There are so many iPod docks on the market that finding one which is different from the rest is hard to find. However, Pioneer with its NAC-3 dock has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.
First of all, it has not one but two docking points meaning that you can play music from up to two iPods/iPhones at any time. There is a shuffle button so that the dock can move between the two. In fact there is a romantic mode, called Shuffle2, where you can play music from two iPods cleverly mixed in a continuous playback mode.
Not only that but there is also a USB port so you can also connect external drives and play music files in most formats back as well. It can play MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV or FLAC files on this type of storage.
It doesn’t end there. You can hook up a Bluetooth device and playback from that too. Audio quality problems associated with Bluetooth are overcome with Pioneer’s Sound Retriever AIR.
Should you grow tired of your music collection, around the back is an Ethernet port. Connect this up to you home network and you can start streaming internet radio too. You can also enjoy playback from home servers or PCs as the device is DNLA compliant.
We would have preferred a wireless option too as Ethernet greatly diminishes where you can place the device if you want internet radio as well (unless you flood your house with Ethernet cabling – which is a non-starter in most households).
The unit is certainly one of the better looking iPod docks we have seen but the LCD screen, while easy to use and read from, was a tad to retro for our liking and something of this standard should have a full colour screen, the likes we’ve seen to great effect on the Pure Sensia.
The sound quality is good and indeed better than a lot of iPod docks that are currently on the market. However, it has to be said that we were expecting a lot more sound-wise from a manufacturer of Pioneer’s standing.
Overall, the unit has a lot of capability but we felt it could have achieved a lot more and looked and sounded a little better. After all, it is a Pioneer.