Does the i-deck sound as good as, say, a full-on, $1000 entry-level stereo system? No, but i-deck nevertheless makes a pleasing alternative, and for a fraction of price. Students take note: We think the compact i-deck would make a terrific, and very affordable, dorm room system. Those who own something other than iPod digital players will be pleased to learn that the i-deck comes with a mini-jack audio input, so that it is an ecumenical, equal-opportunity, personal stereo system that can be used with non-Apple MP3 players, MiniDiscs, CD players, PCs and the like (though other players will not be able to use the i-deck’s high-performance DACs). The i-deck also includes a 30-pin port that allows users to synchronize operations with a Mac or PC via USB or FireWire.
Here’s the bottom line; i-deck is a small, easy-to-use, iPod-compatible stereo system that takes sound quality very seriously. We know of nothing at the i-deck’s modest $349 price that can equal this system’s suave, sophisticated sound (by comparison, most competitors sound like childrens’ toys). Granted, Klipsch’s more costly iFi system, which features a powered subwoofer and two satellite speakers, may offer stiffer competition, but our sense is that the sheer quality of the i-deck’s mini-monitor type speakers, audiophile- grade DACs, and digital amplifiers will enable it to hold its own. The i-deck is a bargain, pure and simple. May we suggest you put one on your Christmas list?