Reviewer: T Johnson
Setup and all adjustments are easy and quick. Sound quality is superb, especially with music from a docked iPod/iPhone. LCD is just a tad bright at night, even when set to it lowest setting. AM band reception is decent on strong local stations. FM band reception and sound quality are great. Overall, this is a great radio with nice features and nice, full-bodied sound on FM and iPod.
Reviewer: Tom Brusky
I was surprised at how the little radio produces such booming lows, and I was impressed with the exceptional clarity of the highs. But what the radio lacks, in my opinion, is everything in between. The bass ports produce bass that's too boomy relative to the rest of the frequencies. It sounds impressive, but musically, it's quite overbearing. I had to loosely plug the rear bass ports in order to smooth out the low end. The lack of midrange results in too much being lost in the music. Thank goodness my iPod has an EQ to help compensate. And with little midrange, AM radio is rendered virtually useless -- even with the treble all the way up, the bass all the way down, and the bass ports plugged, voice broadcasts on AM are so muddy, they border on unintelligible. If you typically listen to your stereo with a smiley-faced EQ, you'll absolutely love this radio. But, as a recording engineer by trade, I prefer a flatter, more natural, full-range sound--where lows, mids, and highs are balanced relative to one another. If this radio simply had a wide-bandwidth midrange level control, it would be the cat's meow. But I'm afraid without that control, this radio is merely the lion's roar and the cricket's chirp.
For radio this is excellent, one wonders if they are listening to a CD or not as the sound is very crisp. It's as if one is listening to an entire speaker set and one gets a full range of sound. The Ipod dock is an added bonus, and sound reproduction is excellent. Some added features of Aux inputs are great if one has another brand of MP3 player or portable CD. Also great is the choice to wake up to Ipod. I bought this as a music student with the intent of waking up to classical music every morning, and it puts a smile on my face. Makes mornings much more enjoyable.
Reviewer: Andrew Fraser
This is one of the best consumer electronics products I've ever purchased, period. It's very easy to set up and use, the sound quality is outstanding, it looks good, is the right size and the 360 snooze feature is great. I think you've got a real winner here and it should make the folks at Bose nervous.
For ipod speakers and not true component speakers, these are extremly good. i have owned thes over two months and i have not had a problem. the sound is very clear and crisp. i listen to just about all types of music and i love how i can adjust the bass and treble to get the perfect level for any song. if you can i would suggest getting dome good component speakers and a subwoofer, but these out do just about all of the ipos speakers i've heard
As many have written below, this is a superb quality radio with remarkable...make that luxurious sound. More importantly the FM tuner is one of the best I've used. Up here in Montreal we've got lots of FM stations across the band...and of course the one YOU want to listen to is all too often drowned out by other stronger stations. NOT a problem with this puppy. An added bonus is that I can play my iPhone (version 2 with 3.0 OS) with some controls (i.e. next track, pause, play...but I haven't tried to see if the alarm will start up the iPhone). Moreover I can leave the iPhone's G3/WiFi on and stream internet stations (using FStream) with ZERO buzz or interference!!! Finally, as for some of the comments below, I suspect some people didn't read all of the instructions (i.e. clock disappearing when the radio is on: that's what the "info" setting is for...you can see the clock all of the time). Wish list? Be nice if you could program which station/source to play on alarm (i.e. have a different station wake you up than the one you went to sleep with). AND I'd like to see firmware upgradeability (using the built-in port). The next model? Should include internet radio with either WiFi and/or ethernet connector...THAT would be awesome!
I have a love-hate relationship with the Duo-i. Fantastic sound, amazing FM tuner, nimble controls, great innovations like the snooze bar and ambient light adjusting display... if only they worked. The first unit went haywire regularly shortly after purchase, and alarm wouldn't work after a month. I'm on unit 2 now and it's going back, too... the alarm comes on and it automatically goes into snooze mode, going from 10 minutes to 60 minutes by itself. Then there's the problem with the annoying hum, the bad smell of outgasing that lingered for months with both units (what was I breathing?!). I never could get the display dimmer to go to a reasonable level, so have to cover it with a piece of foam core, or I wouldn't be able to get to sleep. Note: I used my old GE digital clock for 25 years with absolutely no problems. Shame that Boston couldn't combine innovative design with quality control. Worst part of unit... absolutely no tech support available... it's as if they don't want to admit that the unit might have a problem that potential buyers might see, so they force users to search online forums for help... pretty sad, very poor customer support.
I wanted to travel light but did not want to compromise quality sound. I read good reviews for this radio's AM/FM reception on the internet and decided to try it. I used to have a Bose Wave Radio first generation and the bass sounded harsh and my ears would hurt after listening for awhile. This Boston Duo has much cleaner bass, gentler on the ear and sounds like it hits very low frequency. The trebles are crisp while mids are clear. You don't have to crank the volume up to hear good bass, which is impressive. The sound is enveloping even at low volume. Talk radio sounds incredible clear. Talk radio on Bose wave radio sounded boomy and it was difficult for me to hear what people were saying, thus I have to crank the volume up even more, further irritating my ears. Anyway, I think the Duo performs some sort of compression processing to enhance the clarity of sound. It produces high fidelity sound at medium and especially low volumes. I will recommend this radio to everyone I know.
This is the best ipod speaker/radio dock in the price range category. It is very easy to use. The interface for adjusting the settings is very easy to use. The features are nice, e.g. auto dimming lcd, dual alarm clock, remote control, etc. Both the radio and ipod sounds very good. The sound is also better in conparison to the other brands I tested in the same or higher price range. Trebel and bass adjustments are a plus in tuning the sound to your preference. I highly recommend this product. I got mine on sale at Amazon.
Reviewer: David Roos
This is an excellent table radio. It sounds great. But it has a few problem. Even though it has a clock it is not much of a clock radio. The problems are: 1) When the radio is on the station shows on the display and the clock disappears. If you wake to radio you can't tell what time it is unless you turn the radio off. 2) The only time you can "snooze" the radio is when it first comes on and the volume is ramping up. You cannot listen for a minute and then "snooze" it for a while. 3) If you touch anything but the snooze bar it will not go into snooze mode. For example, while the volume is ramping up if you adjust the volume you switch off snooze and cannot use it again until the next alarm cycle. 4) To adjust settings you must select the menu items that appear around the periphery of the display. They are hard to read. 5) The radio goes into Hospitality mode by itself at random times. This limits the volume. It is not hard to reset but is a nuisance. 6) You cannot select anything on an iPod with the remote. You can only start and stop it.
Up until a few months ago, I was living happily with an XtremeMac Luna iPod clock radio, which worked perfectly with my 60GB iPod Photo. It woke me up reliably (and gently), and played music with pretty good sound quality (although radio reception left something to be desired. Looked good on the night table, too. Then, I had the opportunity to get the newest iPod classic (120GB). Got it loved it (you can find my review of it elsewhere here), and happily passed on the Photo to Significant Other. All was well until I slid the classic into the Luna�s dock. It would still play music though the Luna, but the alarm function became terribly erratic: sometimes the alarm system would awaken me to music, sometimes to the alarm buzzer, regardless of what setting was used. What started as a minor annoyance get more annoying with time...if it didn�t matter at all to me, I wouldn�t have bothered with getting the Luna in the first place (which turned out not to be the easiest thing to track down and buy). After a few months of this, I decided it was time to sell it (preferably to someone with at least a slightly older iPod), and move on to something else. �Something else� turned out to be something of an adventure. The iPod clock-radio market is a weird one: there�s an almost frightening array of brands and models, from craptastic-cheap to I�d-mortgage-my-house-for-one-if-my-house-was-still-worth-anything expensive. The craziest thing is that price doesn�t necessarily tell you anything about what something sounds like, or how useful it is on the nightstand. (That is, IF it fits on that stand: I checked out units from Denon, Polk Audio and a few others that struck me as oversized and over-buttoned...and let�s just skip the price tags on them too.) Then, among the more mild-mannered models, there were these head-scratchers: Sony�s XDR-510HDIP HD Radio with iPod Dock: Thiis looked so promising, and I was hoping Sony was finally pulling itself up from its near-decade-long product-development nosedive while Apple proceeded to clean their clock. No dice: firstly, where in Hades is the Snooze button/bar? A few might say that this unit isn�t *really* marketed as a clock radio...but, (1) it has a clock, and (2) an alarm system, which works in tandem with an iPod. Secondly, the illuminated display can�t be shut completely off. I don�t care what the manufacturer regards as a �dim� setting for the display; Significant Other has vetoed several models for being too bright...and the units were on MY side of the bed. If it doesn�t go out, it doesn�t come in...to the house, that is. This isn�t quite the House That Akio Built anymore Logitech Pure-Fi Dream: Another unit I had high hopes for, given my satisfaction with other products from them. Things got off to a bad start when, stopping off at an Apple Store to try one out, encountered a dead demo unit, and they couldn�t roll out a replacement. Not too confidence inspiring, but I managed to check out a working unit elsewhere. The sound was great, but the display was awful: not only am I not too fond of orange backlighting, this unit, like the Sony, cannot be completely turned off...if anything, it was BRIGHTER at its �minimum� setting than the Sony. Pass. iHome IP99: The first iPod clock radio I ever purchased was an iHome IP7. It went back the following day because�you guessed it� the thing was bright as Christmas at night. They got this issue licked in subsequent models, including the �99. But the �99�s almost-Luna-like rotary controls are awful, wobbly, cheap-feeling, and difficult to use. Sound was sub-par compared to the Luna. The sad thing is, this appears to be iHome�s best offering, IMO. - XtremeMac Luna X2: The obvious heir apparent, which was MIA well over a year after its announcement, which wasn�t a good sign. Worse than that, in the time between the X2�s announcement and its eventual shipping in small numbers a short time ago, (1) XtremeMac was bought by Imation, (2) XtremeMac�s founder and president abruptly resigned and left the company, and (3) there were discouraging reports from a few too many of the few people who�ve actually gotten their hands on an X2. Going by my own version of the 60/40 rule, I had to scratch this off my list as well...assuming I could even fine one. This brings me to the Boston Acoustics Horizon Duo-i. When I first saw a picture of it, I almost immediately dismissed it out-of-hand...it just looked huge and bulky next to something svelte like the Luna. The problem was, the old Luna doesn�t do it for my anymore, the new Luna is starting to sound like a kneecapped second act, and everything *else* roughly bearing that form factor was often even worse. What brought me back to trying the Duo-i was the company behind it. In another lifetime, I sold a lot of Boston Acoustics loudspeakers as a high-end audio salesperson, and I always had a good feeling about the company. the reps were straight-shooters, and so were the products: no obscure techno-BS dazzle, just good, solid-thinking design and build quality. I wanted to believe they still kept these qualities, so I turned around and decided to give the Duo-i a shot. Glad I did. The Duo-i is not only an extraordinary product in its category, but also an object lesson in remembering what a given product is actually going to be used FOR, not just a laundry list of �features� dreamed up by Marketing in an overheated bull-session and shoved down the Product Manager�s throat. This product works and feels like the entire product team had to take a working prototype and actually *use* it in their homes for a few weeks before signing off on its design. It�s clear to me that above-room-temperature IQs still prevail at BA. Let�s start with the form-factor thing. Yes, the Duo-i is noticeably taller than many competing units, but not all: and, what these few larger-sized models have in common is speaker-driver size, which makes itself apparent as soon as you fire the thing up. But I�m getting ahead of myself here: in spite of the added height, the Duo-i is somewhat less imposing that pictures on a Web page might lead you to believe. Granted, the unit is by no means small: if you find it tough to fit your old Westclox Big Ben back on the table after winding it, some serious adjustment is in order. But if you�re replacing another iPod clock radio, the change should be relatively manageable. The payoff is definitely worth it, starting with The Sound. The Cliff Notes version goes like this: the Duo-i kicks the Luna, and most every other iPod clock radio I�ve demo�d, clean to the curb, not merely in terms of quantity of bass, but quality: no mere boom-boom-boom, but tight, articulate bass, the kind of bass you�d take as read from a company steeped in hi-fi loudspeaker experience. I was reminded of the first time a heard a KLH table radio, the first table radio with hi-fi credentials in the 1960s. (This is important, because BA�s lineage can be traced back through companies like Advent, KLH, and Acoustic Research, among others.) Listening intently to music in the bedroom, from a Peter Pettinger album of Elgar piano music via my iPod classic, a little Nirvana *Unplugged* afterward, or Billie Holiday via radio (WKCR in New York is finishing up a Birthday music marathon in her honor right now), there is a fullness and depth, and a sense of ease, in the music�s presentation that�s hard to put into words...but I like to believe you�d know what I mean when you hear it. The Duo-i should just about hold its own with all but the most outrageous dedicated iPod-based amplifier/speaker systems. But those outrageous amp/speaker systems (one of them tube-based...you know who I mean) won�t wake you up in the morning. They aren�t designed for that. The Duo-i is. With a nod to the aforementioned KLH table radio, the Duo-i has three control knobs that dominate the center control panel. With a nod to the 21st Century, these are multi-purpose: they push in, button-style, to execute several functions, which are quite intuitive. There are all of seven buttons on the front panel, five of which are radio station presets. (The other two control the function of the two separate alarms.) The alarm system is straightforward. The Duo-i doesn�t have separate weekday/weekend alarm settings, nor does it have a Playlist option for waking up to your iPod. (Neither of these is an issue for me, but your needs may differ.) Otherwise, the system is about as comprehensive as one would want. Control layout is superb: no phalanx of buttons in bewildering arrays. As sophisticated as the Duo-i controls are, these strike me as about as intuitive as I�ve come across, even compared to the Luna, which is high praise indeed. About the remote control: frankly, it reminds me of remotes from certain other iPod clock radios. That being said, it�s well thought-out, and has the added feature of a magnetic back that allows it to be �stored� against either of the Duo-i�s metal speaker grilles, a small but nice move). The remote is IR-based, so you have to be within sight of the Duo-i to control it. On the other hand, you won�t have to worry about somebody�s keyless-entry car door system triggering your radio on in the middle of the night. (Go ahead...ask me how I know this.) Now, about those �hidden� functions: a few reviewers here have mentioned the problem of some Duo-i units not being able to play music above a certain volume level. Turns out that there�s a �hospitality� setting that limits the volume to a preset level. There happens to be an undocumented �fix� for this, as described in at least one other review here (the owner got this from BA tech support, which happens to be quite good: read on). The hidden feature I�m about to describe regards what I thought to be the one remaining major �flaw� in the Duo-i�s design: the ability to completely extinguish the backlit display when going to sleep. Way too many iPod clock radios are sorely lacking in this regard: when it�s time for �lights out�, there�s that damed display, either glaring at you directly or reflecting off the wall or the like. The Duo-i display, with 21 (count �em!) levels of brightness control, could get *really* low, but, to my mind, not quite low enough...S.O. might have signed off on it as being �good enough�, but I was worried. So, yesterday morning, I called up tech support to try and get some answers. I was told that, if I unplugged the unit from the back, then plugged the power cord back in *while pushing and holding in the �Alarm 2� button, I could access the brightness calibration function (controlled via the �Tune� knob). This allows one to set the minimum brightness level of the display...including having the display go totally dark at its lowest setting!. Perfection.* Speaking of tweakability: on the back of the unit, besides useful input/output jacks (did I mention that the Duo-i has a headphone jack, which allows you to listen to music while your main squeeze sleeps in peace? Do we have to start handing out Nobels before more companies get a clue about this?), the Duo-i has a mini-USB port. This means that the unit�s software/firmware can be updated as needed, making the Duo-i at least a bit more obsolescence-proof than the next company�s offering. If the Luna had this sort of forward-thinking design, I wouldn�t be forced to sell it.) Finally: the Duo-i has an honest-to-goodness threaded coax connector in back. Importance? You can hook the thing up to a REAL antenna for serious FM reception. Which isn�t to say the tuner section needs a lot of help: it�s quite good with the supplies wire antenna, but the system comes into its own when connected to a something more serious. (I have mine connected to the hard-to-find and wonderful Technics SH-F101 tabletop antenna, and it�s all I could ask for in terms of quality FM reception.) About the only fault I can find with the Duo-i is that, now that I can get the display to completely darken at night, there�s no straightforward way to illuminate the display momentarily in the middle of the night without turning on a night light near it (the Duo-i has a sensor which automatically dims the display when the ambient light in the room decreases). The Luna could do this with the push of a button; this the only instance where the Luna excels. To sum up, the Boston Acoustics Duo-i is possibly the best-thought-out iPod clock radio I�ve ever come across. Sound quality, logical control layout, input/output versatility, and just plain all-around *livability*, I�d say it�s close to impossible to top. Of course, the bar has been set by a company with decades of experience, not just a handful of years. Experience still counts for something.
The Horizon Duo-i is AWESOME!!! I just got this radio and it is the best sounding speaker system/iPod dock/radio I have ever heard. Full bass, decent mids, and excellent highs. Don't judge this radio by its size. This thing will put out some volume. The only thing I wish was added was a cd player but with the auxilary imputs you can plug up anything. One of the best buys I have ever made.
It was between this and the Bose system. Did not want to spend the 300+ for the Bose and the sound is amazing on this system. Would have scored a 5 if I didn't have problems with the alarm clock feature.
Reviewer: Eric Heinrich
The best radio this size what you can buy for money. Perfect sound.
Reviewer: Dan Young
I have evolved from a KLH Model 20 (may it rest in peace) to this well-designed and solidly made unit. It fills my larger-than-average living room with FM radio classical music with volume and fidelity more than adequate for my critical ears. It plays the treasures on my i-pod and delivers CD music through the portable CD player I have connected through the auxiliary connection. I do not think larger, heavier and vastly more expensive systems are necessary except perhaps for mating males to attract females. If it had a built-in CD player it would be perfect for my purposes.
This little systems packs amazing sound and ease use into a simple design. The radio is crystal clear and, for small speakers, cranks up nicely. My only problem is that you cannot dock an iPod touch into the docking station. I know it says you can, but you can't. You can try all the docking attachments that come with it and even the ones that come from apple, but it won't work. It does work great with all other iPod models, they dock fine, charge, and sound great. The problem is that iPods are clearly going the way of teh touch and if they can't make this model work with this one there probably won't be any backwards compatibility in the future. I will go as far to say that you can just jam the iPod onto the mount without a docking adapter and it plays and charges, but you run serious risk of damaging your horizon duo as well as your really expensive iPod. The thing sounds great though.
Fantastic sound quality,with realistic bass irrespective of volume amount. A must for i.pod fans,for me the Rolls Royce of i.pod docking stations. Keep it up Boston
Reviewer: Craig Benson
Very nice radio. Excellent reception. Got mine on the internet for $139
Reviewer: Craig Benson
Very nice radio. Excellent reception. Got mine on the internet for $139
Reviewer: marc douglas
I bought my 15 year old daughter a 4th gen nano for her birthday and found that it would not charge in her Ihome, also I thought it was time to shop for better sound quality than she had in the Ihome. So at X-mas time I went shopping at Fry's electronics and was able to listen to about 20 Ipod/tabletop/radioclock units. The first thing that impressed me was the excellent sound quality of the Boston Duo, then came the features,the display and controls were so much better then the Ihome. She instantly fell in love with the sound, style and remote on the unit. While somewhat large the unit is a great compromise between an alarm clock radio on a night stand and a excellent sounding shelftop audio system. An acceptable price to fill both needs. The only variable I had was most units for sale either stated they worked with nanos in general or specifically 3rd gen nanos only. But since the manufacture date on the box was so current I took a chance and was pleased to find it completely compatible with her 4th gen nano. Thank you.
Reviewer: Martin Lamarre
Very nice radio with great sound but for the second time in less than four months, I am experiencing technical issue with volume controle. I have bought my first Duo-i in last september and it went to servicing in november for more than three weeks before being replaced by another one. This new one is now having the same problem. Volume controle stuck and I am not able to raise it more than 13 wich is pretty low... We are now January 19th and I am packaging it again to bring it back to the store!!! So, my advice would be: don't trow the box in the garbage bin... you will need it in a near future!
Reviewer: Ramona Johnson
I had to wait a long time for this because it was "backordered" for a month, but it is a really good device. It is easy to use, it has really good sound, and the radio reception is firstrate in my difficult house. I am using it in the kitchen, and I liked it so much that I ordered one for my study too.
It's great! Awesome sound.
Very nice radio for a teenagers bedroom
Reviewer: Kevin Egelhoff
Did quite a bit of research on all the better IPOD dual alarm clock radios and the BA had the best specs and features going for the price. Only downside was I wasn't able to listen to the unit prior to purchasing it. Now that I have it I couldn't be more pleased with the great sound from this small unit. Almost as impresive as my much larger Altec Lansing portable unit. So easy to program I didn't need to look at the manual and had the time and both alarm clocks programmed in about 20 secs. IPOD docs easy and the remote works fine with the IPOD controls. Thanks BA for a nice product at a reasonable price!
OK, This item works exceptionally well except for if you want to use the wi-fi feature on either the ipod touch or the iphone to listen to either streams or if you use certain apps that pull radio stations to listen to. The main problem is when you turn on the wi-fi feature, the unit picks up interference for the wi-fi which is audible through the speakers. The representative from Boston of course have never heard of this problem and cannot fix this and they actually tell me to go find another radio to check to see if this is a consistent problem. Are you kidding me? Why do I need to do this, it's not my product. Aside from using the wi-fi feature on the ipod touch the unit works great but if you use the wi-fi feature to listen to music you will be dissapointed
I wanted something to charge my iPhone and offer dynamic sound when I went to sleep. I'm one of those people that imports CD quality into my devices so it was important to find a decent clock radio that could play at this level. I went to my local electronics store (big blue) and tested all of the clock radios. Some as high as $399. Nothing came close to the quality of this unit. The dials are easy to navigate and the snooze bar (frame around radio) is in a class of its own. I dare you to try to find a better sounding radio in this price range.
Reviewer: Greg Cameron
Rich, smooth, clean sound from a small package. Also very esay to use with intuitive controls that allow you to plug it in and within less than a minute you can experience the "Boston Sound". Well worth the money.
I was looking to buy something within a 100$ and was completely blown away by the quality and clarity this product has to offer. Am now waiting for another few months to save up for this baby... Regards, -D
This is a really fine product. Very high quality sound output. Hard & Heavy...
This is a really fine product. Very high quality sound output. Hard & Heavy...
You simply cannot go wrong with this unit from Boston Acoustics. It has it all. AM/FM Radio, Dual Alarms, iPod dock, sleep timer, bright display... one of a kind. I would recommend this to anyone. Blows away the Bose and Klipsch iPod speakers.
Reviewer: Praveen Kharb
A fantastic piece to own. The sound is crisp and clear with enough base to rock your room. Ideal for students. You can plug in most pods just not the ipod, which is a great feature. To add to it you have the radio. I just love this perfect combination. If you own a laptop and have a small room to stay, this will meet your need for a music system. Just plug in your ipod or your laptop to work as a cd/dvd player or listen to the radio. A sleek remote to add to the comfort. Unfortunately for Indian buyers it is priced a little on the higher side in the Indian market. Ofcourse some might not feel any discomfort in shelling out 14 grand. If you are one of them, then this is a great buy.
The sound from this unit is really very impressive, as good as any other I have heard, including several that cost twice as much. What is more impressive is how intuitive the controls are. I was able to test drive this radio in the store, and this was the only desktop system where every function was easy to figure out. The alarms are simple to set and simpler to turn on/off. Most units I tried included alarms which were clearly just afterthoughts. Very satisfied with this, wish I found it sooner!
Reviewer: S Masters
After reading rave reviews online and in T3 magazine about the sound quality of the Duo I ordered one only to be bitterly disappointed. Mine has a constant annoying buzzing sound from the moment you connect the power. This buzzing becomes louder when you take the unit out of standby and use the radio or ipod. The buzzing is drowned out at higher volumes, but at normal volume levels for a bedside radio it's very noticable. The buzzing in standby is so annoying I couldn't even test the alarm feature the morning after purchase as I had to power it off and use my old radio alarm instead. Maybe mines faulty?? Contacting seller for a refund.
I recently purchased the Duo-i and am very happy with it, but the volume is locked at level 18. The one in the store went past 35. I don't know how to unlock this. If I can't, I will be returning this device and will be telling my friends and colleagues not to purchase this product.
Reviewer: William Moberly
Mine lasted exactly one year and then quit right on schedule. Customer support seems non-existent. I e-mailed them and they referred me to another address which was a just a factory repair address. I can't even find out if there is a fuse in it I could check. These are not cheap and I expected a lot more for my money.