Hands-On Review: Bose SoundDock® Series III Digital Music System
If you have an iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th generation or iPod nano 7th generation, you're probably already enjoying the sweet sounds of your playlists and podcasts through a pair of headphones throughout the day. But you may also be looking to rock out sans headphones, using an external speaker dock. The Bose SoundDock® Series III Digital Music System lets you do just that, since it features a front-mounted, 8-pin Lightning connector, so you can dock your chosen iOS device.
I recently performed a hands-on test of the speaker here at B&H.
I connected an iPhone 5, and there was an audible click once it was securely in place. The rear-mounted plastic support held it upright. While I listened to music, the iPhone 5 was powering up. This is a very handy feature, which prevents battery failure when you remove it from the dock. What struck me about the speaker is that it's very easy to use. After the iPhone 5 was docked, it started playing right away without any real setup required.
If you've heard the Bose SoundDock® Series II Digital Music System before, you can expect the same rich, room-filling audio from this next iteration. Midrange and vocals were especially detailed in several test tracks. The only difference here is the presence of an integrated Lightning connector, rather than Apple's legacy 30-pin connector. Of course, it features Bose digital signal processing and a proprietary acoustic design that work together to offer drastically improved sound for your iPhone or iPod. If you have music-streaming apps downloaded to your device, such as Spotify or Pandora, this increases your options and lets you listen to just about anything.
For devices that don't use Apple's Lightning connector, Bose has thoughtfully added a 3.5mm input to the back of the speaker so you can connect tablets, CD players, DVD players, computers and more (just be sure you have a 3.5mm cable, since one isn't included). I tried a Samsung Galaxy Tab and it worked seamlessly.
I was impressed by how easy the unit was to use. This was due in part to the pocket-sized remote control, which features eight buttons. From a distance, I was able to turn the speaker on and off, as well as the docked iPhone 5. You can also tweak the volume, skip/scan through tracks and skip from one playlist to the next. One more button is dedicated for playing/pausing your music, but will also toggle to another connected device if you simply press and hold it (in my case it went from the iPhone 5 to the tablet). After I toggled between devices, the phone continued to charge even after it stopped playing.
While this speaker does offer loud, clear sound, it doesn't have a rechargeable battery, and you'll need to plug it into an AC wall outlet to keep it going. Although the iPad 4th generation and iPad mini also feature the Lightning interface, the docking section isn't sized for these—the speaker is tailored to the smaller Lightning devices. The magazine-sized speaker weighs 4.6 pounds, so if you're carrying it from room to room, you'll have no problem. As Lightning-equipped speaker docks continue to hit the market, you will have options—but this one offers great sound, an auxiliary input and is very easy to use.
If you have any more questions about the Bose SoundDock Series III, we encourage you to stop by our SuperStore in New York City and speak to a B&H sales professional, give us a call at 1-800-606-6969 or join us online for a Live Chat.
|Docking compatibility||Apple iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th generation, iPod nano 7th generation|
|Connector||1 x 8-pin Lightning|
|Input||1 x 1/8" (3.5mm) line in|
|Power Requirements||100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||Speaker: 12.0 x 6.75 x 6.5" (30.5 x 17.2 x 16.5 cm) / Remote: 1.5 x 4.25 x 0.25" (3.8 x 10.8 x 0.6 cm)|
|Weight||Speaker: 4.6 lb (2.1 kg) / Remote: 1.9 oz (54 g)|