iFun Sound Dock

Posted: April 5, 2008 in hardware, technology
Tags: , ,

So, we’ve been looking for an ipod dock for some time and finally settled on one that fit the bill. When i say we, i actually mean my wife’s been looking, i just do the legwork of pouring over the specs, checking out the features and if that part looks good, the actual tactile review and inspection of the product in question. Not many of the less expensive docks or speaker systems available made it past the first few parts of the review process. However, after a bit of fruitless research and a quick read of the specs on the box, we decided to take a chance on the iFun. There was very little info on the box and the companies website didn’t even mention the product (Century Concepts digital http://www.ccandu.com/home.asp), which makes me think they made it specifically for the Loblaws group of companies, which is where we picked it up from.

The iFun is heavy. That has always been a good indicator when it comes to moderate to inexpensive speakers. The higher end manufacturers have been able to tweak their designs to make a lightweight speaker enclosure that still can produce warm bass tones, but the less expensive brands are still struggling with that one. The iFun enclosure is wood and plastic, with a removable speaker faceplate that lets you see the speaker cones and tuned ports which manage to produce fairly warm sounds and remarkably give a bit of separation to the stereo sound even though the entire thing is only 8” h x 8” deep x 16” long.

There are only a few controls located on the top of the iFun near the ipod dock. Volume up and down and a play/pause button. These light up to let you know the unit is on, and dim when the unit is in standby mode and not actively playing your tunes. You definitely need the remote, which enables you to adjust the treble and bass as well as switch the input modes. The ipod docks on the top of the unit, but you can also use the mini-plug input on the rear of the iFun to plug in any mp3 player, or in my case my Blackberry Curve. There seems to be better tonal range with the ipod dock than when using the mini-plug, and the volume level is slightly lower through the mini-plug as well, but overall the sound was quite good. Much better than any of the cheaper speakers i’ve connected directly to my curve.
The back of the iFun is very simple as well, a video out port, an AUX-IN port and the power plug are all that you get. There are no jacks or outputs for additional speakers which would have been a nice option, but would make the unit less portable so i can understand why the manufacturer may not see them as a necessity. Sometimes simple is best, and in this case i think it does work well. Also, this unit is AC only, no battery compartment so you will need a place to plug this puppy in, which does limit its portability, but then again, i grow tired of always hunting for batteries or trying to remember to recharge them beforehand. In our case battery power was not a necessity, but the ability to charge your ipod while it is in use was definitely a feature i was looking for and one this unit has.

One thing i’ve noticed, it makes a difference at what bitrate the files are encoded as well. You can tell a 128 vs a 192 vs a 256. The quality really does make for a tinny sound at the lower bitrates. That being said, its not a fault of the iFun its just that you really couldn’t notice it with an of the other speakers or docks we’ve tried – because they made everything sound tinny. You’ll want to ensure you turn off the EQ function on your iPod when using the iFun, just let the treble and bass controls shape the music for you. If that is not good enough for you, then you are looking a the wrong product. There is no EQ function on the iFun so any adjustments to sound are limited – ie: if you really want pounding bass, you will be disappointed.

From a “bang-for-your-buck” standpoint, this box is priced right around where it should be. It’s no Bose Sounddock or Sounddock Portable, or the now seemingly defunct Apple Hi-Fi, but at a third the price it is definitely worth looking at. Especially if you are looking for something fairly rugged to take outside with you on the deck, or want to move easily from room to room, then the iFun might just fit the bill while saving you a bunch of them at the same time.
TCG

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Comments
  1. Tamino Haas says:

    Sorry I have a question what is the name of this model? 

    Like

  2. Sack says:

    The botton “-” does not work any more. How can we repair it as the sound is to noise ( loud)

    Like

    • barkerp says:

      Ours stopped working earlier this year. Not just the “-” button, but the entire thing so I feel your pain. if the volume is too high on the dock, can you not adjust the input level? for example, turn the volume down on the iphone/ipod and it should lower the line level going into the dock that is being amplified.

      Like

  3. ikenna says:

    Good day all please I need information/guidance as my I-fun eb981 unit(same as in the pics) no longer respond to the three button on the unit and I find it hard getting the remote control. What can I do?

    Like

  4. Jose Maria says:

    Trying to look for a compatible remote controller… anyone knows ?

    Like

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