Getting antsy for next week’s new iPad release? Yeah, so am I. The iPad’s Retina display is what I’m most excited about, and I bet everyone will spend a ton of time ogling it. Watching HD movies on that crisp 2048×1536 display will surely be a joy, and with the Scosche bassDOCK ($149.99), you can have a mini-home theater anywhere you go.
The Scosche bassDock is a charging dock, stand, and speaker system for iPad. It fits both the first generation iPad and uses clip-in grips to accommodate the iPad 2′s shape (with more than enough wiggle room for the new iPad). The dock can rotate for both portrait and landscape viewing, while the stand itself tilts to provide different viewing angles. The bassDOCK features dual 1.6-inch stereo speakers, as well as a 3-inch subwoofer. I’ve spent a few weeks with the bassDOCK, and I’d like to share with you how it performed.
The bassDOCK couldn’t be any simpler to use. Once you dock your iPad, you’re good to go. You can adjust the volume with either your iPad’s volume buttons, or with the volume up/down buttons on top of the bassDOCK. There is also a power button on the dock which puts the iPad to sleep when pressed. The sound pushed out of the bassDOCK is surprisingly pleasant for such a small system. I watched “Toy Story 3″ and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” with the sound at about 70 percent, and both sounded great. Toy Story 3 sounded clear, while all the music in the movie had perfectly balanced low, medium, and high frequencies from the speakers. All of the sound effects in Transformers sounded just as crisp, whether it was tinny metal-on-metal impact, or low thuds and explosions. The 3-inch subwoofer performs well for its size. As far as music playback goes, the bassDOCK does its job well. Setting an equalizer in your Settings app will help you get the best sound if you’re picky about that kind of thing.
It doesn’t seem like there is enough room to accommodate a case. Naked iPads only. There isn’t a way to manually adjust the sound on the bassDOCK. You can’t adjust the bass, lows, highs, or anything like that. The only buttons on the dock are volume up, volume down, and power. When cranked up to 100 percent, the bassDOCK seems to strain for both music and video playback, but you definitely don’t need it to be that loud if you’re in a normal sized room. Also, the bassDOCK didn’t output any sound during FaceTime calls. To get sound from the dock while using FaceTime, I had to undock the iPad, and use an auxiliary cord from the headphone jack to the audio-in on the dock. I’m not sure if this is an iOS limitation, or what, but it would’ve been a great addition if it worked.
The Scosche bassDOCK is a great little speaker and dock combo for your iPad. It’ll keep your iPad charged, and provide you with enough sound for group viewing. It’s light enough to be portable and small enough to have a home on your desk. Audiophiles may not be impressed, but the regular consumer should definitely check it out.