A few months ago Creative released the Xdock. What many noted was that it wasn’t designed for its own line of Zen MP3 players, but for the ubiquitous iPod. Creative is not the only one to have thrown in the towel and start designing for the iPod – this rather sleek clock radio, with a built in iPod dock is from Philips. As they say, if you can’t beat’ em...
However, Philips has been a touch more savvy by making this clock radio dock combo work with both the iPod and its own GoGear MP3 players. And as the GoGear isn’t actually too bad at all, that’s actually quite a good thing.
The charmingly titled AJ300D then, gives you music from a decent range of sources– there’s the iPod dock, you can use a Philips GoGear, there’s a FM tuner and at the rear there’s a line-in auxiliary so you can attache any other source. The Philips web page rather naughtily describes the radio as ‘Digital’ – what this means is that it contains silcon based tuner rather than an analogue box, but don’t confuse this with DAB – it’s still just FM. The reception in the office was such that I could only pick up Radio 1, but it fared better in a home environment. The absence of DAB is a negative though it would have inevitably pushed the price up.
The device is a wedge like, oblong affair, dominated by a silver speaker grille, which tapers out at the bottom into an iPod white plastic. It’s quite sturdily built, with a decent weight to it. It’s intended just as a bedside clock radio, so don’t think of it as a full iPod speaker dock. You need to plug in the external power adaptor – it can’t be powered by batteries.
Inside the packaging, you’ll find a box containing an impressive 12 different docks, only one of which is for the GoGear, which just goes to show how busy Apple has been over the last few years. The dock is held in place by a switch, which you slide to unlock - the whole dock then comes out and you can pop in the one you need. It’s a neat solution.