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70 of 75 found the following review helpful:
Strong Competitor To Other Speaker Docks, But Not PerfectNov 23, 2009
By Jeff Kraus
It seems that iPod/iPhone speaker docks are a hot item, and every company that has ever produced a magnet has decided to jump on the bandwagon. Of course, the competition is great for consumers. But a unit like this can be difficult to judge without actually playing with it. I have to admit, the concept of a motorized dock that rotates my iPhone for video viewing like some contraption out of 2001: A Space Odyssey was intriguing to me. And the price isn't that much more than a normal non-rotating speaker dock.
Well, as so often happens with those daydreams of having the outright COOLEST (fill in the blank) EVER MADE, reality fell pretty far short. Not that this is a bad dock necessarily, but...
Okay, let's talk about it.
===== Appearance =====
It's a pretty slick looking box, no doubt about it. The blue LED ring is noticeable but not distracting, and the face has clean lines and a high-tech minimalist feel. When rotated to movie viewing mode, the LED ring fades to white. The LED ring light is defeatable via one of the buttons. There are 5 low-profile buttons on top and a power jack on the back, along with a line in jack.
The manufacturer's photos are deceiving -- they did a good job making the unit look thin, but this is not the case. It's several inches deep, which is a mixed blessing. You might be disappointed in its size after looking at the photos, but the depth of the unit does allow Philips to utilize the space for improved bass performance.
Finally, the piece that the phone/iPod attaches to sticks out a bit more than the product photos suggest. It's not as deceiving as the depth, but worth a mention.
Speaking of the dock portion...
===== Motorized Dock =====
Some people are going to want to buy this unit for this feature. And I'll admit, it does have a certain 'cool' factor to it. The motor is fast, smooth and quiet, and the effect is pretty neat when combined with the LED ring fading from blue to white.
Sadly, it's just not worth anything in real-world terms. It's cool that you can use the remote to rotate the screen, but.... Question: What are you NOT doing if you're far enough away to be using the remote? Answer: Watching a video on your iPhone. Nobody watches a video on their iPod/iPhone from 4 or more feet away. With a light press on the motorized dock, it will swing one way or the other for you, without the need for the remote. So, it may be useful if you're holding the speaker dock in your arms and watching a video. But then, it's just too bulky to be comfortable for that purpose, like holding a small baby (albeit less squishy). I'd rather just use headphones, or *gasp* the built-in iPhone speaker just for the convenience factor.
The unit will charge your iPod/iPhone, as long as its plugged into the wall. I didn't think it did at first, because the first time I plugged my iPod in it didn't charge. Every time after that, though, it did charge. I'm not quite sure why that happened, but it seems I'm not the only one that happened to.
===== Remote =====
The remote is pretty nice, much more solid than some others and with an attractive gloss black finish. It has the standard buttons, plus a bass boost toggle button and the rotate button. It takes a CR2032 battery, and while it's not as thin as the remote for the Altec Lansing iMT620 inMotion Classic Portable iPod Dock with Rechargeable Battery and FM Tuner, there is still a port in the back for storing the remote. Although, the only thing holding the remote in there is a rather weak magnet. I haven't had it fall out yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.
===== Sound Quality =====
This is the big thing, isn't it? It doesn't matter how many cool gadgets they cram into one of these things, if it sounds like Colin Meloy is singing from the bottom of a well, the dock fails to serve its primary purpose. Well in this case, it's a mixed bag. The low frequency output is pretty outstanding -- certainly better than the aforementioned Altec Lansing iMT620. Of course, this is to be expected, since the Altec Lansing is actually as thin as they claim (roughly a third the depth of this Philips unit). Mid-range and high frequencies, however, are far better on the Altec Lansing. But keep in mind that I compared them side by side to notice this. When I first took the Philips out of the box, I played it by itself without any reference and it sounded great to me. Additionally, I believe the Philips has better sound when you're listening from a distance. When the unit is farther away from me, it has the power needed to push the sound to wherever I am. The Altec Lansing can do this, but the sound starts to get a bit tinny and thin at a distance.
===== Features =====
The features are all pretty much as stated above, but I want to give an example of what you are (or are not) getting for the money. Again, I will use the Altec Lansing for comparison since I have one sitting right here.
Altec Lansing iMT620: Current price is about $40 less than the Philips dock. Includes an FM tuner with telescoping antenna, a backlit LCD display (mostly useless but shows your volume level which is nice), has (in my opinion) superior sound quality, has a much smaller footprint, and has a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts for several hours of constant use. The port feels more flimsy, like it would be easy to break with the iPhone/iPod merely "balanced" on its port with no other support.
Philips Revolution: More expensive, no radio functionality, no display, takes up more space, and requires 8 AA batteries if you don't have a place to plug it in. But it does have a motorized dock that you'll never use. Has a 'cradle' that the iPhone/iPod slides into, making it feel much more sturdy feeling than the Altec Lansing. The cradle comes with several different attachments for different sizes of iPod, so you're sure to have one that fits.
===== Documentation =====
Ha! What documentation?! It's actually pretty funny. The "instruction manual" is a folded piece of paper with pictures on it. They are mainly two-frame cartoons, in the pattern:
Frame 1: Finger next to a button
Frame 2: "Sound" lines come out of the dock.
That finger in each first frame points at a different button each time, but all they ever do is make lines come out of the dock. It's comical, and I guess you get the idea. You really probably don't need instructions for something this simple anyway. But if you buy this dock, definitely check out the documentation. Then consider how much the technical writers over at Philips probably get paid to do their jobs.
===== Conclusion =====
I don't dislike this dock, but I'm not in love with it. The motor feature that seems to be the major selling point is questionable in its usefulness, and there are other smaller units with more features for less money. On the other hand, if you really want to watch videos on your iPhone in landscape format and you have to use a portable speaker dock and you don't mind supplying it with enough AA batteries to power the city of Cleveland for two days and you don't mind having to cradle something the size of a loaf of bread in your arms to do it, then this dock may be for you.
Okay, the color-fading LED ring is more fun than it should be. So it's got that too.
12 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Good looking product, sound quality not the bestNov 20, 2009
I just received this product to review and it looks great. It's pretty minimal looking with few buttons on top and nothing but the docking piece for the ipod/iphone in the front. The remote control can also control the ipod with menu, up, down, etc which is helpful. The motorized cradle is a neat idea and works well, changing the display on the ipod touch or iphone. Where I was not really blown away was the sound quality. I was expecting something better from Philips. When using the bass option, the sound is "muffled" and it doesn't really improve to use that option. Don't get me wrong the sound is not awful, I guess you get what you paid for. I do like the fact that you can run the speakers off batteries and the handles are great to carry it. Hope this will help you make a decision.
15 of 16 found the following review helpful:
A Home Speaker Dock That Realizes I Watch VideoDec 22, 2009
By P. Colin McGraw
"AV, Computer & EnviroTech Nut"
Of late, the iPod Classic is fading while the iPhone and iPod Touch take control of the market. I know that's the case for my household which now has an iPhone for me and my wife and no "classic" anymore.
One of the joys of the new players, of course, is that they not only play music but act as a pretty awesome pint-sized video player. Our two toddlers love that capability and consequently our iPhones get used for video rather than music more often than not. Interestingly, however, most iPod Docks still seem based around the idea of the "classic" model: where you have an upright iPod simply playing music.
The Philips Revolution makes no such assumption, and has a neat, remote controlled capability to shift your iPod/iPhone to a horizontal position. This means that, among other uses, the Revolution is great for watching movies using more than just the iPhone's relatively wimpy built-in speaker. Granted most of the time you'll want to watch iTunes content on your TV via an Apple TV, but such a solution isn't portable and, for us, the TV room is also Dad's office, so the kids are upstairs during the day.
The Revolution lets us show the kids video upstairs with loud enough volume that both of them can hear fine, but is also powerful enough to act as a pretty decent room-filling speaker for when my wife wants to listen to tunes during the day. Additionally, since it's optionally battery powered and has handles on the sides, we can take it with us on road trips and let the kids watch the movie at a volume that can overcome road noise.
For our needs, we'd also consider a less powerful more portable solution like the Philips Rock-n-Roll Speaker Dock, but it's nice to have something that can also be a worthy iPod speaker for a whole room as well, and for that, the Revolution is great!
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
Good Value if You Get a SaleMay 18, 2011
I was looking for something with good sound that would also charge my iPod Touch 4G, and I didn't need or want an alarm clock and/or radio. I saw this on sale at my local Big Lots (sorry Amazon) for $49.99 so I picked one up. The outside of the box lists the units it's compatible with, and the Touch 4G is not included. However, being the store is nearby and it's an easy return, I took a chance. After unboxing I found a small assortment of plastic brackets for securing your phone or iPod after making the dock connection. They're marked for different units and are different sizes. None of these brackets fit the Touch 4G. Except for one small one the rest are too wide. I considered using one of them anyway, as the iPod can just rest against it. But I put the iPod in a slider case and used the bracket marked iPhone 3G and it snapped into place perfectly. The only caveat is that the bottom of the slider case has to be removed or you can't insert the docking fitting. Not a big deal.
The sound.....I'm not an audiophile but I think it has very good sound. Plenty of volume (at least for me) to fill my 20x20 den. On the negative side the bass boost does nothing in my opinion. Others have said that as well and if they hadn't I'd have thought it was defective. However the sound is good enough without it.
At first I thought the rotating feature was just a marketing gimmick, but I find myself using it to watch an occasional video. I keep the speakers on a table next to my recliner so it's not too far from me for good viewing (about 3 feet). There's a lighted ring that glows blue when the iPod is vertical and turns white when rotated to landscape mode. That's not important to me at all and it can be turned off by pressing a button on the unit. But I find it useful in letting me know if the speakers are powered on or not.
My only nit is the remote. As some others have said, you can't turn the unit on or off with it. I feel that's a mistake on Philip's part. Also, the sensitivity could be better. If you move more than 5 or 6 feet away, the response becomes iffy.
There are probably better choices in the $80.00 and up range this is usually in, but if you can get a sale price of $50.00 or so there's nothing as good as this at this price point.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
A fun portable "boombox" for your iThingDec 26, 2009
By Joseph Spiegel
Philips Revolution Motorized Portable Speaker Dock for iPhone/iPod
There are a lot of iPod nano/Touch/iPhone docks on the market. Does this one stand out or hide in a corner. Well, it's a little of both but overall it's good.
The good, it's portable, it can rotate the iThing, and sounds pretty good. It's designed to be an on the go dock and it does that by being able to run on batteries. I think it's a little big but that helps the sound so it's a trade. When you are connected to A/C it can charge the iThing attached while playing music. That's a very good thing as some docks don't and that'll run the battery of your player down. The trade off on the size is the sound has some good punch to it. The large speakers and rear porting really have a nice effect on the music. It has a decent tone and some kick. I liked it! You can easily play with the EQ settings on the iThing to fine tune the sound to your preference. I like the rotating dock as I have the SlingPlayer on my iPhone 3G and can turn this into a portable TV. That works great in landscape mode. The included remote, which feels really cheap, works well for music/playlist browsing. You will still need to use the touch controls for most apps. Not really a problem just a notation. It works perfectly when receiving a call on the iPhone. The music fades the phone rings and you can answer the call, you need to press "speaker" on the iPhone to hear your call better as it doesn't send the sound to the Philips' speakers. Other than not turning it into a big speaker/phone it works well. If you ignore the call the music picks up where it left off.
The bad side really isn't that bad. I mentioned it's big, and that's a trade for big sound. I like the rotating dock but the added motor while increasing the "cool" factor also increases the weight. It would have been fine for me to turn the mount and save the weight!! The blue light ring is cool for a while but can easily be turned off with a button, but it's only on the top of the player not the remote. I did get the mysterious error on the iPhone that this device isn't compatible but I ignore it and go on. I think that's more a fault of the iPhone than the Philips dock. I get that error on other devices that plug into the iPhone docking plug.
On the whole for this price point (aprox $150) it's a more than decent choice. The Philips is a solid four star performer and a fun choice. I really liked it and can heartily recommend it.
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