There certainly are many iPhone speaker docks out on the market. But Audyssey hopes its latest creation, the "South of Market" audio dock, will stand out from the crowd.
Named after and inspired by the iconic San Francisco neighborhood, the slim and modern South of Market measures five inches wide and nine inches deep with the intention of fitting on almost any home or office desk set-up.
The South of Market actually does more than the average speaker dock (although there isn't an alarm clock). While being compatible with the latest generations of the iPhone and the iPod touch (and even the iPad), the South of Market can actually stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. That means Android-based smartphones, computers and other audio sources. Or you could even just turn it into one big speakerphone when making VoIP calls. There is also a USB port on the back side along with Line-in and -out jacks.
As for the most important quality (sound), there are certainly plenty of special technical features there, namely five of Audyssey's signature technologies. The one that stands out the most is BassXT, which works on improving the bass line by taking the subwoofer's driver response and making the sound deeper rather than just plain louder. When hearing the sound emitted from the South of Market, I definitely found the bass to be rather powerful on this small box, and I imagine that the maximum volume could really fill an living room (or even something slightly larger) during a crowded party. However, the bass doesn't overwhelm the rest of the audio track. Even when listening to Duffy's "Warwick Avenue," the bass was strong yet warm, still letting the vocal track take charge.
Unfortunately, the one hindrance I found with this dock is the price tag: $399. While the sound quality and technology might warrant this, the average consumer walking into the store looking for an iPhone speaker dock probably won't pay this until at least $100 is shaved off, if not more.
Nevertheless, it's a beautiful and versatile product that will be hitting Apple Stores exclusively this holiday season, starting in November. Other vendors are expected to follow next January. Audyssey also has plans for three more neighborhood-inspired audio docks, reflecting spots in Los Angeles, New York City and London.