Interesting application note: As you can see from the list above, the IS301 is not "officially" compatible with iPhones. But we couldn't resist trying an iPhone in the dock, just to see what would happen. Our findings: when we plugged an iPhone into the IS301 handset, the iPhone displayed a message indicating we were attempting to connect to an accessory not intended for use with the iPhone. But wait: once we fired up our iPhone's iPod application, we found it would play through the Marantz dock just fine. Similarly, the Marantz remote controller had no trouble at all controlling our iPhone. Your "mileage," as they say, may vary, but in our case the iPhone worked beautifully with the IS301...
SET-UP/EASE OF USE
The first decision you’ll need to make when installing the IS301 is whether to use S-Link (wired) or Bluetooth (wireless) connections between the base unit and the extender module—a decision that will be governed partly by the types of media you want to play and partly by matter of convenience. If you intend to use the dock for music playback only then you will enjoy equally good results with wired or wireless connections, but if you plan on playing video content or displaying still photos from your iPod, then wired connections are a must. Once hardwired video connections are in place, a switch on the side of the base unit allows you to choose composite video, S-video, or component video outputs (depending on which of those options are supported by your particular iPod). With wired connections the base unit must be placed within about 5 – 6 feet of the extender, whereas with wireless connections you have the option of locating the base across the room from the extender and near your listening chair—an option many users will welcome with open arms.
With the IS301 system, you don’t plug your iPod directly into the base unit (as would be the case with many other docks), but rather plug the iPod into a Bluetooth-enabled handset that in turn clicks into a fitting on the top side of the base unit. One important point to bear in mind is that, when playing music from the iPod, users have the option of detaching the IS301 handset from the base unit and carrying it with them—relying on Bluetooth connections between the handset and the rest of the system to carry audio signals (again, the Bluetooth option works only for music playback, not for viewing video or still photos). One minor limitation is that, once the handset is removed from the base unit, the handset is powered solely by the iPod’s battery. However, once the handset is clipped back into the base unit, power supplied through the base unit will immediately begin recharging the iPod’s battery.
One very cool aspect of the handset’s design is a clever thumbwheel-style “thickness” adjuster that lets the handset work with a wide variety of iPods, and without requiring any of the little clip-in adapter plates that most docking systems use. If you’ve ever misplaced one of those docking plates, you’ll appreciate how nice Marantz’s “no-adapters-needed” design really is. But the most significant aspect of the handset is that it lets you use the iPod’s own user interface to control playback, which—in my view—is how things should be. (It amazes me that many dock makers attempt to re-invent the “user interface wheel,” so to speak, when the fact is that it very difficult to improve upon Apple’s simple, effective, and almost universally well-loved interface. Happily, Marantz really gets this.).