The i199 looks a lot like many other iPod docks on the market. That is, it’s about the size of a shoebox and features a small cradle on the top side to hold an iPod. But near the iPod cradle is a spot to plug in a tiny BluePin module, which adds Bluetooth functionality. With the module in place, you can stream music from a phone to the i199’s speakers or trasmit sound from the unit to a wireless headset. Though the Bluetooth function isn’t built in, exactly, pairing was painless, and the sound was excellent.
The device also features a CD player, which plays MP3 CD’s, too. A digital tuner controls the radio – with the option for as many as 40 presets – while the clock has an alarm that can wake you up with tunes from the radio, CD, or iPod, or with a buzzer. It even has an option to play files stored on a USB drive; the only thing missing from the i199 is satellite-radio support.
The unit isn’t quite as attractive as similar boxes from Apple and others, but it’s hard to beat the feature set and robust sound. The LCD is utilitarian but clear and easy to read, even from a distance. An included remote rounds out the impressive package, which has a lot more to offer than similarly priced solutions.
iLuv 199; $199; www.iluv.com