I have had a Bose ipod dock for some time which I love but I wanted something that gave me the option of also listening to my CD's which although I don't listen to very often I have a large collection and occasionally get in the mood to listen to an album that I haven't heard in a while. I could just import them to my ipod/phone but because my collection is so large I don't really want it cluttering up either my phone or my ipod so I find it just easier to dig out the CD. My main requirements were that it shouldn't cost the earth and that it should be portable and good looking as I was planning on keeping it in full view on my kitchen work top.
I finally settled on the Philips AZD208 as it seemed to fulfil all my requirements and it was by Philips so I thought that it would be well made and sturdy. It cost me £64.99 which for an ipod dock with CD playing capabilities from a major brand seemed like an excellent price.
The system is quite a nice looking one and I thought it looked just as good as some of the more expensive ones that are available. Even though it incorporates a CD player it isn't massively bulky (but don't be expecting it to be ultra thin either as it does have the CD player part remember) and is still quite neat and sleek looking. It is also light enough to not feel like a chore when you carry it to a different room which does make it feel ultra-portable. The downside of it being light is that it is light because of the cheap plastics used in its construction and it doesn't feel as sturdy as I had imagined it would.
What does somewhat spoil its sleek modern looks is the fact that it has several controls which are all places on the top of the unit. I feel it would have been much better if the controls had been electronic rather than knobs and buttons. Other than solely for looks the addition of knobs and buttons instead of a digital display only really mattered to me when it came to using the radio on the unit as this all had to be done manually by turning the knob until you got to the right station. As the reception through the radio on the unit wasn't particularly good I only did this once or twice before sticking to my DAB radio when I wanted to listen to the radio.
With the exception of the radio being useless, playing CD's or my ipod was an easy experience. Setting up the unit was basically just a case of plugging it in and it was ready to go. The unit's speakers have an output of 1.5 watts which doesn't seem like a lot but in use it is surprisingly loud for such a small dock. The sound is quite rich and has a good rich bass to it. It isn't really going to be suitable for people who are looking for something which will double up as a main speaker system but for casual music listening it is more than adequate enough.
One of the best things about this docking system other than it being able to play CD's was that is also has 3.5mm audio link meaning that you can play music from nearly every other kind of mp3 player out there including music from your phone which to be honest I ended up doing more than using the ipod docking part.
Like nearly all other ipod docking stations out there this one will also charge your ipod too when it is docked and playing music. This is a handy feature but isn't something new or different for these types of units. As well as using it from the mains it can also be made portable by putting some batteries in it. I tried this once when I was having a bbq and it literally only lasted a couple of hours before the batteries died so this isn't something I would recommend doing.
I really quite liked this docking station and thought it was good for the money, however I did have a pretty major problem with the unit which means that I can't end up recommending it even though it has a lot going for it. The docking part just wasn't sturdy enough and ended up breaking even though I don't think I was ever overly rough with placing my ipod in it. It ended up snapping which made it pretty much obsolete as an ipod docking system. If I had been rough when putting it in then I could understand but I was always really careful more because I was worried my ipod might get damaged rather than the unit so when it snapped I was really surprised and annoyed which made me feel the whole unit was just made with shoddy construction.
Because of the problems I had with the docking part breaking I wouldn't recommend this which is a shame considering there were other parts of it which I really liked.