The tremendous popularity of Appleâ€™s iPod has created a niche for accessory manufacturers to flourish. Boynq is one such manufacturer that has created some great products that increase the functionality of your iPod.
The Boynq Sabre is a dock and stereo speaker system specifically designed for the iPod. Letâ€™s see if itâ€™s a worthy accomplice to add to your audio collection.
Features / Specifications:
Docking station for recharging the iPod
Docking station for data synchronization via USB and FireWire cable
Requires a computer with a USB 2.0 connector port or a FW connector port
PC with operating system Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.1.5
2 x 10W RMS full range drivers (3-inch)
Bass and treble controls
Includes 6 different docking inserts to fill all iPod models
Stereo line-in connection for iPod shuffle and other auxiliary audio devices
Video-out for connection to television
Stereo line-out for connection to stereo system
Power adaptor input 100~240V, 18V DC/ 1.33A output
Frequency range 20Hz â€“ 20KHz
In the Box:
1/8â€ audio cable
S-video to RCA cable
1/8â€ (3.5mm) to L/R RCA audio cable
6 iPod dock connectors
I was instantly impressed with the look of the system. The body is unique with its curved lines and one 3â€ speakers on each side. It sort of looks like the iPod cradle is being unrolled off the speakers. Pretty cool.
The Sabre for this review is from Boynqâ€™s Pour Homme collection, which I translate to mean for him. The molded plastic body is colored in black and silver and the speakers have silver-metal protective mesh covers. Definitely a masculine look to the system.
They have a sister model in their Pour Femme collection that is more girlie-looking, if that is something you desire. The Pour Homme model would probably blend better into your home environment, where the lavender/pink color of the Pour Femme Sabre will definitely stand out.
The docking cradle is located directly in the middle of the system, towards the front with the bass and on/off knobs to the left and the treble and volume controls flanking it on the right.
The volume, bass and treble are controlled via manual turn knobs which are becoming less common, being replaced with digital control options. I prefer the manual knobs because they give you the ability to be more precise with your tuning and they give the unit a retro feel, while the rest of the unit looks like something from the future.
Unlike the other three knobs, the power is not a turn control but activated by depressing the knob. When the power is on, the inside of the top of the knob is lit.
All the connections reside in the back of the unit. From left to right, line-in, line-out, s-video, USB, and power adapter port.
The Sabre is stabilized by two narrow rubberized strips that run the majority of the width on the bottom.
Setting the Sabre up is fairly simple. Remove the unit from it packaging, put it on a flat surface and plug the power adapter in. Select and install the correct iPod dock connector, attach your iPod, turn the power on (both on the Sabre and your iPod) and hit play.
With the set-up complete, I loaded the iPod and was ready to test the unitâ€™s sound. I was interested to see how the side-facing placement of the speakers would affect the sound quality.
Even though, I was pleased with the sound quality of the Sabre, especially at a price under $100, I did notice some issues. At the low to middle volume levels, I found that I had to crank up the treble and bass controls to even slightly pick up details from the music.
Not sure how much can be attributed to the designed perpendicular placement of the speakers or the actual speakers themselves.
A positive, in terms of sound, you can really crank it up in this little unit to a very loud level and it handles it quite well. My wife might argue too well since she repeatedly told me to â€œturn it downâ€. Such sound from two 3â€ speakers, putting out 10 watts each, is fairly impressive.
The biggest negative, in terms of sound was the intermittent pops I experienced while the music was playing and the audio control knobs were in use. The pops were annoying, especially at the higher volume levels. Like fingernails on the chalkboard.
The connection this unit offers serves as a nice delighter. You have the option of connecting to your computer via USB or FireWire docking cable for data synchronization. The placement of the docking cable connector next to the power adapter is frustrating. If the power adapter is plugged-in, it is nearly impossible to pinch in the release points on the side of the docking cable to make the connection. Fortunately, you should not have to routinely make these connections once the unit is in place.
Another nice connection feature is the inclusion of line-out capability, via either S-Video or composite links. This element serves as a conduit between your iPod and video screen, allowing iPod videos and pictures to be viewed on a larger media. Personally, this would not be a feature I would utilize a lot but I am sure there are people out there who would. Just having the option is an added bonus.
Lastly, Boynq makes this unitâ€™s functionality available to non-iPod owners by including the 1/8-inch line-in jack for other audio devices and the iPod shuffle. A fairly simple addition to connection options but a big plus for people who have multiple audio devices, not all being manufactured by Apple.
In conclusion, I was only slightly disappointed with the unitâ€™s sound quality, lacking the ability to pick up the details at the low to mid-volume levels. In regards to sound, the intermittent pops were definitely the biggest mark against the Sabre.
I would like a wireless remote and the ability to utilize batteries to be included, but I am willing to accept their non-existence as long as the price is below the $100 margin.
Overall, I really like the small, stylish design of the Sabre. The unique mold of the unit makes it fashionable to reside anywhere in your home, while its functionality, specifically the interchangeable dock connectors and numerous connections ports provides numerous opportunities for use.
I definitely think the system is well worth the money. The look and features of the Sabre will not let you regret your purchase.