The i-Station 25 fares better when it doesn’t have to handle too much drum and bass at the low end, but even with the more refined, warm, acoustic tones of Alison Krauss’s Wouldn’t Be So Bad it struggles to resolve any detail. I know I shouldn’t expect much from a box this small or this cheap, but the old JBL On-Stage speaker dock I have loitering in my kitchen blows the i-Station 25 clean out of the water at lower volumes, and when you push the volume up the On-Stage can just about fill the room with music while the Logic3 just fills the room with a mildly unpleasant noise. Its four 40mm, 4w drivers just aren’t up to the job. I wouldn’t even dream of comparing it to something like the Klipsch iGroove SXT – it just wouldn’t be humane.
Turn the dock on its side and it sounds a little better. Oddly, there seems to be more stereo separation and the overall tone is brighter. It’s still not good, however, so if you’re buying a dock mostly for listening to music, then the i-Station 25 isn’t one to add to your shortlist. Plus, while the i-Station 25 is supposed to suppress the noise interference coming from the WiFi radio in the iPod Touch (not to mention the cellular signal in the iPhone) it only minimises it rather than eliminates it. You won’t get the popping and clicking you’ll get on some bargain basement speaker docks, but there’s certainly a little background fuzz.
Unexpectedly, the i-Station 25 does have one, last-minute saving grace – it’s not such a bad performer when it comes to watching films. Queuing up V for Vendetta, it’s surprising how well the i-Station 25 copes with voices, background music and effects, positioning different layers of sound across the soundstage to create a more immersive experience than you’d usually get when watching a film on your iPod.
Of course, the main reason to have films on your iPod is because you plan to watch them on the move, in which case you’ll have earphones and the i-Station 25 would be redundant. That said, in the event that you would like to watch films on an iPod plugged into a speaker dock, then Logic3’s box, with its compact design and clever accelerometers, provides you with a good way to do so. In fact, it cradles the iPod at a nice height and angle for watching on your desk, the kitchen table or your lap.
Personally, this isn’t enough of a plus point for me to make the i-Station 25 worth having, and I’d rather opt for a better sounding dock than have one that switches orientation automatically. For me, this is a dock with a great gimmick, but at the end of the day, just a gimmick. If you want something that actually delivers great-sounding music, look elsewhere.
The built-in accelerometer is a nice and well implemented feature, but it can’t make up for the fact that the i-Station 25 doesn’t sound that good. While it’s not bad for watching movies, listening to music is a no-no.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 5