day hour, another iPod dock. This time it’s CyrusLink’s turn with its imaginatively named LinkDock. Essentially this a simple, compact seating position for your iPod, compatible with most models excluding the shuffle. It also has a remote and touch sensitive volume controls, an auxiliary input and an output. Like most other docks it will also charge your iPod for you, however this one does not have the option to attach a USB cable as well.
I have shifted around our usual review format here (*gasp*) because I want to get this out of the way. Here’s what’s wrong with the LinkDock: the remote. CyrusLink has made some effort to make sure that the remote offers the full range of iPod controls, even though it is pretty tricky without the click wheel. Ironically it managed to get that bit right, but subsequently messed up the play/pause and skip buttons.
Basically, the play/pause button doesn’t work. I managed to make it pause twice, but never recommence playing. Now it could well be a flaw in the review unit, but the skip buttons have a similar issue – they work fine, except for the part where they don’t, you know, skip – they just jog the track forward in 5 second leaps. Let’s assume that this is a fault, so just make sure you check it out before you shell out for one.
Now on to the positives – CyrusLink and a number of websites, including Tech Digest, drew attention to the fact that the LinkDock made a good start in life with a five star review from What Hi-fi. I mention it because it makes think that they didn’t suffer from the same remote control issues, or were so completely absorbed in testing the sound quality they missed it. And if so, fair enough, because sound quality is definitely the LinkDock’s strength.
Somehow, the four onboard speaker units, offering a not-so-earshattering 4 watts of power sound really good. No there isn’t a lot of bass or anything, but the mid-range sound is surprisingly well defined and does a surprisingly good job of filling a small space, which is an impressive feat for a sub-£100, 11 x 21 x10cm unit.
Power – 4W + 4W into 8 Ohms
Frequency Response – 20Hz – 20KHz
Colour – Gloss White and Gloss Black
4 x speaker units
Remote volume/treble/bass control
Line Input, line out
Cyrus tuned amplifier
Touch sensitive volume keys
The remote issue spoiled my experience with the LinkDock, so make sure that doesn’t happen to you if you’re thinking of splashing out. However, the level of sound quality and the volume to which the dock can be pushed without distortion is incredibly impressive. That, along with the competitive price tag of £70, makes it very good value for money.