There’s no denying that the iRhythms speaker set looks great when equipped with an iPod. Personally I think that the white set just works a bit better than the black. That’s not to say that the black set looks bad – I used the black set with both a black 5th gen iPod and a black nano and it did look undoubtedly good in both cases. However, the white set equipped with my 4th gen white iPod just looked so much better. This is partly to do with the fact that the clear plastic bezel is easier to see with the white set, giving the whole setup an almost translucent appearance – although the black set also has the clear plastic bezel, it’s almost impossible to see and just looks like a black lacquered finish.
But all the stylish design in the world can’t compensate for poor sound quality in a device like this. Thankfully for Acoustic Authority’s sake, the iRhythms sound very good indeed. For many iPod users the sound quality from these speakers will be a revelation, since the bundled Apple ear buds are mediocre at best and if that’s the only way you’ve ever listened to your iPod you won’t believe the fidelity offered by the iRhythms. Of course if you have enough sense to use high-quality headphones with your iPod, then the initial experience of the iRhythms won’t be quite so stark.
The most impressive aspect of the sound envelope created by the iRhythms is how it fills up the room in a way that many small stereo systems would struggle to do. The low frequencies are very well resolved and even when you pump the volume up high, there’s no evidence of the distortion that affects so many similar speaker sets. That said, the bass isn’t too boomy and you don’t feel like the table is vibrating when you crank the volume up.