To call the Sierra Sound iN Studio 5.0 speaker system an iPod speaker system would be to miss the point entirely. This is a very well-built, great looking pair of bookshelf speakers that happen to be powered, and also have a built-in iPod dock on top. After living with these speakers in variety of locations around my home and office for several weeks, I found plenty to write about.
Design & Features
These are gorgeous speakers. Offered in black, white or Ferrari Red, I ask you, is there really a choice? As I unpacked them, I could almost hear the ferocious whine of Kimi Räikkönen’s F2008, with its 2.4 liter eight cylinder engine screaming around Fiorano at 19,000 rpm. The cabinets are constructed from a composite material that is finished in a high gloss that looks wet - they are great looking speakers. As I fired them up for the first time, I had the eerie sensation that the ghost of Enzo Ferrari, the man that inspired the sense of style and design embodied in the Prancing Horse logo was sitting in the room with me enjoying the music….
But Sierra Sound has gone way beyond looks in the design of this 50 watt Dynamic Bi-Amped speaker system. The iN Studio 5.0 system is full of well thought out features, such as a built in iPod dock on top of the right channel speaker as well as a USB port on the rear, which means you can not only charge and play your tunes, but you can also sync them with your connected computer. The rear plate of the speaker also contains a power outlet, especially useful if you want to plug in an Apple Airport Express to allow wireless streaming to the speakers from your iTunes library. There is both a mini-jack stereo input and a stereo RCA input, as well as an S-Video output to pass video from your iPod.
We now take a moment to return to a gripe you have heard from me before, and that is my soapbox about crappy, plastic, tiny remote controls that are so prevalent today, especially with iPod speaker systems. I am convinced that there is some little factory in China churning out these cheap little white plastic remotes. There are SIXTEEN little round buttons, all the same size, on the included remote. Yes, it is white plastic, and it is terribly chintzy. About the size of a first gen iPod nano, you have seen this remote elsewhere. I counted FOUR of them in my daughter’s room that belong to various devices we have collected over the past year or so. It works fine, of course, but is just a pain to use. I would much rather see a remote more fitting for the excellent build quality of the speakers it is built to control. In fact, give me a remote with a little weight to it, with just a few buttons. Heck, I’d take volume up/down and power, with a totally cool design over this junk any day. Okay, rant over. I just don’t like the remote, especially with such a gorgeous pair of speakers.
Read the complete review at Audioholics.com
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