Lenco IPD-9000 Dock

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Impressive virtual surround sound
  • Smartly designed metal facia
  • CD player a nice differentiator

Cons

  • Weak midrange & low maximum volume
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Priced too close to superior rivals

Key Features

  • Review Price: £229.00
  • 2.1 channel output - 2x10W + 1x45W (RMS)
  • CD, CD-R/RW and MP3 playback
  • FM radio with 20 presets
  • Auxility Input & Composite Video Output

In an age of ultra thin laptops and even skinner smartphones the notion

of ‘more for less’ has become a motto of the modern gadget buyer. This

is something embraced by Swiss audio specialist Lenco which has come up

with a compact Apple dock which also claims to double up as a CD player,

radio, video output and surround sound system for less than £230. Is

this another case of more for less or false economy?

Design

Out the box our initial leanings move towards the former. Lenco is a

brand looking to move away from its budget origins and the ‘IPD-9000’ is

its biggest step to date with neat, minimalist styling that could have

come via Denon’s design team. This look is centred on the attractive

facia whose metallic finish is actually metal and the tasteful blue-lit

LED display and lighting around the slot loading CD player and oversized

volume knob.

Lenco IPD-9000 1

Frustratingly this look is not continued throughout with the rest of the

IPD-9000 constructed from matt black plastic. This two tone approach

creates a slightly jarring appearance from any angle but straight

ahead, though construction is solid and it certainly catches the eye.

Features

The IPD-9000’s design may be minimalistic but its functionality is not.

The aforementioned CD playback is an increasingly rare and therefore

increasingly welcome differentiator. Meanwhile connections along the

back include the usual power, auxiliary in and another fast disappearing

feature: an FM aerial, but they are backed up by the more unusual site of a

composite video output. This allows video playback on an attached iPhone

or iPod touch to be outputted to a TV with the audio coming from the

IPD-9000.

Lenco IPD-9000 4


In this scenario it is strange Lenco didn’t opt for a DVD rather than CD

player as it did with the

IPT-223 or adopt video codecs (only traditional CDs and MP3s encoded

discs are supported). Further omissions are DAB radio instead of FM and,

more disappointingly, any form of wireless connectivity in an era when

Bluetooth and/or AirPlay is a near prerequisite. As such the IPD-9000’s

surprising additional functionality is rather let down by its more

obvious omissions.

Performance

Still with any audio device what everything comes down to is sound

quality. On paper the IPD-9000 offers a healthy but not overly

impressive 65W total output comprised of two 10W side-firing drivers and

a 45W rear-firing subwoofer. The approach here is to prioritise sonic

distribution rather than out and out volume and this is aided by Lenco’s

licensing of Sonic Emotion’s ‘Absolute 3D’ spatial sound technology.

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