Designing an audio product presents manufacturers with a dilemma. Do they forego convenience and build a great sounding but bulky system, or sacrifice audio quality in favour of a smaller footprint?
Thankfully, Revo's new K2 iOS dock, radio and audio streamer makes no such compromises.
The K2's square-shaped base with sides of just 10.6cm and two alarm settings make it ideal for your bedside table. But its brushed aluminium bodywork, black rubber details and invisible-until-lit OLED means it looks good just about anywhere.
Its 30-pin connector can be retracted when not in use, and can hold any iPod or iOS device, including an iPad. DAB/DAB+ and FM with RDS radio formats are covered, as is internet radio, Last.FM (a month's free trial supplied) and streaming audio from your Mac or any DNLA-compliant source.
You can join it to a home network through Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and connect it to an existing stereo setup through RCA or digital optical out. There's also AUX-in, a headphone socket and a composite video-out port for watching iPod videos or slideshows on your TV. A handheld remote augments the neat on-board buttons.
Sound quality is excellent. Its stereo effects are surprisingly good given the narrow form factor, and thanks to the rear-mounted bass port, the low end of the sound spectrum is clear and crisp. The audio as a whole is complete and lively, with a detailed top end, bouncy midtones and a near 360-degree dispersion.
The user interface deserves a mention too. Revo products are famed for their accessibility, and the K2 is no exception – steady improvements make it the best yet. If you have a sound system you're not using to its fullest because you can't be bothered to keep dipping into the instructions, you should have bought a Revo.
Revo's K2 delivers a sound that belies its small form factor. It's possible to get more out of bigger, more expensive systems, but for a compact £300 device, it's among the best we've heard.
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