Sony RDP-X80iP review

Full review: Stylish battery-powered iPod speaker dock

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Park your 'Pod in Sony's simple but stylish speaker dock

Sony’s portable speaker dock comes equipped with a rechargeable battery offering up to seven hours of playback, which makes it suitable for use anywhere in the house, be it kitchen, bedroom and study or even while you’re out and about.

The X80iP’s backward sloping design is a stylish touch and its slim dimensions won’t take up much space on your tabletop. The front panel is one big grille, behind which lies two 7.5cm speakers (20W each) and tucked into the bottom is the iPod/iPhone dock, which drops down when you need it.

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Along the very top is a row of indented buttons for controlling the various functions, and just above the speaker sits an OLED panel showing the currently selected key info. The use of OLED means it shines brighter and uses less energy than regular LED displays.

Sony RDP-X80iP – Features

On board are five EQ modes, which include Rock, Pop, Jazz, Vocal and Pop but sadly no Industrial Death Techno setting. There’s just one socket to speak of – a 3.5mm audio minijack for non-Apple MP3 players – but there are no headphone or USB ports, which is slightly galling at this price. However, you do get a credit-card sized remote that provides full control over the iPod and boasts a simple, thoughtful button layout.

The Sony RDP-X80iP is incredibly easy to use too – all of the buttons along the top are self explanatory and every thing you need is in the box apart from the iPod of course. But that’s because it’s a very straightforward unit, with no other functions besides iPod playback, which made us wonder whether it should offer a little bit more for the money, such as a radio tuner or PC streaming.

Sony RDP-X80iP – Performance

The Sony’s sound quality is fabulous. Coldplay’s Parachutes is reproduced with hearty bass tones and crisp, tuneful guitar licks, while Chris Martin’s voice is clear and full of body. Try turning it up loud and it copes well at high volumes, filling the room with sound and steadfastly refusing to distort.

So on the whole the RDP-X80iP is a terrific iPod speaker dock with much better sound quality than you’d expect from such a slim, unassuming unit. The rechargeable battery gives you a little bit of flexibility with regards to placement, but we can’t help feeling that for £220 you deserve a few more features for your money, such as a USB port or DAB/FM tuner.

The Sony RDP-X80iP is out now, find out more from Sony

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SPECIFICATIONS
POWER: 2x 20Watt
DISPLAY: OLED
CONNECTIONS: Dock, Aux in
BATTERY: 7 hours
DIMENSIONS/WEIGHT: 356x119x163mm/1.9kg

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