Today we are looking at a product that did not do well for Apple – the iPod Hi-fi. These were introduced in February of 2006 and were discontinued in September of 2007. They were priced at $349, no matter where you went. Typical Apple price-fixing, if you ask me.
But I digress. These are slick-looking products that do what a lot of other things out there do: provide a docking station and speakers to play your iPod through.
But this one does a very good job of it. It has two 80mm midrange drivers and a 130mm dual voice-coil woofer. They are in a ported, tuned, and double-walled enclosure, with separate cabinets for each driver. These speakers sound great, and you can gaze lovingly at them if you set aside the easily-removable grill.
The inputs and outputs are simple. There is a slot on the top to set your iPod in, as well as an 1/8-inch input jack on the back. As far as outputs go: there aren’t any. Hah!
The controls are extra-simple. There are touch-sensitive volume and track controls on top of the unit. Also, the Hi-fi comes with a remote that allows you to control the same things.
The chassis is uber-durable. It has the usual Apple quality dripping from every gently-radiused shiny surface. It measures about a 1 & ½ feet long by ½ fot by ½ foot. It has a supple rubber footing along the bottom that prevents it from marring your Chippendale table, or Ikea PS cabinet.
The iPod Hi-fi draws its precious electricity through a whopping 9 ½-foot AC cable, or through 6 ecologically-evil D cell batteries. With the batteries, it weighs in at an astounding 16.7 pounds. That is a lot of quality!
Well, internet pundits thought otherwise. Criticisms included:
It was too expensive.
It did not have an AM/FM radio tuner.
The iPod stuck out the top and was too vulnerable.
The remote did not support all of the normal iPod functions.
Most ridiculously, I have seen reviewers complain that there is no headphone output on the Hi-fi. There is already one on the iPod, you mouth-breathing egg timers. Get a clue.
But, despite the criticisms, it turns out that this is still a popular item. In good condition, these sell for at least $200 on eBay, and new in the box models go for over $500. Try to get that kind of resale value on other old electronics.
I still use mine regularly, and am super-happy that I picked one up when they were being closed out at Mac Mall. If you see one for a deal at a garage sale, you might consider snagging it.