iLuv has done well to hit this price point with a neat, if slightly oddly shaped iPad dock. The glossy finish looks smart enough and lurking behind the fabric grills are two-way speakers powered by iLuv’s apparently sound-enhancing jAura Soundcell technology. It also offers your docked iPad the rare ability to sync with a computer while you continue to groove to your playlist.
It’s not until you lift this lightweight dock from its box that you’re reminded of the slightly restrictive price point. It’s clearly built to a tight budget and destined for the bedside table rather than providing the beats at your next house party.
The iLuv iMM747 is light on features too, with no display of its own and only a minijack and mini USB port for adding further devices. We didn’t really expect Bluetooth connectivity at this level, but a remote control would have been nice.
What you do get is a tidy place to park your iPad with a pair of speakers suspended on the left and right with radiating subwoofers. The 15W power rating isn’t going to blow the doors off, but you do get a surprisingly crisp and coherent sound from the tiny speakers. The JAura Soundcell technology does seem to bring a little more dynamism and clarity to the proceedings. It’s certainly a gigantic improvement on the iPad’s internal speakers.
The brochure talks of “chest-thumping bass”, but alas, we couldn’t feel it. When it comes to basslines, the feeble speakers flatly refuse to play ball preferring instead to tap out the beat in a polite, but lack-luster way. It’s better than rattling with distortion in the attempt as some poorly designed docks will do.
The clear tone is pleasantly musical at moderate volume and a great way to open up the music on your iPad. But it also suits the spoken word too, so web radio stations sound very distinct and the dialogue within film soundtracks always comes across clearly.
As the dock has few electronics of its own, it at least takes full advantage of your iPad’s talents, so if you download the right third party apps, you can turn it into an effective alarm clock radio or desktop TV. Using the minijack or USB ports, it could also boost the sound from your PC.
This is a dock that knows its limits and if you don’t demand too much, it will deliver a musical performance from your playlists and a clear tone with radio and TV soundtracks, so we’re happy to recommend it at this very reasonable price point.
iLuv iMM747i launch date: Out now, link iLuv
iLuv iMM747i price: Around £89