Minimal iPod dock with massive sound
This white oblong is the Swiss company’s latest and littlest member of the boxy Geneva family and an object lesson in minimal design. It’s also a surprisingly potent sound system for your Apple iPod or Apple iPhone 4 with an FM radio built in and it’s own jog wheel to control your tunes.
Like the original and much larger Geneva L (Model S is the smallest, XL the largest and M is somewhere in the middle) it’s a perfectly smooth rectangular cabinet finished in a high gloss lacquer that’s available in white or red. The illuminated touch-sensitive buttons and motorised iPod port only become apparent when you switch it on. When you pluck your iPod from the dock, the cover rolls back over to protect the connector and switches over to the FM radio automatically.
Beneath the lustrous pearl white surface is a solidly built MDF cabinet containing two three-inch full-range drivers powered by a 2x15W Class D digital amplifier. It’s a sturdy box that’s braced for rigidity to reduce unwanted vibrations.
You can prise off the convex metal grill to see the drive units, but it looks a lot better with it on. This speaker array looks modest, but don’t under estimate Geneva’s vivacious iPod hi-fi. It produces the kind of full-bodied basslines that only improve as you dial up the volume. Even at full tilt, the treble is smooth and insightful and the mid-band delightfully expressive, while the bass is downright boisterous. In short, it’s the perfect tonal balance for dance music. Warm, smooth and engaging.
With the two speakers positioned right next to each other in this way, it’s difficult to create the stereo image of hi-fi separates, but the projection is such that this doesn’t pose too much of a problem. The sound leaps from this unit, refreshing parts of the room, most iPod docks can’t reach.
There are few additional features, but you do get an FM tuner with presets and 3.5mm Aux input for any non-Apple devices you might own. What it does have instead is a very sophisticated and intuitive menu, which is essentially a click wheel inspired by the original iPod.
If you prefer a DAB tuner over FM, Geneva will sell you the rather more expensive Model S variant for £400, which is the same in all other respects.
The Geneva scores full marks for design, but this is no case of style over substance. Its natural tone and bouncing bass are just as hard to resist.
Avaialable now, find out more at GenevaLab