Get music out of your headphones and into your living room for everyone to listen to.
Docks for iPods have become quite a common accessory and for a good reason. These small self-contained units allow you to enjoy your digital music loudly by simply plugging your iPod/iPhone directly into them. Today we take a quick look at one such unit by Panasonic modelled as SC-SP100. Packaged in a nice small box, this dock comes with a power adopter, a 3.5mm cable, a remote control and bays for different kinds of iPod devices. A user guide in multiple languages is also included but sadly does not contain Arabic.
The dock itself is interesting looking- it reminds me of a RAM with its rounded horns. Luckily that translated well for the design of the SC-SP100. You have stereo speakers on either side with a sub-woofer in the center. The front has the IR receiver while the right side has controls for volume along with buttons for power, bass and surround. The back side is where the charger connects and here you also find a USB port for syncing your iPod. Also present on the back is a 3.5mm jack that can be used to take input from any other audio source so you’re not restricted to using the SC-SP100 only with an iPod. Obviously, you wont be able to charge or sync any other device other than an iPod with this unit.
Using the unit is pretty straight forward. The buttons on the dock allow you to power up the unit as well as change the volume. For navigating the unit you can use your iPod or alternatively the bundled remote which was a bit clumsy to use- especially when trying to skip between songs. I repeatedly found myself pressing the buttons two or three times to skip a track. Other than navigating, you can use the remote to power the unit, change the volume, set shuffle and repeats modes and toggle surround and bass- pretty much everything you would need to do.
Sound quality wise, I found the SC-SP100 to be a bit lacking. First of all, the volume is not extremely loud which is OK for a medium sized room but if you plan on using this dock in your living room or another big room, then the loudest the volume would get is a bit louder than average. Definitely not the one that will get your neighbours knocking. Also, like most iPod docks, the sound gets a bit distorted at the highest levels so to enjoy the best sound from this unit, you need to keep it down a bit. Overall, I found the sound a bit lacking in treble and although bass was OK, it could’ve been better.
The SC-SP100 will work fine for someone who listen to music casually. But if you’re the kind who likes to carry their 1000+ song collection on their iPod, then this unit is not for you as the sound quality will not satisfy you. Priced at AED 499 (US$135), the SC-SP100 is a tad bit on the pricey side for what it does. Ideally, it should’ve been priced at $100.