This black version of Bose's award-winning SoundDock was launched last month. The price is unchanged from the white model; the sound is still superb, though sadly no new features have emerged to help justify the price, especially given features on newer models that are now on the market.

Out of the box, the unit appears smaller and more compact than the advertising shots. It's small enough to be a desktop speaker and sit beside your Mac, but there's no input jack for a 3.5mm cable so it can only be used with an iPod.

There is also no multi-pin dock cable port to load up tunes from a Mac to the iPod while docked. Some of the others in this test have this feature.

The remote is great and worked for us from more than 20 feet away, and sent receivable signals around the corners of the house.

Excellent sound

The sound is stunning - so detailed and balanced that no particular element asserts itself over the others. This was true for all the music we put through it.

It punches way above its compact size; the bass is particularly warm and still detailed at any volume without muddying the display at all. Overall it's a truly superb show.

Suprisingly, we found the build quality to be a little bit wobbly, especially on the lip of the chassis that extends out with the iPod dock. It wobbled for no apparent reason. And when an iPod is not docked but the power is on, the power adaptor makes a perceptible ultra highpitched noise.

There are no input options other than docking an iPod, and no output options, such as video or earphones, for example. Also, it's disappointing that there's no battery option for taking the SoundDock outdoors.

At this price range we would have expected a few more features than simply great sound. James Ellerbeck