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This is the iPod of portable radios and speakers according to MACADDICT's November 2004 review of the Tivoli Audio iPAL AM/FM Radio. Giving it their 5 out of 5 Stars AWESOME award, we couldn't agree more that it sounds awesome and looks great. The iPAL cosmetically matches the Apple iPod and is the perfect home and portable playback system for the iPod, MP3 players, or portable CD players via its rear panel auxiliary input and supplied 1/8 stereo mini cable. It can also play MP3 files wirelessly via the Griffin iTrip or Belkin FM transmitters. It provides exception playback via its Henry Kloss designed AM/FM tuner, and features Automatic Frequency Control (AFC) which locks on to the center of the station for best reception and lowest distortion. A 2.5" magnetically shielded driver can be used near computers and its rubberized cabinet is weather resistant, so your iPAL can keep you company by the pool or the patio. Its rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack has no memory and fully charges in about 3 hours, providing up to 16 hours of cordless playback. The clever little green LED serves as both a power and battery status indicator. It includes a stereo headphone output for private listening (headphones not included). The adjustable telescoping FM antenna extends and rotates for improved FM reception (there is also a built-in AM antenna). iPAL includes rubber gasket covered i/o ports to keep sand and water out of the unit and plated hardware to withstand the elements. It includes an AC adapter for home use and for the built in battery recharging system. An optional carry bag is also available to take you iPAL and iPod on the go.
New electronics that resemble old electronics are all the rage these days. With a case that looks like it belongs in a mad scientist's laboratory, the Tivoli iPal is on the vanguard of retro style. In fact, the "Pal" stands for Portable Audio Laboratory--a cheeky reference to the unit's obvious Geiger counter-inspired design. Fortunately, the iPal does more than just look cool. When paired with an MP3 player such as the iPod or with a laptop, the iPal is a versatile companion that musters much better sound than we expected from a single-speaker unit. Tivoli is known for engineering small components with surprisingly good sound, such as the Henry Kloss Model One radio. The iPal proved to be no exception.
Its compact size makes the iPal an excellent MP3 player companion.
The iPal's single rotary dial handles tuning for both AM and FM stations. Testers didn't expect to have much to say about something as mundane as a radio tuning dial, but the iPal's is truly unique. The dial is designed to move between stations at a speed that's a bit slower than the speed at which the user turns the knob. We found that this ratio dialing technique makes it far easier to tune stations accurately and quickly. Little touches like this really set Tivoli products apart.
The iPal's radio tuning ratio dial is smooth and accurate.
The back of the unit sports a telescoping antenna that has the solid, metal construction reminiscent of older transistor radio antennae. A standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack is provided here, as is a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary line-in port for plugging in your iPod or other music device. A port for AC/DC power and battery charging is also present. All the ports feature handy, attached rubber plugs that keep out the elements when they're not in use.
The base of the iPal houses a rechargeable nickel metal hydride battery pack that, when fully charged, delivered a respectable four hours of listening at moderate volume levels. The iPal's rechargeable batteries give it a leg up on many other portable speaker solutions; gone are the days of hauling around an armada of disposables. Tivoli claims that the battery pack does not suffer from the dreaded memory effects that afflict other types of rechargeable batteries.
At first, we were skeptical about the performance of a small, one-speaker unit that offers only monaural sound. The reality is that most small, portable two-speaker systems don't allow you to place the speakers very far apart anyway, and the iPal's rich, resonant sound more than made up for its lack of true stereo separation. Plus, the iPal is an elegant box with no cumbersome speaker cords to fuss with when you're entertaining on the go.
We plugged the iPal into the kinds of audio devices folks tend to use these days--an iPod, a laptop and a portable CD player. We came away impressed with the iPal's performance with all three. Highs were crisp and clean, while mids and lows were accurate, with a fullness that surprised us. "Could this kind of sound really be coming from this little box?" we asked. When we really pumped up the volume, there was noticeable distortion, but at normal to high volume levels, the iPal excelled. For casual listening, indoors or out, the iPal is a great way to let others hear that iPod library you've been slaving away to build.
We were also pleased by the iPal's tuning accuracy. Tivoli says this is the result of the unit's automatic frequency control (AFC) technology. Whatever witchcraft is behind this tuner, we were impressed. Tivoli adds that the iPal can be used as a component tuner via the headphone-out port--not a bad idea given its quality and accuracy. --Joshua Gunn
The battery doesn't last more than 2hours, maximum,but the sound is quite acceptablePublished 23 days ago by NORTON KNOPF
Exactly the same as my old PAL in appearance and performance. Satisfactory in every respect.Published 26 days ago by James Breznay
This was a replacement for my well-worn PAL radio which I bought in 2001 and enjoyed TREMENDOUSLY for 11 years. The price doubled, and the quality went down. Way down. Read morePublished 28 days ago by E. W. Cusack
This item is worth every penny - great sound quality, iPod and radio equipped, and easy portability. We love it!Published 1 month ago by Rebecca J. Cook
I am retuning it. The sound is terrible, fuzzy, foggy. Amazon is excellent about replacing it.Published 1 month ago by Dr. Albert W. Silver
Terrific radio. We have had one for years and just bought another.Published 1 month ago by ddlarossa