Meridian launches new iPhone/iPod dock

Meridian's £195 i80 dock and £1500 F8 system... start saving up now!
Meridian's £195 i80 dock and £1500 F8 system... start saving up now!

There aren't many companies that make new product announcements on the same day as an Apple launch, although that's precisely what audio specialists Meridian and Onkyo have done today – launching a luxurious, high-end new iPhone/iPod dock and a couple of more realistically-priced hi-fi systems respectively.

Oh, okay then, you spotted the connection too! Yes, the Meridian kit is iPhone 3G compatible. And Onkyo assures us that iPhone 3G compatible docks are on the way 'in the very near future'.

iPod for audiophiles

According to Meridian, its i80 Universal Dock for iPod marries "the convenience that the iPod (and iPhone) offers," with the company's renowned "expertise in sound quality and engineering".

"The i80 offers the very finest solution for listening to, and sharing your, digital music collection, whatever iPod you may own," the press release continues.

The i80 connects to Meridian's F80 system "allowing you immediate and complete control of the music library stored on the iPod through the F80 remote control or its front panel buttons."

The track information is relayed via the F80's beautiful OLED display so you can check the playlist or song is playing.

Intelligent conversion technology

Most importantly, for true audiophiles, when you connect an i80 dock to the F80 system, intelligent conversion technology actively processes compressed music formats on your iPod or iPhone revealing more of the original recording, helping your music to sound its absolute best.

The catch? The dock itself costs £195, in addition to the £1,500 for the Meridian F80.

Although, if you really want to listen to the music from your new iPhone or iPod in true 'seperates quality' then you are going to have to dig deep into those pockets.

Realistic price world

Onkyo has also announced a couple of new, slightly more affordable hi-fi systems. The Onkyo CS-325UKD is described as a "new entry-level micro hi-fi system that offers quality CD, DAB/FM and iPod replay for just £200" while the Onkyo CS-525UKD is a £320 USB-equipped replacement for the best-selling CS- 515DAB.

You pays your money, you takes your choice.

Adam Hartley