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It’s only a couple of months since I was predicting the end of the CD, yet here I am looking at the iLuv i9200, a 4-disc CD player with an iPod dock on top.
The iLuv is a clear throwback to those 90s cool wall-mounted CD players with sliding doors from the likes of Nakamichi and Bang and Olufsen. You can see the discs spinning and everything! The cool bit is that at £170 it’s much cheaper than anything you’ll ever get from those companies, so if you ever wanted one of those, now’s your chance. I once stayed at a posh hotel that had a Nakamichi system on the wall and hooked up my iPod to it via the twin phono to mini jack cable I had, naturally enough, packed with me. With the i9200 there would be no need, as there’s an iPod cradle located at the top nestling under a flap. A bunch of cradles are supplied for all iPods with a dock connector, though oddly not for the video iPod. Instead some rubber pads are supplied and you have to mod the photo iPod adaptor with them. An early sign of the inevitable cost cutting.
Before I go on I have to say a word about the name of the company – iLuv, a rather awkward Dick-van-Dyke meets Apple branding. Heads up people - simply putting an ‘i’ in front of a something does not make it cool.
Moving on though, as soon as the iLuv was unboxed in the office it was argued in the office that it’s contradictory – after all, if you have an iPod, do you really need a CD player? It’s not as if the i9200 will rip your CDs to your iPod, so really it’s just about the way it looks. It looks best when you put discs inside it, otherwise you see the trays behind. Naturally, it can be wall mounted, and screws and wall plugs are provided but you’ll have to take care over the height – if you place it too high you’ll have trouble putting the iPod in the tray, but if it’s too low, it’ll just look odd. Many would agree that on the Apple Hi-Fi the iPod in the dock on top looked rather precarious and exposed. It works better on the iLuv though as it’s in keeping with the shape and if the i9200 is on the wall it won’t be knocked off too easily.
To wall mount you’ll need to remove the stands, which is just be a matter of sliding off the stands. It’s a shame though that iLuv couldn’t have covered over the screw heads – it lacks polish exposed as they are.