A Portable Speaker System
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Decked out with a black front and white back, the iF350 has a pleasant appearance that would not look out of place in a living room or bedroom. While in no way this product be described as pocket-size, it is easily portable, weighing 1.5kb with dimensions of 276 x 157 x 41mm (W x H x D) in its closed state. A neoprene protective carry pouch is provided for when the speaker system is in transit between locations. Regrettably this pouch does not have a carry handle or even a clasp to ensure the unit does not slip out accidentally when being moved.
The iF350 consists of two 3-inch speakers attached, ear-like, to a centrally positioned FM radio unit which doubles as the docking compartment for the iPod. Included in the package are 12 different iPod adapters to make sure whatever model you have should fit this product.
You also get a remote control unit although its presence might not be immediately obvious as I learned through my own experiences. I though I had been short changed and got in touch with the company’s PR agent to request a replacement. It was unnecessary as the remote control was there all the time. The remote is located in a slot on the rear of the main unit. Completing the package are a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable and a mains power lead to charge the built-in Li-ion battery pack.
Earlier I mentioned the unit’s dimensions when in its closed state. The reason for this is that you can release a stand at the back and the docking platform at the front of the unit. These two items can be folded back into the body of the unit when transporting it between locations.
The FM radio/docking unit module features a 2-inch LCD display providing feedback as to the current mode, time, station issues and track information. Running along the top of the unit are the various controls for power on/off, choice of input (iPod, FM radio or AUX), menu/select, play/pause, forwards/backwards, and volume adjustment. When appropriate these controls, and those on the remote device, allow you to access the features on your iPod.
There is also an extendable FM aerial which I found definitely improved signal strength especially when tuning into and setting up the 18 pre-set frequencies allowed by the unit. The iF350 divides its pre-sets into three groups of six. You need to press the FM button on the remote to cycle through these three groups and then select the appropriate 1-6 number.
The remote has the sole responsibility when adjusting both the alarm settings, which include a sleep feature that will automatically turn off the audio after a set period, and the time. According to the supplied User Manual you are meant to be able to set up the time, month and year but I was only able access and adjust the time. When not in use, the remote can be stored in its original home slot on the rear of the device.
Although designed specifically for use with the iPod family, the Edifier iF350 does not deny you the ability to connect other types of devices to this speaker system. Using the supplied audio cable you can attach any MP3 player with a 3.5mm output socket to the Edifier device. By select the AUX option, you can then play back its content through this unit’s speakers. However it was noticeable that there was a reduction in the volume output level when using this method. In order to get the same level of output as achieved with the FM radio and iPod options, I had to double the volume setting to get a reasonable level for listening.
According to Edifier the built-in Li-ion battery pack should be good for 15 hours of life from a single charge. I feel that this is a slightly optimistic figure as I was only able to get around 13 hours in my tests. I was impressed with the audio quality delivered by this speaker system. You would not want to use it to fill an auditorium but for a medium size room in a house it would be fine. While I would not want to use this speaker system with my MP3 player, I would be perfectly happy to work in conjunction with my iPod Classic even though I needed to remove the leather cover it usually wears. The Edifier iF350 is priced at £109.99.
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