I am a representative for the bar at college, which means I get to make decisions that could affect the bar, if we have any activity nights, etc.
In the old college bar, we had space for a pool table, stage and all this lovely stuff, but when we moved over to the new building, we only had the canteen, which as you may be able to imagine does not have space for a pool table. (It barely has space for us all to eat in it.) So, the pool table sat there, not being used and looking very forlorn. A staff member had made some noise about possibly buying it for a club he’s a part of or something like that (it was a while ago and the details escape me). We negotiated a price with him and eventually came to £50 which we were all happy with. The idea was to use this £50 to buy games or other activities to do in the bar. Long story short, I tried asking people what they wanted a few times but every email I ent out got minimal responses. I talked to the manager of the bar a few weeks ago and asked if the money was still there as on nights where I don’t DJ there are a small rather rubbish set of computer speakers on the bar that really don’t go loud at all. I asked her if she thought it was a good idea to replace them and use the money we have to buy something nicer. She agreed it was a good idea and asked me to find what I wanted. Enter, the IWantIt IBTLI14. I had a budget of £50, and this thing looked incredible for £49.99. (I’ve done a bit of research by the way, and amazon has the same dock for over £100, and this one is on sale at curries which is where we got it from.)
What does £49.99 get you?
For £49.99 you get:
- An apple lightening dock
- USB play and charge
- 3.5MM aux
- 2 internal speakers rated at 30 W (15 W + 15 W)
- signal to noise ratio of 50DB
- A remote
What’s in the box
There’s not that much in the box, you get the dock itself with none-removable power cord, the remote, a 3.5MM aux cable and the paperwork.
When I first took it out of the box my first impression was the size; I was expecting something a lot smaller for £50, however on first look, it looks like this thing could put out some serious loudness, which is what we wanted from it as our old speakers didn’t go loud at all.
On the front of the dock you’ve got the 2 speakers behind cloth, on the top you’ve got 4 buttons (a source selector, pause, and volume down and up). On the back you have a power switch, the permanently attached power cord, an Aux Jack (cable included) and a USB port. On the top you’ve got a release mechanism that pops open the lightening dock, and that’s about it for describing the unit.
The remote is your typical remote you’d expect to get with a dock like this; a rather small affair with a coin cell battery. On the remote you have a power button in the top left, then a source button then you have previous play and next, underneath previous there is a mute button, and under that is a treble down control, opposite that is a treble boost control, below those you have the same for bass and then volume is at the bottom.
We’ve been using it pretty much every night in the bar since we got it, and I’ve honestly got to say, we made an excellent choice. It does exactly what we wanted, and them some. However, for this review I’ve borrowed the unit to really get a feel of how it performs.
Sound wise, it’s more than capable of going to a very high volume, which was one thing that surprised me. Paring with Bluetooth is simple, the unit defaults to this when first turns on. You can tell this as it admits a beep, and then the unit is in paring mode. Paring is as simple as tapping the device in your Bluetooth settings, Waiting for the connection to take place, and then enjoying your music. For my own listening, I would recommend that the EQ be all the way up for both, as this seems to make the unit sound its best. I really like the way the unit is designed, the wooden finish makes the unit aesthetically pleasing to look at, and also means that it doesn’t attract as many fingerprints or dust as a glossy finish.
Sound wise, it can pump out some volume, however, like with most systems, it does start to distort the lower frequencies at higher volumes. Speaking of that, lower frequencies are presented quite well, the midrange frequencies can sometimes get lost, vocals are well presented. Overall is a nice listenable sound, the one thing that really lets it down is the stereo separation. Nothing can really be done about it, I just think that the speakers are maybe a little bit too close together, and it’s hard to distinguish between them while casually listening. I have noticed that things do seem to get a little bit better once you start turning the dock up.
The remote can sometimes be very temperamental, as is the case with the majority of these sorts of systems, however I’ve found that for the most part, it’s responsive when pointed directly at the unit, however sometimes my iPod refuses to respond to the previous, play and next buttons when docked, but pointing it at either a combination of the speakers or the iPod itself seems to work. The line-in function works as expected, and one thing I have noticed, unlike some other systems like that, you don’t notice a change in quality greatly when playing from a Bluetooth and a wired source. As with most of my reviews, I’m using the review product while I write the review and this is no exception. I am currently playing a Spotify playlist, and it’s sounding all right in the background. The remote is responding quite well from where I’m sitting; which for once, is not right next to the dock, I’m sitting in a chair next to a radiator because it’s a little bit cold, and the dock is on a table against the opposite wall.
This is a lovely purchase, and if I had the need for one in my daily life, I wouldn’t hesitate to grab this one. It has a couple of shortfalls with the sound, but for what it is, it’s certainly not bad.
I have no idea what USB play and charge is at all, however the USB port does charge my phone, but I don’t know what the playing function of that is, as the sources cycle between Bluetooth, aux and iPod. I reached out to curries to ask them if they had a PDF manual as I couldn’t find a thing anywhere else online but I didn’t have any response. The Bluetooth function of this dock has to be its best feature. And it certainly can provide room filling sound for say, a gathering, or a barbecue.
Thank you for reading, and see you in the next one.