- Slim design requires little desk space
- Integrated CD player & DAB radio
- Smart LED display
- Clipped lows and highs
- Monotone audio delivery
- No AirPlay
- Too expensive
Review Price £299.00
While we're not sure we'll ever get over the irony of Sony manufacturing Apple docks, it cannot be denied the company has an eye for style and smart design. Interestingly with the 'V75' (or 'CMT-V75BTiP' to use its catchy full name) Sony has pushed the envelope even further and produced something genuinely eye opening: the world's thinnest iPod dock.
Actually this is a controversial statement. The Teac NS-X1 is technically the world's thinnest measuring 55mm at its slimmest point, the trouble is two thirds of the dock is roughly double that measurement. Meanwhile the Sony V75 measures 58mm at its slimmest point and tapers more gracefully to approximately 100mm.
Predictably Sony's skinny offering also has the edge on build quality. It is constructed like a malnourished Bose SoundDock Portable with metal grid speaker and matt finish (available in red or black) while it also sports a pop-out Apple dock connector at the bottom. Happily booming iPad sales mean Sony has followed the growing trend for an open connector so iPhone, iPod and iPad will all fit, but the iPad doesn't sit as securely and - given the dock's small size - obstructs much of the audio output.
Pop the V75 on a pair of scales and it weighs in at an expectedly light 2.9Kg. There is a separate power brick though and given it powers off the mains it isn't quite as portable as you might think.
A lack of inches thankfully hasn't translated into a lack of features. Aside from the Apple dock connector, the V75 is kitted out with a slot loading CD player, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth for wireless streaming. This latter aspect ensures compatibility with almost any handset or MP3 player, but the absence of the highly impressive aptX codec is disappointing and more controversially AirPlay doesn't make the final cut.
Before we grumble too much, however, it is worth pointing out that Sony has included something far too many docks omit: an LED display. This is top mounted which makes it easy to read and it is a great help when switching between sources, radio presets, CD tracks and equaliser settings (more of later). It also helpfully points out volume level, a hindrance which all too often can result in docks blasting your ears after you forget to adjust the volume down from a previous listen.
Lastly along the back you will find auxiliary in and headphone out ports along with antenna and power sockets. So how does it all come together?
Other than its slim lines, what Sony hopes will sell the V75 is its 'Magnetic Fluid' speakers. This technology has appeared with increasing regularity in the company's speakers (such as the 'RDP-X500IP') and is used instead of traditional speaker dampers. This allows Sony to make much slimmer speakers which theoretically produce less distortion.