The Creative Xdock Wireless Music System is a wireless solution for the iPod that allows affordable streaming of audio around the house.

The "i" in iPod imbues Apple's popular music player with a sense of personalisation. But why keep your tunes to yourself when you can share the joy wirelessly? Creative designed the Xdock Wireless Music System for the iPod so you and your family members can listen to your iPod from any speakers in your house - with the help of the Xdock Wireless music system.

Setting up the Xdock Wireless Music System is simple. You start by powering up the Xdock and placing your iPod in the dock's cradle, which uses Apple's Universal design. Since the dock transmits the wireless audio signal, you'll want to set it up in a central location - maybe a location with a television so you can take advantage of the dock's video-out port, which allows you to play video through your TV with a supported Apple iPod. The Xdock's audio-out port works with any dockable iPod, as well as the iPhone; unfortunately, the video-out feature is somehwat limited and does not work with the iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, or third- or fourth-generation iPod nano.

Also in the package is one X-Fi Wireless Receiver. You can place an X-Fi Wireless Receiver in another room where you want to listen to music - your master bedroom, for example - and connect the Receiver to a stereo hi-fi system or a set of powered speakers. The dock and Receiver connect automatically within a few seconds, and you can connect multiple receivers as long as they're within 100 feet of the dock. These extra Receivers are priced at £79 each. You can also, of course, connect the Xdock itself to a stereo system.

The main Xdock also includes a USB port for connecting your iPod to your Mac or PC for syncing with iTunes.

Both the receiver and the dock offer the same controls, with which you can play or pause a song, skip or scan tracks back or forward, and adjust volume. Both sport a shiny, black exterior with rounded corners. The simplicity of these designs is nice, but some may find these components, especially the receiver, a bit bulky for what they do. (The Xdock is approximately 5.5in long, 4.5in wide, and 3.5in deep; the receiver is is about an inch shorter at 4.5in.) A slimmer, smaller design would be less obtrusive in your living room or bedroom.

We set up the Xdock and an X-Fi Wireless Receiver to transmit music from a living room to a bedroom. The sound quality was good, but we heard a faint hiss in speakers connected to the X-Fi Wireless Receiver. When listening to speakers or a stereo connected directly to the Xdock itself, audio quality was much better, with no noticeable hiss.

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Creative Xdock Wireless Music System: Specs

  • Xdock Wireless Transmitter: optical digital out /line out on 3.5mm stereo jack
  • headphone out
  • audio line in
  • S-video out
  • composite video out
  • USB mini-B
  • X-Fi Wireless Receiver: audio line out 3.5mm stereo
  • RCA audio line out
  • headphone out
  • Wireless range up to 30 metres
  • frequency 2.4 GHz
  • USB 1.1 and 2.0 compatibility
  • compatible with Apple iPod mini. iPod Nano 1st & 2nd generations
  • iPod 4th & 5th generations only
  • Xdock Wireless Transmitter: optical digital out /line out on 3.5mm stereo jack
  • headphone out
  • audio line in
  • S-video out
  • composite video out
  • USB mini-B
  • X-Fi Wireless Receiver: audio line out 3.5mm stereo
  • RCA audio line out
  • headphone out
  • Wireless range up to 30 metres
  • frequency 2.4 GHz
  • USB 1.1 and 2.0 compatibility
  • compatible with Apple iPod mini. iPod Nano 1st & 2nd generations
  • iPod 4th & 5th generations only

OUR VERDICT

The wireless convenience of the Xdock is attractively priced in the UK: the Xdock with one X-Fi Wireless Receiver costs £69, although you’ll have to lay out another £79 for each X-Fi Wireless Receiver that you add for other rooms. If you’ve got the desk space, the Creative Xdock Wireless Music System is a cool solution that allows your iPod to be in several places at once.

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