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Monitor Audio i-deck 200 review

Gordon Kelly




  • Recommended by TR

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Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • Monitor Audio i-deck 200
  • 11


Our Score:



  • Exceptional audio quality
  • Bargain price tag
  • Integrated DAC
  • Automatic positional configuration


  • No AirPlay or wireless streaming
  • No battery, powered from the mains

Key Features

  • 2.2 dual speaker, dual sub configuration
  • 140W total output
  • Automatic Position Correction (APC)
  • Integrated 28/56bit dual processing DAC
  • Floating dock
  • Manufacturer: Monitor Audio
  • Review Price: £249.95

Value. It has arguably become the most important score in reviews. A product can be good or bad, but if it is impressive in relation to its price then that alone can turn an average device into a highly desirable one. So what about an excellent product that has had its price slashed?

The Monitor Audio i-deck 200 is such a case. The big brother to the £299 i-deck 100 we reviewed in October, it has had its original £400 RRP spectacularly cut to £250. This not only makes it cheaper than the i-deck 100 launch price (itself now cut to £200), but places it in an entirely new price bracket. This poses two important questions: do we have a £400 dock for £250, or an overpriced dock that is now closer to its true value?


Out of the box signs certainly suggest the former. The i-deck 200 is very well built. Its curved design is similar to the JBL OnBeat and TEAC Aurb SR-100i, but the finish - despite the use of plastics, instead of wood or metals, is far superior to both. The triangular patterned rear is a notable talking point (as is the questionable inspiration for the glossy front gap which separates the speakers), but the quality of the thick, rubberised base, well fitted panels, reassuring power and volume buttons and smart, Zeppelin-esque spring loaded floating dock mount are beyond question.

In particular the dock is worth attention. By floating clear of the speaker's body it does away with the need for different inserts for specific iDevices and it is strong enough to hold an iPad - a product many docks can't accommodate. Furthermore the sprung dock connector both holds iDevices securely against the rubberised back and, like the arms on spring loaded glasses, allows them to be removed easily and without risk of damage. Should the dock connector break, the unit can even be swapped out without needing to send back the entire dock. Clever.


At 545 x 250 x 210 mm and 4.54Kg the i-deck 200 isn't going in your bag, but it is light compared to the competition (500g less than an Arcam rCube for instance). Some of this weight may have been saved due to the relative lack of functionality - there is a 3.5mm auxiliary input, but no AirPlay, wireless streaming or battery. That said few will be complaining about the audiophile focused internals.

The core of the i-deck 200 is made up of dual 100mm C-CAM 4in bass drivers individually powered by custom-configured 50W amplifiers and a brace of 25mm gold dome tweeters, driven by 20W amps. That's a 2.2 arrangement akin to the Soundfreaq Sound Stack and producing a whopping 140W in total, putting it in Zeppelin Air territory. Given Monitor Audio (formed in 1972 in Essex) has an illustrious history in loudspeakers, we expect good things to flow forth from this little lot.


February 14, 2012, 2:32 am

I have to disagree a little with your assessment right now that there is nothing on the market to touch the i-deck 200.
The Audyssey South of Market dock is available for £250 in Ireland (not sure about UK) which I think would give some pretty stiff competition to this dock.


February 14, 2012, 3:16 am

@Shaggy, I don't believe that dock is available in England right now, but I shall do my best to track it down. Very little information is provided on the website itself to be able to make a judgement (have you heard the two side by side?). That said in weighing just 2.3Kg it would be a remarkable achievement if it competes with docks that are twice its size and weight.


February 14, 2012, 4:18 pm

@Gordon394 meant to say very interesting review of the i-deck. Audyssey dock is available on amazon uk and apple uk stores (@ £300 though!). The Audyssey weighs 4.1Kg (http://www.audyssey.com/pro..., just under the i-deck 200. I haven't heard them side by side but would be great if you could do a comparison of them.


August 14, 2012, 7:53 pm

You asked, here it is! A review of the Audyssey South of Market dock and compared to all rivals including the i-deck 200 :)


December 2, 2012, 12:25 am

Interesting review, but it should be noted that whilst the Audyssey dock is still around the £250 mark on Amazon, the iDeck 200 is now down to £149 which I'd imagine now settles the question of which is the one to go for.

It also raises the questions of whether the iDeck 200 was a £400 product reduced to £250, was an overpriced £250 product reduced to it's real worth, or an overpriced £400 product reduced to £150, or a £250 product reduced to a bargain price of £150, or an over priced £250 product reduced to it's real value of £150!

While anyone else tries figuring this out, I'm off to order one, or maybe an iDeck 100 now at £80?

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