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Release Date: September 29, 2009
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Discover New Music

  • Every Day: The Best of the Verve Years

    • 8 out of 10
    • Joe Williams
    • Joe Williams was Figure Two in my three-man education in singing. A brilliant vocalist, scatter, and interpreter of jazz and blues, Williams produces music that's totally unique, yet sounds so effortl
  • Goodbye Jumbo

    • 8 out of 10
    • World Party
    • Released in 1990, World Party's

  • War of the Worlds

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jeff Wayne
    • With the new movie adaptation of H.G Wells' classic Sci Fi invasion tale, War of the Worlds, currently on theater screens everywhere, there's new interest in Jeff Wayne's rock opera version, and it is
  • Plans

    • 8 out of 10
    • Death Cab for Cutie
    • With the introduction of Plans, Death Cab for Cutie became a new addition to many user's Artist list after the single "Soul Meets Body" became a hit on iTunes. Offering a fresh alternativ

  • The Last 5 Years (2002 Off-Broadway Cast)

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jason Robert Brown
    • The soundtrack to this moving off-broadway musical is heart moving. The lyrics follow a couple in a relationship for five years, one point of view going forward in time, and the other tracing time fr

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In-Depth Review

Samson StudioDock 3i Active USB Monitors

Samson's StudioDock 3i is a unique package that combines a pair of small powered speakers with an iPod dock and connects to your Mac (or PC) via USB. With a 1.25-inch silk dome tweeter, heavy duty 3.25-inch copolymer driver, tuned rear bass port, and built-in 30w amplifier, this little system delivers bigger and better sound than you might expect from such modestly-sized speakers.

This sophisticated desktop audio system is more than just a pair of powered speakers, offering multiple applications including:

  • Listening to audio from your Mac or PC
  • Listening to audio from your iPod
  • Listening to audio from any other source (via either the 1/8-inch stereo AUX input on the front panel or dual RCA inputs on the rear)
  • Listening to any of the above through headphones (via the 1/8-inch stereo headphone jack on the front panel)


  • Syncing your iPods with iTunes
Here are closer looks at the front and back panels and their features:

As you can surely see, StudioDock 3i is more than just a sweet set of powered speakers, especially when you consider their reasonable price ($149). Alas, I can always find something to gripe about and in this case it's that while I found this system otherwise quite attractive, it's just not usable with an iPhone. Although it is possible to dock and recharge your iPhone in the StudioDock, the painful audio interference you'll experience pretty much guarantees you will never want to do it again.

The Bottom Line

The StudioDock 3i is more than yet another set of powered speakers. Rather, it's a sophisticated multi-function desktop audio system for computers, iPods, and other audio sources that looks good and sounds great. Considering its size and price, it's worth considering unless your iPod of choice happens to be an iPhone. If that's the case, I'm sad to report, the StudioDock is totally inappropriate.

Just The Facts

StudioDock 3i from Samson


Pros:Compact size, good sound, multiple input sources, dock for charging and syncing iPods.

Cons:Not suitable for use with an iPhone.

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