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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2008
This reveiw is for; RCA CD Micro Stereo System with iPod Dock - RS2181I

Ever since my wife & I bought an I-pod, we hardly ever listen to CD's anymore. We have been looking for an adequate shelf system so we can listen to music in the bedroom that sounds decent and inexpensive. We found the RCA RS2181I last night at a local Target for $95. Here are my simple observations;

PROS
Nice compact size - thin - top loading, vertical CD player saves space.
CD player works great. Most of my CD's are recorded CD-R's.
Compatible with ALL Apple I-pods including Touch, Video and 1st to 5th generation I-pods (plastic spacers for all sizes are included).
Unit charges your I-pod with the connected, spring-loaded front attachment that retracts when not used.
Nice remote which you can even use to change songs on your I-pod (song skip or go back).
The remote also has nice range because I used it far from across the room.
Has alarm & sleep mode which allows you to wake up or sleep to either your I-pod, CD or radio.
You can program up to 32 radio stations (FM or AM).
Has two extra inputs for connecting other devices such as other MP3 players that are not I-pods.
One button equalizer settings for simplicity with individual settings for Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical, Flat (?) or settings can be customized.
One button bass boost. Not strong enough to rattle the dishes, but a moderate bass boost.
Speaker connections are the standard, spring loaded black-red wire, so I suppose if you ever blow-out the stock speakers you can replace them with anything.

CONS
Only 10 watts a channel for a total of 20 (left & right). Not loud enough to annoy your neighbors, but loud enough for my wife & I to listen to in the bedroom.
The spring-loaded, retractable I-pod attachment occasionally sticks to the unit when it is pressed all the way into the unit.
LCD display is difficult to see due to very, thin LCD numbers & letters. You can basically only see it if you are directly in front of it.
Blue light at night is a little too bright, but might be OK for a kids' night light.
AM/FM tuner has no "seek" function. You must manually search each radio station.
Awkward looking AM, plastic antenna (about 3" X 4" plastic rectangle) that you must hook up if you listen to AM, but the FM antenna is just your standard, thin black wire.

Overall, my wife & I are mildly satisfied with the unit so far. It's a step up from the ancient cassette boom box it replaced. It works very well with the Apple I-pod, so I highly recommend it. It's not super loud, but it's loud enough for my wife & I. Great stereo for the bedroom, office or small apartment and that uses very, little space.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2010
I went to a store and saw this, then ordered it on Amazon. The one in the store was the one seen in the main picture.

There seems to be many models of this speaker system and they all have the same model number so it is impossible to know what one you will be getting through online merchants or Amazon and it is shameful that RCA has done this!

Even when you get the speaker system the image on the box and instructions do not look like what you get in the box.

The main picture graphic is not the same as what you will be getting. The Speaker on your right will not look like that and rather the speaker system will come with two of the speakers that are on the left side of the image.

Another change is the Ipod dock at the bottom of the speaker system. The Ipod dock does not slide in when not in use to keep dirt and dust off of it. The Ipod dock stays out to collect dust and dirt and can not be manually pushed in when not in use like the store model that I saw.

Overall this system has more audio connectors then most speaker systems I have seen. It gives you all audio connector options available to have two more Ipods or Zunes hooked into it if you have the correct cables plus the Ipod dock that is already built in.
The system looks really nice but when it is off there is an ugly light that looks like a red ring. The sound quality is like every other speaker system in it's price range. It sounds ok.

The only two bad things I thought were the following. I feel these almost ruin the whole experience for Ipod and Zune users alike.

1) The buttons are so small and need so much force to push them in. The system is such light plastic that when you press in on any button you have to hold the system or the force from the amount that you need to push the buttons in to make them function moves the whole system. You will need to use the remote that is included so this does not happen. What is the point of the remote when you need to be within a few feet to see the Ipod or Zune screen. Almost makes the remote pointless unless you are using the cd drive. It's Very annoying for Ipod and Zune users.

2) The Ipod dock does not close like the store model that I loved and I'm disappointed in that since the dock will collect a lot of dust.

Overall this is an ok system but has it's flaws. No speaker system is perfect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2009
This product was purchased as a gift for a 15 year old girl. She loves the product. The sound is great (and loud)! Great buy for the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2010
I've had this system for several months and up until recently have been pleased with the sound quality. I have my computer & TV hooked up to it and it does produce good distinct sound for a 20 watt system. The build quality is really disappointing in that it is plastic and VERY light weight. The IPod dock is in a fixed position so it does collect dust & dirt. As I don't own an IPod, this is not a big deal to me. The problem I have with it is that it now has a tendency to randomly produce a very loud "buzzing" at random times while in use. I don't know whether this is a "normal" problem that occurs if it's to close to other electronics or just it's lack of quality. I've had 2 other micro-systems ( a Phillips & Magnavox ) that had no problems whatsoever and lasted several years. Thankfully, I did not buy this radio at full price, so I'm not TOO upset. However, because of the "buzzing" and the cheap build, I honestly would recommend that this radio be avoided. RCA, in my opinion, was a very good company whose products lasted. It's unfortunate that their "bottom line" seems to dictate quality and value anymore.

Myself, I'm going back to Sony as I've not had any major issues or problems with their products.
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on August 7, 2012
Purchased as a gift. Receiver had a profound need for a new stereo and has expressed complete satisfaction with this stereo system and has not had a problem with the item. Worth the money spent.
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