While the Athena iVoice looks like “one of those” iPod speakers being sold in the market today, will its features and sound output be enough to put it into the spotlight and become an audio jewel worth recommending?
The iVoice is just perfect for any room, thanks to its thin and clean profile. The speaker system also comes with a credit-card sized IR remote control, allowing users to control the system even from afar. In order to ensure that an iPod connects properly onto the connector, one must adjust the iDial Spacer, a built-in dock sizing dial that ensures that the iPod will not move when a user presses on it. Located at the back of the unit are the unit’s AC port, USB port, audio input, and video output ports.
Despite its ability to play tunes from an iPod, the iVoice is also capable of playing music from any digital device so long as it has a 3.5mm audio jack, be it a mobile phone, notebook or PC, or even another MP3 player.
The iVoice was able to provide us with clear vocals, with vibrant mids and highs heard during those pop and jazz songs. However, the iVoice was not able to give justice to our drum and bass album, as the low frequency sounds were more on the “background” than upfront. We are then advising users who frequently listen to bass-heavy music to look for another speaker system as its low frequency is not overpowering and has a tendency to complement its highs and mids.
We were also able to control the unit with not much of a problem, thanks to its three simple buttons on top of the unit: the power, volume up, and volume down button. A blue LED is also present, which indicates if the unit is on, on standby, or off. The remote control had seven buttons for complete control of the system – power, previous track/rewind, next track/forward, play/pause, volume up, volume down, and mute. We are also happy to say that the remote was working without a hitch even when we were 20 feet away, allowing a user to sit down on the couch to relax and unwind.
While the iVoice sounds great, there are a couple of things that Athena left out that made us tad disappointed. We feel that the whole speaker system could have been better off if it had a built-in FM tuner – just so that one can tune in to their favourite radio station in the event that one gets tired of listening to their iPod. We also felt that Athena Technologies should have also included the USB-A to USB-B cable and the RCA cable with the iVoice, as providing only the 3.5mm jack made us feel a little shortchanged.
Overall, if you are looking for a simple, mountable, and great sounding iPod speaker system, then the Athena iVoice is for you. Its price tag of $299 makes this it a worthwhile purchase, and additional functions like its integrated USB interface and video out port just sweetens the package. However, users must take note that purchasing a USB and RCA cable is necessary to use the iPod with iTunes without having to remove it to the dock, or view pictures and watch movies with the iVoice.
Width: 39.3 cm
Depth: 17 cm
Height: 14 cm
Weight: 2.1 kg
Colour: High-gloss black
Max (RMS) Output Power: 50 Watts Total
Response Bandwidth: 65 – 17000 Hz
MP3 Player and iPod Compatibility
Athena iVoice | $299 | | www.audioproducts.com.au
For: Small profile; Connectivity with iTunes and TV set; Wall mountable; Great highs and mids
Against: No FM tuner; USB and RCA cable not included; Comes only in one colour: black
Verdict: Definitely an affordable speaker system for those who want their highs, mids, and lows to be balanced.