Following the hype that always accompanies Apple products it has to be said that it was something of a disappointment when we first saw the Hi-Fi. Oh great â€“ itâ€™s a breadbin. Itâ€™s a large, oblong box and despite the classic iPod white the design doesnâ€™t really induce the same â€˜must-haveâ€™ desire that Appleâ€™s products usually do. There is some sense in this boxiness though - the power supply is completely built in, so that only a regular figure-of-eight power is required, which makes it easier to plug in.
Itâ€™s a fairly large box, but has handles on either side, which makes it easy to pick up so you can easily transfer it, say from your digs to the car. It has a fair weight to it at 6.6Kgs without batteries and 7.6Kg with. To use it when unplugged from the wall youâ€™ll need six large LR6 batteries. These are housed in a compartment thatâ€™s located at the rear, with a lock that requires something like a coin to open it.
Perhaps the most controversial feature of the design is that the iPod dock is sat at the top of the unit, which in our view is a dangerously exposed position. If youâ€™ve got children or youâ€™re having a bustling party, or even both, one stray swipe of an arm and the iPod and connector could be damaged. One gets the impression that Apple was more concerned with how the speakers would look showing off an iPod in one of its stores or in a brochure that it did for the realities of the design.
A whole selection of dock adaptors are supplied so that you can fit your iPod on top as long as it has a dock connector. This includes the nano but excludes the Shuffle. To play that you need to connect it up via an audio-in located at the rear. A cable to do this is not supplied. As you would expect the iPod charges while plugged in.