How much would you pay for your music? Marantz has given us some time with an iPod dock that brings with it a premium wood backing, two 50 watt amps, two 25 watt Class D speakers, AirPlay, oh, and a $1650 price tag.
Arriving in a big box and looking uber-lux, the Marantz Consolette isn’t your average dock. You’ll know it’s designed to be a premium sound system from its massive size, thick wooden backing, clean white speakers, and a base that looks and feels like it was crafted from a block of aluminium.
The iPod dock is designed for the older style of dock connector, but features a small LED screen to tell you what it’s doing, and with support for WiFi and wired Ethernet, you can use it without an iPod or iPad resting in the dock.
Marantz’s Consolette is also an AirPlay speaker with support for internet radio stations, and while iOS is obviously the target platform, Android has an app that can connect to a Consolette on the same wireless network.
Other inputs include a USB port and a line-in port split between left and right channels, with a Kensington Lock port at the bottom, in case you fear the speaker being stolen.
It comes with a remote that is long, heavy, and very well built.
Switching it on for the first time, you’ll find the Marantz wants to connect to your network. If you have an iOS device, you can make that a quick process by loading the Consolette app and letting it set itself up.
From there, you can play music over the app, or with any sound app, as the dock acts as one big accessory, which is exactly what it is.
We usually start our tests with something familiar, and for us, that’s often Radiohead.
Beginning with “Idioteque,” we heard some good balancing, with no harsh highs and a nice but not overly loud pop from the synthetic booms in the bass. Moving it to one of the office favourites, “Everything In Its Right Place” by the same band, the sound across every spectrum was mostly balanced, and the electric sound of Thom Yorke’s voice was warm, like listening through cherished headphones.
We plugged in some Black Keys, and threw on the harsh blues mistress that is “Sinister Kid,” finding that every vocal and guitar was as clear as the producers could manage, though the bass lacked that heavy oomph we’re used to.
Mind you, this wasn’t at even half the volume, and it was loud in our offices, so it’s easy to see that Marantz’s iPod dock could fill a room without any problems.