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Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
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Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
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Discover New Music

  • Mystics Anonymous

    • 8 out of 10
    • Mystics Anonymous
    • Mystics Anonymous is the brainchild project of Jeff Steblea, a fantastic songwriter and good friend of mine, as well. In fact, I even played the drums on all but one of the tracks on this album. Jef
  • Hello

    • 8 out of 10
    • Poe
    • Poe rocked my world with "Angry Johnny" (I want to kill you/I want to blow you/Away) and "Trigger Happy Jack" (Trigger Happy Jack/ You're gonna blow/But I'm gonna get off/Before you go), as powe

  • Bowie at Beeb: Best of BBC Radio 68-72

    • 10 out of 10
    • David Bowie
    • The companion CD to a BBC television concert, BBC Radio Theatre has some of the best renditions of many of Bowie's best songs throughout his career. "I'm Afraid of Americans" is substantial

  • Spanks for the Memories

    • 8 out of 10
    • Asylum Street Spankers
    • The Asylum Street Spankers are...well...The Spankers. Hailing from Austin, where I saw them live dozens of times, the band played entirely acousti

  • Stadium Arcadium

    • 8 out of 10
    • Red Hot Chili Peppers
    • What? Only four stars, you stingy bastard? I'm asking myself the same question, so let me explain myself to myself... If I compare the new

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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)

and

  • 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

MSRP US$149

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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