Value & Verdict

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Monitor Audio i-deck 200

Summary

Our Score:

9

So the question is easily answered: the i-deck 200 is indeed a £400 dock for the bargain price of £250? Well yes… and as always, no.

We rather passed over the dock's lack of additional functionality earlier, but at its original RRP the omission of wireless streaming and additional inputs become glaring omissions when compared with the AirPlay enabled Zeppelin Air and Kleer touting, battery powered prowess of the rCube. Even the £299 Sound Stack has charging over USB as well as the Apple mount, plus Bluetooth streaming. The i-deck's remote - while nicely styled - also sticks to the bare minimum (power, playback, source, volume) because there is nothing more the dock does - it's also a little crudely made, with rather mushy rubber buttons.

11

As such the picture becomes somewhat more convoluted and ultimately is easier if broken down. Yes the i-deck 200 produces audio quality worthy of a £400-worth dock. Yes the i-deck 200 looks and feels like £400-worth of dock. But no the i-deck 200 does not have the additional functionality to complete the package of a £400 dock and match illustrious rivals which also produce jaw dropping audio.

As a £400 dock the i-deck 200 would score 7/10 yet at £250 the picture changes completely. At £50 less than the Sound Stack we would go for the i-deck 200 every time, even with reduced functionality, and while we might be tempted to stretch to the additional £100 required to land the (similarly reduced) rCube, that is a significant further outlay. In short: if you can afford to spend no more than £250 on a dock, right now there is nothing on the market to touch the i-deck 200.

Verdict

The Monitor Audio i-deck 200 is the perfect example of a wonderfully repositioned product. At £400 it was overpriced given its limited functionality, but at a whisker under £250 consumers now have access to an iPod dock which produces audiophile sound quality at a fraction of the price. Build quality is excellent, operation couldn't be simpler and it does what its narrow focus was designed to do exceptionally well. Never has a dock been better value for money.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Design 8
  • Features 6
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 10

Shaggy

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.

Gordon394

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.

Shaggy

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/produc..., 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.

Gordon394

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 :)
http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

boxinghris

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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