Cyber Acoustics is a brand that has been around for some time in the PC audio market and in the past was only really satisfactory for the less discerning user. Creating the Acoustic Authority brand has enabled the company to move away from that low rent association and start afresh. At the same time, the iPod has provided a great opportunity for many speaker manufacturers, and almost all have been falling over themselves to produce sets that cater for the modern musical wonder.
So far, Acoustic Authority has impressed us not once, but twice with its iPod speaker dock set, which not only did well in a stand alone review, but also put in a group-test winning performance when up against three other similar rivals. Can the A-211s keep up this good run?
The set is essentially a standard sub-sat system with the addition of an iPod dock. It’s also available in white as the A-210s so you can tailor it to match your iPod colour of choice.
The A-211’s satellites are fully shielded which is a clue that there are intended as PC speakers rather than dedicated Hi-Fi set. One might wonder what the point of the dock is, as all the music on your iPod is likely to be on the PC the speakers are attached to. However, it does mean that you can play your iPod music without having to turn on your PC.
Speakers dock converters are included in the box enabling you to snugly fit any iPod from the third gen model onwards. Of course the iPod shuffle doesn’t have a dock connector so to cater for it, or indeed any other audio source, there’s an auxiliary input at the rear of the dock.
By the way, the pictures are a tad misleading as no cables are visible. Rest assured they’ve are plenty of cables and it can get a bit tangled if you don’t keep things in check.
There’s also a remote control for controlling the whole kit and caboodle from a distance. This only provides basic Stop/Start and Skip – you can’t navigate the iPod menus from the remote. The remote is not particularly handsome and looks a bit eighties and not in a good way, but it works. A slot for storing the remote is located just behind where the iPod is placed.
The satellites are described on the Acoustic Authority web site as ‘flat panel’, which quite frankly I don’t understand - they’re not flat at all. They’re not particularly large, but they’re not flat. They contain a 2.5in driver and a tweeter but the housing is made of plastic and felt very light in the hand which didn’t bode too well. Stronger housings normally do a better job at dealing with sonic resonance.
The sub-woofer though is where all the action is. The satellites connect to this via two colour coded phono connectors labelled left and right. There a RS-232 port for connecting the iPod dock and a bass volume control. It couldn’t really be much easier.