iphone dock vs standard speakers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by DerStig, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. DerStig macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2013
    I'm about to receive my iphone 5s and with that I also would like to add a decent speaker system to my home. That being said, I'm a bit puzzled as to whether I should get a iphone/ipod dock that works like a speaker which can also be connected to a laptop say when I need to (i.e. like the Bose SoundDock III) OR I could get a standard 2.1 stereo speaker system with a subwoofer, connect it to my iphone or my laptop.

    Here are my requirements :

    - My laptop, a mac book air 13", needs a dedicated speaker system. My current logictech is broken.
    - In my iphone, I barely have 10 songs that are purchased from itunes. I use spotify exclusively. So the entire notion of controlling the dock with remote etc is not useful for me.
    - When listening music, I don't care whether I use my laptop's spotify or my iphone's spotify - both will connect to the same speaker system. And please correct me if I'm wrong but, whether I play my songs from the macbookair or iphone's spotify, as long as the speaker system is the same, the sound quality will be same as well

    At this point, I don't know the sound quality of these docking systems. The most expensive I can afford is the bose sounddock 3. But for the money I have to pay for that thing, which seems like does nothing other than charging my iPhone since I dont use standard itunes songs, I can buy 2 if not 3 different sets of sound speakers, that are just as good, if not better. The docking stations are usually 1 unit with 2 speakers and a subwoofer integrated whereas other stand alone speakers are separate. Now, the advantage of the dock is, its all in one place, no cables and speakers to manage, the disadvantage is, I'm pretty sure the sound quality suffers because you cannot position the speakers apart from each other.

    That being said, I have never used or heard any of these iphone docks, so I may be talking nonsense. I need some advice, and that's exactly why I came here for help:)

    I hate to say this, but I don't understand why people would buy those expensive docking stations for iphone, maybe I am missing something here.
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    to add more confusion, there is another option... airplay.

    that way you don't have to dock or plug anything.

    you can send any audio from your phone, or you can send the audio output from your mac (running mountain lion or later)
    with airfoil running on your mac, you can pick a program and only send audio from that one, useful so you don't get deafened by new mail, or you can mute your laptop speakers, so an annoying auto play ad isn't heard, but your music continues to come out of the remote speakers.

    with airplay there are 2 options.

    airport express + speakers.
    you can get a refurb older style for $69 and that will work fine for this purpose.
    then you still have to find speakers.

    or the second option is an all in one system.
    the iHome iW2 sounds OK. and can be found for $130-150. It's like the iW1 mentioned in that article, but it doesn't have an internal battery. they apparently also improved the sound quality on the iW2 compared to the 1.

    most of these options also come with remotes, so you can pause or skip without being at your computer or phone.

    another thing is airplay is expandable, in the future you can add a second set of speakers. and then send audio to both in sync with the other.
  3. DerStig thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2013
    I really don't care about connecting my iphone to my speakers. I don't want to spend more money for airplay, I don't think its worth - at least not in my use case. I also live in a small apartment, it's not like we have a huge house and I need to walk around with my phone.

    I guess my question is more about "what does those expensive docks give you over standard speakers, apart from the ability to charge your phone?" Sound quality wise, I just don't see a dock system being better than a standard speaker system.
  4. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Yes, docks are overpriced for their sound quality IMHO. The other thing is, by design you can't increase the distance between the left and right speakers of a dock for better stereo effect.

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