Customer Reviews: Bose SoundDock Portable 30-Pin iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock
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on January 19, 2008
After reading MANY reviews, both here on Amazon and on many other sites on the Internet, I have observed that most people either love Bose and everything they make or they seem to hate everything that is Bose. Well I can honestly say that I do not fit into either of these categories. I do own some Bose products and I enjoy them very much. However, Bose items are extremely expensive and I will not pay out that kind of hard earned cash for a product just because of the name. I have learned, when it comes to Bose I ALWAYS insist on listening to the device first before buying it. I have heard some excellent sound from some Bose speakers but some of their speakers are only mediocre. Their headphones are a mixed bag as well. I never purchase a Bose product unseen or unheard. My decision to purchase this second generation Bose SoundDock Portable Digital Music System was no exception.

I was on the fence about this purchase for several weeks. I had researched the first generation Bose SoundDock digital music system for iPod for quite some time. I found a couple of shortcomings that prevented me from buying that unit. First, it did not have a battery for portable use, so you always had to have it plugged in. Secondly it did not have an aux input, so it would only work with Apple iPod devices. What if I wanted to plug in my daughter's Sandisk MP3 player, or my son's Creative MP3 player? The second generation Bose SoundDock does not have these limitations. They have included a battery system, for hours of portable music without being tethered to A/C mains. They also include an aux input, so you can plug in any device's audio output with a stereo mini plug. They also added a slick swivel dock, which swings back into the speaker system when not in use. As far as the sound quality goes, both first and second generation systems seem to sound just as good; solid bottom end, crisp top end, and mild yet adequate midrange.

I was tempted to order this item from Amazon, as their prices, shipping, and customer service are always top notch. However, I was still a little unsure as to whether or not I would be completely satisfied with this product in my home. After all, it is $400.00! I decided to purchase it from a local electronics store, which offers a 30 day return policy, in case I decided that it was not worth the price after listening to it in my home. Well I am pleased to report that this Bose SoundDock sounds simply amazing. I don't know how they get such BIG sound from such a little device, but Bose has definately done a wonderful thing with this SoundDock. The sound is deep but not too boomy. The stereo soundfield is a little narrow but that is to be expected from any portable sound dock, as the speakers are so close together. Still, Bose is known for their ability to use angled speaker technology to offer a wide stereo sound. I guess they just didn't feel that this aspect was important enough for their SoundDock product. That is a shame. I must also note that the sound produced from this device seems different when listening from different angles. If I sit the device on a table and sit down right in front of it, the high end is crisp and bright but the lower end is a little on the weak side. However, if I back up a few feet the bottom end really jumps out, and yet you lose a little bit of the crispness of the highs. Overall the SoundDock sounds great and it really fills a small and medium sized room with full bodied sound. You can crank this puppy way up without any audible sounds of distortion. Very impressive indeed. I have listened to Pop, Rock, Country, Dance, House, and even classical music on the Bose SoundDock, and all sounded equally impressive. Bass notes are very tight, not boomy or sloppy like I have experienced on several other iPod music systems. My only complaint is that the midrange seemed a bit weak on a few tracks, but seemed just fine on others. This may have to do with the equalization of my iPod Touch, but I don't notice these differences when listening through headphones.

Overall I am very pleased with my Bose SoundDock Portable Music System. It produces rich, room filling sound, offers perfect portability (thanks to the inclussion of a Lithium Ion Battery Pack), and has an auxiliary input for all of my family's digital music devices. Sure, $400.00 is a lot of money to spend on a portable iPod music docking system, but now that I have experienced the solid build and beautiful sound quality of the Bose SoundDock, buying anything less would always leave me wanting the Bose SoundDock. Still, I cannot find it within myself to give the Bose SoundDock a perfect 5 star rating. The narrow stereo soundfield and premium cost keep my rating at 4 and 1/2 stars. I take music sound quality very seriously, and in my opinion this Bose system, while expensive, is still worth the money. I highly recommend this product for anyone that is extremely serious about excellent sound quality and isn't afraid to spend the money to obtain it.
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on October 22, 2007
I spent countless hours researching portable speaker systems. After reading many web site and owner reviews I narrowed my choices down to four models. The first model was the Altec Lansing InMotion im7. I wasen't able to find this model in any store so I could listen to the sound quality for myself, so I eliminated it. The others were also Altec Lansing based on good reviews. First up was the InMotion im600, Second was the m602 and last the Bose SoundDock Portable. My final decision came down to the ability to listen to these three models side by side.
There wasen't any real comparison after a listen to the Bose. They blew the other two away. Great base and great highs. I was sold. I do realize the Bose are pricy but like most people out there, these are not my first IPOD speakers but the will be my last. Go for it and get the best first. The Bose are the way to go!
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on October 23, 2007
The sound quality, as you might expect, is quite good, and the loudness is nice too. For better or for worse, it's got the signature Bose sound (loaded low, with great highs, and a bit deemphasized towards the middle), but overall, this thing sounds great.

However, this product has unadvertised problems with the 3rd Generation iPods (black and white screen, dock connector, four buttons and a touch-wheel), and I'm glad I discovered this in the store before paying the full $400. When plugged into the Sounddock, the screen freezes, and neither the remote nor the buttons can advance the track. The ill effects cease the moment the iPod is removed, but nonetheless, it's more or less unusable with this early iPod. If you're thinking of trying it and have a 3G iPod, I'd recommend looking elsewhere, or at least going in to a Bose store to double check and make sure that you too don't experience this problem. Bose has heard about it, but apparently it's not a fixable issue, just a question of old technology.

So, I'd definitely recommend this product acoustically, but practically, I'd make sure you're using a more recent model of iPod before you give it a shot.
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on November 3, 2007
This is our second Bose SoundDock as we also owned the original. I've also owned about three Bose Wave Radios (now Wave Music System)and noise canceling headphones. So, to say I'm a Bose fan is putting it mildly.

Sure, you pay through the nose, but my experience is that Bose delivers quality and stands by its products. We bought the SD Portable because we're living in a small flat in London. It's the perfect solution. Few wires, self-contained, small, yet it delivers a big quality sound that fills our living room. We are also limited on wall outlets here and with the great battery life from the rechargeable battery, I can take it anywhere around the flat.

Some knock Bose for their prices and refusal to disclose sound specs. Hey, I just listen to my music and find that it enables me to really enjoy that music where other systems might get in the way. If it doesn't deliver the best sound for its size, it's nearly the best.

The one problem I experienced is that with my new iPod Classic 80GB, the playlist up and down buttons on the remote don't work. Bose told me they can't keep up with every iPod model and that software updates to the iPod might fix that, but no guarantees. This is not a fatal flaw, but a bit of an annoyance.

Otherwise, this is a great product and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, especially if you're interested in great sound in an effecient and small box.
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on May 27, 2008
I love these speakers - but there are several caveats you need to know before shelling out a substantial pile of cash to get them.


1) Awesome sound - solid range and great bass from a small system
2) Plug and Play
3) Loud enough for one room party
4) Good at conversational levels - dinner jazz background etc.
5) Good remote (for volume and on/off (weaker for more advanced functions)


1) Not so portable (bulky and over 5 lbs.) - I would not easily take them on trips unless I knew they'd be used a lot.
2) Weak battery life - They lasted about four hours on medium power (they are rated for three hours on full power). Not good enough for a day on the beach and a back up battery is $90 plus.
3) There are products that sound as good or better if you don't want portable and longer lasting sound if you do.

Like I said, I love these speakers. But doggone they are expensive. I'd love them a lot more at $200 but that's not likely to happen anytime soon. However if you want world class sound in a portable system (dinners on the deck and single room tunes), this is a great speaker system even at the price.
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on November 22, 2008
I am a long time Bose customer so I will address issues that I have heard about this player from other people. Others here have given you the technical information so I will give you just an "experience" opinion. I use mine with the I-Touch.

Some people claim that they are not happy with the sound quality of this product. Does it have the same "ummph" as my 18 year old big, bold, Bose Towers? No, it does not. Those towers fill my entire house with earth shattering sound.

This product is "portable" and made for being carried from room to room without having to plug it in, or better yet, for superior quality outdoors; perhaps a picnic or camping trip. It does indeed give me the same sweet, full, sounds as my other Bose products. I use it in my kitchen or take it in the bathroom with me for showers. We also use it outside in the backyard when we have the chiminea roaring. Add a nice glass of wine and some Mozart and life is wonderful!

Another reviewer said the sound was bad, too much bass or some such thing. You must remember that this unit is made for I-touch and I-phones etc. that have their own equalizer built into them. You must adjust the equalizer through the players setting options, not the device (speakers). I do wish it had it's own equalizer as I detest the preset choices that I must scroll through for each type of music that I listen to. As I listen to all types of music, I must do it often. There is one pre-set in my I-Touch that handles rock, pop etc. without having to change it much, but classical needs and adjustment. Yet, if you use the equalizer then you should not have any problems with sound. It is a Bose and more than capable of reproducing whatever sounds your settings are set for.

Battery Life is excellent if you do not choose to blast it as loud as it will go, and it will go quite loud. The manual said it lasts approximately 3 hours listening at full volume, but I have not yet had it run out of battery, or need to be recharged during many hours of playback at a reasonable volume (I am not 20 anymore, perhaps that has something to do with it). We used it outside one night for 6 hours easy without the battery giving me any problems or needing to be plugged in. I am waiting for the prices to go down to purchase an extra battery, just in case.

Electricity issues? I have not noticed any change what-so-ever in my electricity bill. I thought that was a non-helpful review.

I love this little docking station and fully recommend it; so long as you are buying it for what it was designed for. If your looking for something to fill an entire LARGE house, apartment, or room with sound, then either get the Bose 901's, or the Wave Radio/CD player (for apartments).

If you want something you dock and charge your I-pods with while your at the beach, camping, in the backyard, or just taking a shower... this is it.
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on May 12, 2009
I really really wanted this to work out in a way that let me give this product a higher review. I'm a fan of Bose - their stores have smart staff, the products are usually well designed, ergonomic, stylish.

Starting out with the positives, which outweigh the negatives: it truly is portable. I love that. I really like a system as unobtrusive as this - I can bring it into any room or out on the deck. It is easy peasy.

The sound is really incredible considering the size. The remote is functional, sturdy. Overall it is a nice looking product.

Neutral: I am not impressed by the design of the charger cable. Why oh why does it have to have such a large footprint right at the outlet? Why can't the big block be inline rather than at the plug?

Negative: I can't use my iPhone 3G on the dock unless I put it into airplane mode - because if I don't, there is this awful popping sound. Also when I use the iPhone IN airplane mode on the dock it behaves oddly. For example: I select an artist whose songs I want to play via the iPod interface. I press play and the previous playlist plays - yet the art on the screen is for the artist I chose. Bizarre.

Yes yes, I can use the iPhone via the aux input, but then I can't use the functionality of the remote. And I can't charge the iPhone that way. I think that after all this time the product should be ready for 3G. The fact that it isn't is disappointing to me.

Overall, I won't return it. I like it a lot - but it doesn't earn more than 3 stars because of the 3G issue.
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on February 25, 2008
This is both a sad and happy review. If you don't feel like reading a lot I'll sum it right now.

Happy: This unit is amazing! Sounds incredible for such a small unit and this destroys any assumptions I had about Bose (so many negative energy towards Bose on the Internet). Let's just the say the sound quality caught me by surprise. Love the battery, love the looks, there's nothing I hate about it except...

Sad: I didn't end up keeping it. I ended up bringing home 5 iPod speaker systems. I ended up bringing home a Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere, Griffin Amplifi, JBL OnStage Micro, iHome2go, and this system here. I ended up keeping the Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere. For more details on why keep reading...

I had several things I wanted out of the iPod Speaker System. I wanted portability, the ability to play without an AC adapter or use batteries, great sound, and aesthetics. I did not have a budget but that doesn't mean I would blindly spend it if I didn't feel it was worth it. I'll break it down by speaker system:


Liked: The clock, the battery compartment, the included case, portability, looks decent, line-in, price.

Disliked: Sound is just downright horrible, I couldn't stand it. I have very demanding listening tastes and this didn't even pass as decent. Everything was tinny and it lacked mid and low end sound.


JBL OnStage Micro

Liked: Small, battery compartment, included case, line-in, price, sounded decent at low volumes.

Disliked: Sound was very distorted at higher volumes, aesthetics.


Griffin Amplifi

Liked: Crisp highs, very nice low end sound, decent look, price.

Disliked: Sounds like there is a hole in the music, no mid range sound, very big, not portable, no batteries.


Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere

Liked: Size, built-in rechargeable battery, includes case, sound is stunning for such a small unit, very clear sound, PRICE got this for only $89 at circuit city.

Disliked: Low end is decent but it's good for something this small, doesn't look like the Bose, doesn't sound like the Bose.

I ended up keeping this unit because I felt the extra 300 dollars for the Bose was not worth it. Perhaps when the price falls for the Bose unit I will reconsider purchasing.

Hope this helps!
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on February 11, 2009
I have gone through a few different portable speakers in the last 4 years: Klipsch, Altec Lansing the most recent.

The Bose Portable is supposed to play 3 hours on a charge at full volume and simultaneously charges the iPod during that time as well. I'm listening to it on battery right now after charging overnight. Sounds great and plenty of sound headroom. Full Charge takes 10 hours and the battery is user replaceable using nothing more than a coin to remove its cover.

* Compact size, big sound, plenty of bass and the highs are good as well.
* Dock rotates into unit for transport. Not extremely robust, but more so than the iM7. Comes with one adapter which fits my 60GB just fine. Bose recommends swapping out adapter if you have one for a particular iPod, but says the one that comes with is designed for a wide variety. Meaning you'd have more comfort with the right dock so as to not harm the docking port when putting pressure on the iPod. Swapping out is tenuous at best--you need to put a slotted screwdriver into the adapter's slot in the back and push against a spring loaded tab while then simultaneously lifting up. I serendipitously have a ratchet screwdriver with bits and its tube that holds the bits is perfect to use as a fulcrum as when it rests on the base there is no contact with the Bose docking plug. Bottom line is I'll not be swapping out units very much or plan ahead if I need to use my 80GB iPod.

* Remote is very cool and in addition to the core functions we all expect, you can actually toggle through your Playlists. The remote can also check the battery strength on a query basis (no external meter) which lights up an LED with different colors to the levels. Or if the level goes to critical, then the LED flashes red on its own.

* Red-20% or less full power
* Yellow-20% to 70% full power
* Green-above 70% full power

* Power adapter is a marvel of ergonomics. It is a square adapter with removable plug like the iM7, but it has a groove cut in the back for winding up the slack. In addition to that there is a little rubber ball that slide up and down the length of the power cord which wedges in the groove to fix the cable in place.

I bought the carry bag and it is very good as well.
* Soft leatherette with rigid reinforcements in key places.
* Plenty of pouches for the iPods, remote control, and has a strap plus a carry handle.
* Special pouch at the top for Power Supply which is on a flap that allows you to pull it out of the way when inserting or removing the Dock.
* Once the unit is in the bag, there is a rigid inside lid which folds down to protect the top of the unit. The Power Supply then sits on top in the space between the inside lid and outside flap.

Is it worth $400??? Well, on the one hand the Lithium rechargeable battery is a cool idea rather than have to use D Cells as with the iM7. So if you leave it plugged in, you're always good to go. And if unplugged there is a hibernate mode to conserve battery life for a long time. Bose claims very little depletion when not being used, unlike iPods which do discharge when unplugged.
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on August 18, 2010
I owned the Sounddock for about a year when it began giving me problems. Played it about 20 times or twice a month (had it in the living room where we only occasionally listen to music). I called up Bose about the problem (clicking sound, no music) and was told I was out of warranty, and that I needed to send in/exchange for a new one. Cost? $200 more. Wow, $500/600 total for a sound dock in one year + one month? Hmmmmmm.

I wasn't having it so I opened the Sounddock up and found the problem. The circuit cable insert that connects to the iPod dock is poorly constructed since it fastens to the bottom of the unit and tends to pull the cable out of the dock. It's very very difficult to reattach (it's not broken, it's a simple cable that should reattach, but this doesn't stay attached) because the angle requires that the case be practically shut before the cable will slide into the clip. This means you need to set the cable into the tip of the clip, close the case gently and hope all goes well and that the circuit ends meet the iPod dock. Good luck. So, somehow, I reattached it, once, and got my Sounddock working again. For a couple days. Then no sound again. Looked inside the casing again, the cable was out. I'm now convinced that playing the Sounddock at moderate volumes causes enough vibration that the cable shimmies out of the clip. Disconnect. Poor design. And the only recourse is to keep reconnecting the cable or else shell out more money to Bose.

WARNING: do not buy.
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