capsule review

Tivoli Audio iSongBook

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At a Glance
  • Tivoli Audio iSongBook

At $330, the iSongBook is more expensive than every iPod except the top-of-the-line video model, and is the most expensive truly portable speaker system we've tested. But for those who demand superior sound quality in a compact system, and don't mind a lack of bass, the iSongBook is the cream of the portable iPod speaker crop. It also bests other portable systems in the versatility department, with a stellar AM/FM radio and decent clock radio. Despite my minor complaints about its remote and LCD backlight, this is the speaker system I'd want to pack in my suitcase.
If you're just looking for an iPod-based clock radio for home or office (or even the bathroom), a less expensive option is iHome's iH5, which sells for $120 (including remote). However, apart from a more easily readable display and more control over the time of the sleep feature, the iH5 can't compete with the iSongBook, which sounds much better, has a significantly better AM/FM tuner, and can be easily moved from room to room or taken with you on a trip. Is it worth the $200 price premium? That depends on your own tastes, but I'd pay it. In fact, I probably will.

--Dan Frakes

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At a Glance
  • Tivoli Audio iSongBook

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