“ Brand: TechNet / Type: iPod speakers / Docking station „
When I first started my teaching job last September I was amazed by how far technology had come since I was in primary school - long gone are blackboards and that fear of wearing black in case you got covered in chalk dust, instead they've been replaced by interactive whiteboards and all sorts of other technological advancements. Or so I thought until I went to investigate what I had in terms of equipment to play music on and found... a tape player that had been purchased in 1991! I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw the bright blue archaic model sat on a shelf (covered in dust and very much looking like it hadn't been touched since 1991) and slowly despair set in as I realised I didn't even own a single tape!
Luckily help was at hand in form of the music budget for the school and I was able to order a more modern replacement, although the head teacher did ask me if I thought it was worth keeping the tape player in case they ever came back into fashion?! Yes maybe a museum would want it but I couldn't see anyone else that would consider it fashionable to own one ever again really! As most of my music was on my ipod and most of the classroom music and songs I wanted to use were either saved on my computer or on CDs I decided to opt for an ipod docking station and speakers as I felt I would get more use out of this overall. I decided to get on Amazon and start searching... once again without a clue as to what I was after...
My first suggestion for an ipod speaker that cost around £150 was rejected strangely enough... however in my defence it did light up in different colours according to the mood you wanted to create which I thought may be very useful but apparently it wasn't considered a necessity. Instead I ended up purchasing TechNet AD-05 Ipod Portable Speaker and Dock as it was within my budget and it offered everything I wanted at one of the best prices. It's currently priced at just £12.49 on Amazon (quite a difference in price to my original choice) although it can be bought directly on the TechNet website for £9.39 including VAT (and postage is an additional £1.20). I've not actually seen this model in high street stores.
The product arrived in a green and white cuboid shaped box that was actually a lot smaller than I was expecting! Inside the ipod station was wrapped in plastic and had white foam supports to keep it in place during shipping. The docking station comes in black, fuchsia pink and silver - I opted for black as I thought it looked the smartest and it was the least likely to show up stains (this is a common worry when purchasing items for my classroom). It's 20cm in length, six cm in depth and six cm in width - overall it's really quite small and is superb for storing away in a cupboard as it really doesn't take up much room at all. It's also shaped like a cylinder which means it's quite unusual in terms of its design which I really like.
The product weighs around 200g which means it's also incredibly lightweight - I couldn't have anything really heavy in case it fell on a child and injured them (yet another hazard - it's a wonder classrooms have any furniture at all)! Overall the size and weight mean it's ideal for carrying around too - a really sleek and stylish model. The base has a docking station in the middle which is where you need to insert your ipod - it supports the ipod mini, the ipod nano (all generations), the ipod video, the ipod classic and the ipod touch (all generations) so is pretty much universal in terms of which models it can be used with. However it does not support any of the iphone models which is stated very clearly on the Amazon page.
The speakers are really easy to use, simply insert your ipod into the dock and ensure the silver socket is inserted into the base of your ipod. Once you've done that you select and play your music as you normally would, using the actual controls on your ipod. The only thing that you can control from the speakers is the volume which is controlled by two small silver buttons. The volume range is really good; it can go ever so quiet to loud enough to be heard over a class of thirty four children (which is arguably the same volume you could expect in a really wild house party)! The sound is really clear as well, there's no muffling or distortion even when you do increase the volume dramatically and the base is excellent too.
Now the only downside to the speakers that I've come across is the fact that it doesn't come with a power adapter. It can be powered using four AAA batteries or alternatively you can purchase a power adaptor separately, It does state that you can use the original ipod AC adaptor if you wish to or it recommends that you actually purchase a TechNet C009 Power adaptor to protect your ipod against any safety issues... needless to say these aren't a complete bargain and are priced at around £7.99. So unless you wish to rely on battery power and the possibility that your batteries could run out at any time, you will have to spend a bit more on purchasing either an ipod AC adaptor or the TechNet one.
So to sum up the advantages of the TechNet AD-05 Ipod Portable Speaker... well it's portable size means it's really easy to carry around and to store, it's very reasonably priced, it plays music really clearly with no distortion even at high volumes and (most importantly in my situation) it's very reliable - mine has been dropped, stood on, covered in chalk and yet it still works! The only disadvantage is the fact that it doesn't come with a power adaptor so unfortunately I am taking one star away due to the inconvenience of having to purchase one separately. However on the whole I would thoroughly recommend the TechNet AD-05 Ipod Portable Speaker as it's been a great asset to my classroom.
Thanks for reading.