Lenco IPD-9000 Dock Review

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 Specifications

  • 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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