accessories
Newest Review: ... feature even when it's not in use and the sound quality is fantastic. I wasn't expecting much for such a low price but it really resonate... more
Stop hogging my ipod dock!
Amethyst iPig iPod Speaker Dock
Member Name: magenta23
Amethyst iPig iPod Speaker Dock
Advantages: Sound quality, design, price, durability
Disadvantages: Tiny remote keeps hiding!
The ipig is made by Amethyst and costs around £40-£50, depending on where you shop. You can also pick them up second hand or refurbished on ebay and Amazon for between £30 and £40. I think it is as popular as when it came out, as I haven't noticed the price drop very much, though I think it's reasonable to begin with.
The ipig is about the size of a small football and has little legs which enables it to sit safely and securely on a table top. As you can see, it's designed to look like a pig complete with two front speakers as eyes, ears at the top, little piggy nose and a mouth which lights up green when the speaker is on. I cannot fault the look of this unique little speaker. It comes in a variety of colours - black, white, red, pink and yellow. There is also a black and white panda version. My ipod, unsurprisingly is purple, but as the ipig does not come in a matching colour I got a white one, white goes with everything and matches the white controls on my ipod. After over a year there is no discolouration, and he's as bright white as the day he came out the box! All I do to clean him is give him a wipe over once in a while to give him a dust.
The Geek Bit
I am by no means technically minded so I shall list the spec of the speaker for those of you that are here, though I am unable to translate some of it!
Compatible with all ipod models
Humanized Touch Volume Control
RF Remote Control
Adjustable Bass Control
5 speakers including a 4 in subwoofer
Super Hi-Fi Amplifier
Interior dynamic airflow optimizer
Interior dynamic cooling exchange system
High sound stabilization
Power Output 25 Watts
Subwoofer 15 Watts
Audio 5 x Speakers
Connectivity 3.5 mm AUX input jack
Frequency Response 60Hz - 20KHz
Power Voltage AC 110V-240V @ 50/60 Hz
Ease of Use
The dock couldn't be easier to set up. Mains adaptor into the back, plug into the wall, switch on. Even I can manage that! The dock is not designed to be portable and is mains only powered, no battery option.
There are a few size cradles to attach to the top to make it compatible with your ipod. It claims to be compatible with all, though obviously I haven't tried all! I have a 4th Generation ipod nano which it works fine with. I recently had a friend round who had an old classic, but I had misplaced my other cradles and it did not fit into the same one as the nano so make sure you keep hold of them!
You can use this speaker with a whole host of devices using a standard jack to jack lead which we used in the end to attach the classic. I won't charge like it does with the dock at the top but plays just the same. This is the only way you would be able to use an ipod shuffle with this speaker. So whilst it says it's compatible with all ipods it will not charge a shuffle due to the different connector.
I have also used the speaker via the jack lead to enhance the sound from my laptop and it's brilliant to use when watching films on my laptop. As I'll go into more detail in a minute, the sound is exceptional.
You can use the controls on your ipod to choose the music you want to listen to and then pop the ipod in the dock, however you can't get to the controls on the actual ipod once the device is on the dock and there are no controls on the actual speaker unit apart from volume. The volume controls are the pigs ears, which are touch sensitive. Hit one to increase and the other to decrease. I think this is a very cute feature and witty (ears to control the volume!) However, at times they are a little temperamental and you have to hit them fairly hard!
The rest of the controlling is done via the minuscule little remote which is so small and flat is powered by a watch battery! The only way I can describe the buttons is like small bubbles on the surface. It does all the things you'd expect, skip, fast forward, rewind, volume control and on/off as well as up and down buttons to navigate the ipod menus, however it's a little flimsy considering the sturdy quality of the main unit. It's still working fine however, but I can't see it lasting the life of the main speaker and I don't know how easy it would be to get a replacement.
The remote control only controls an ipod that is in the dock, and not a device plugged in using the audio jack, however you can use the devices controls as normal if it's plugged into the speaker this way.
There are five speakers in total on the unit, all cleverly placed to fit in with the design whilst achieving maximum impact. As I mentioned, there are two at the front which act as eyes, two on the top, under the 'ear' controls and a large one on the base.
I was blown away by just how good the sound is on this little ipod dock. Often with products such as these, it's style over substance and I thought the cuteness may come at the expense of poor quality. Thankfully this is not the case.
My flat is fairly little however I use the speaker at a fraction of it's full volume and it fills the place with music. Even at close to maximum volume there is no disintegration in the quality of sound which is impressive.
As I've mentioned I've had this little guy for a while now and I wouldn't be without him. I use it every day and it's looks and works as well as the day it came out the box, even that dinky little remote, and the battery in that is still going too! As is usually the reverse with a lot of items, I use it more and more all the time, using it with lots of devices whenever I want a bit more volume! It's also so simple to set up and small enough to transport that I can take him form one room to another with no hassle.
This is a great ipod speaker at a fantastic price. The design is quirky and fun, and the quality of sound is not compromised. It may not be made by a leading brand, but it does just as good job. Top marks.
Summary: Fantastic sound and a design that won't BOAR you!