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With the Groov-e i speaker dock 30 I'd first like to comment on how stylish it looks. The picture of the dock really does not do the dock any justice once seen in the flesh, or plastic as it were. It even fits well in my not so modern home where I can choose to make it a centre piece or more of a back step. The dock is easy to unpack and can instantly be used. The long lead is very useful when being placed on a higher shelf with sockets placed nearer to the floor. The dock is also very easy to operate with a clear on/off button and volume control.
I was a little dubious about how well or different the sound quality was going to be compared to just using my iphone but I can tell it is different, for the better. The sound quality is much clearer using the dock and as a bonus it charges my iphone as well. My iphone has an operating system of 3.0, I don't think the dock would be able to be used with a lower operating system but this would have to be check by the user.
Another comment I want to say is how robust it is. My daughter accidently knocked the dock off the shelf but thankfully it wasn't chipped or damaged in anyway, it still worked and still works perfectly.
There is also an app offered with the option to download with the dock but personally I don't feel its necessary. Personally as I just use the dock for music and a charger the app does not apply to me.
Last year I bought myself a lightweight portable docking station and speaker system for my iPod, it wasn't expensive but it did the job and served me well for a few months until I managed to knock it off the shelf it was sat on and it ended up in a few useless pieces on my floor. Oops. I'm a big fan of music and tend to have it playing during the day but rather than making do with playing my songs through iTunes on my computer I decided that I should invest in a docking station that was a little more robust and stylish and in the end I settled for the subject of this review, the Groov-e i-Speaker dock model number GVSP828.
What is it?
The i-Speaker dock is a stereo speaker system suitable for all MP3 players including those made by Apple, I bought mine specifically for my iPod and iPhone and as well being a speaker system it also acts as a charger too. It's mains run, comes complete with a long cable and arrives neatly packaged in a well protected cardboard box. I like it's design, glossy black in appearance with smoothly rounded edges the speaker section runs across the whole front of its body and in the centre are the volume controls and on/off switch. My iPod sits in the central part of the speaker on the docking station itself and once in place it is held firmly without wobbles and does feel safe and secure. The system is not particularly heavy but because it's quite squat in design it sits nicely on my desk where I have mine and I like the modern, sleek look it adds to my room.
The player supports iPhones with operating systems 3.0 and later and there is a free App which you can download from iTunes which supposedly turns your iPhone into an alarm clock although this isn't without its faults as I will come to later. I didn't buy my system to have in my bedroom so this function isn't relevant to me although due to the speakers size it would fit nicely on a bedside cabinet and would fit in well with any modern bedroom. The system has an FM radio built in which is controlled by the buttons on front of the speakers but again I don't use this function as I specifically use mine for playing the songs and albums on my iPod and iPhone. I have tuned in a few radio stations just to see what they're like for the purpose of this review and have no complaints about them here, the Groov-e finds and holds them without distortion or crackles and I'm sure this would be a handy function for some people if they like listening to the radio.
The speakers have an 8 watt output which is more than loud enough for me and even if I want to crank up the volume to high I've never noticed any loss of sound quality or audible distortions, you can't adjust the treble or bass though as there isn't a settings control but I don't see this as being a problem as I simply want to listen to the songs on my MP3 player and don't feel the need to adjust the settings. It's straightforward to use, you simply connect your iPhone or iPod to the docking station and turn on the speakers from the on/off button. This then activates your MP3 player and using the onscreen controls of your device you simply scroll through to the songs you want to hear and press 'play' it really is as easy as that. It's non-complicated design and operation appeals to me, aesthetically I like how it looks and it bangs out my music at a volume that I can control whilst charging either my iPod or iPhone.
It's not without it's drawbacks though unfortunately and having owned and used mine for a number of months now I've become aware of a problem which is rather annoying. The main problem as I briefly mentioned earlier in this review is with the App that Groov-e produced to go with this system and simply put this just doesn't work as it's supposed to or how they said it would. The app is supposed to turn your iPhone into an alarm clock and should allow you to select from a number of different 'natural sounds' to be woken up to on a morning, except for some unknown reason it doesn't. The app downloads without problem and looks quite fancy but for some reason it just doesn't do what it was designed to do and there have been a number of complaints written on amazon's website which all say the same thing. As already mentioned this isn't a problem for me as I didn't buy my system for my bedroom but at the time of my purchase it was promoted with this app and I do think that it misled quite a few buyers and understandably this has been a contentious issue for some. I suspect the app just needs an update to make it functional but 3 months since my purchase this has not happened yet and I would strongly dissuade anyone from buying this system if they think its going to replace a bedroom alarm clock as you will end up feeling very disappointed.
Having said that, if you're looking for a docking system that is well made and has great speakers then there's little to complain about with this model. It is easy to use, has a modern design and looks and feels of very good quality. It's not terribly expensive compared to some similar models either, I paid a little under £40.00 for mine from amazon and it currently retails there for just over £45.00 at the moment so the price does obviously fluctuate, I would suggest that you buy this with the knowledge that the app doesn't seem to be functional at the moment and if you buy this simply for the charging docking station and speakers then I don't think you'd have too many concerns.
As a rating I think 4 stars is fair, it's not perfect as discussed in this review but it's still an impressive system that is well worth the money, thanks for reading my review.