Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
One of the weirder effects of the way that Apple’s iPod has dominated the portable music player business is the way this has swung a host of other manufacturers into making peripheral devices for it. One of the more popular devices is the iPod speaker/dock.
The concept is simple. Built into a set of powered stereo loudspeakers is a cradle for an iPod, with the appropriate connector. You rest the iPod in the cradle and its music is read by the system and delivered out into your room, freeing you from earbuds and headphones.
That is precisely what the Australian-designed VAF Octavio 1i does, but with considerably more authority than competing devices.
The Octavio 1i is somewhat larger than most such devices, but is still only 116 mm deep. It is also rather heavy, which comes from the solid construction and the weighty loudspeaker drivers with which it is equipped.
These are what allow it to produce full range high fidelity sound at room-filling volumes.
The iPod sits in a cradle atop the unit. Next to it is a single knob that controls volume, switches between the iPod and the two auxiliary inputs (useful for, say, a CD player) and powers the unit on and off. There is also a credit-card style remote control. A composite video output can deliver video iPod’s movie content to TV, but not the iPod’s own menus.
Three coloured cloth socks are included to fit the unit to different decors, if desired.