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TUNEPRO Flat Panel iPod Speaker - . . . or How
to out-Bose, Bose.
September 4, 2007, by Keith Benicek – Audio
On the backside base are three buttons for “Clock Set”, “WOW,
Tre, Bas” for selecting SRS WOW stereo surround sound enhancement
on or off, Treble and Bass attenuation (-3 to +3 steps) and “Dimmer” control
the 3 step dimming of the front LED display. Also on the back panel
are the AC power jack, a jack for the supplied loop AM antenna, an
Auxiliary 1/8-inch stereo input and the attached dipole FM antenna.
That’s it, as simple as it needs to be.
The LED Clock and menu display is behind the mirrored translucent speaker
panel at the top right side. Bright enough for broad daylight or dimmed
enough for a darkened bedroom.
There is no remote control to operate the TUNEPRO or the iPod. There
is also no internal battery to keep the clocks time if your lose power
or unplug it. It does store for an undetermined period of time, the
AM and FM station presets you configured.
is believing –
Looks aren’t everything, time to test its acoustic capabilities
for our group in the review panel with some sonically taxing tunes.
Each our review panel submitted two favorite songs that they feel are
either difficult for speakers sonically to produce accurate sound,
or ones that were recorded so well with rich full range of tones that
playing makes or breaks speakers.
We found in our testing that sometimes the SRS™ WOW™ enhancement
needed for exceptional listening. If the recording is especially good,
I mean the original production of the song, then WOW doesn’t
add anything, in fact it may make the song a little exaggerated, over
Don't get me wrong, the SRS WOW enhancement is an astounding technology,
adding a 3D feeling to music that normally might sound flat.
Hardware for the test – a 5th generation Video iPod, all
songs ripped in AAC lossless format.
our list and listening test results –
- Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train: The hard driving
bass is tough, some slight
distortion near max volume 27 of 30.
- Jeff Beck Group – Going Down: Incredible range especially
in the mids and
highs, the TUNEPRO sounded great.
- AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip: Mega crunch rock and the TUNEPRO
held in very well, some bass distortion at volume 28 of 30
- Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing coming: Metal
anthem with a hard charging middle frequencies, which were very good on the TUNEPRO.
- AC/DC – It’s a long way to the top: Raspy
Bon Scott vocal is tough and it sounded pretty good on the TUNEPRO, 9
.- Acoustic Alchemy – The Crossing: Sonically thrilling,
a real test and it
nearly sounded studio fresh through the TUNEPRO. 9.5 of 10
- Al Jarreau – Cold Duck: Both the vocal and instrument
have lots of body,
with the SRS WOW on, it sounded 9.5 on a scale of 10
and my favorite
- Al Green / BB King – Take Me To the River live: Great
live recordings are tough to sound good and the TUNEPRO did very well,
9 on a
scale of 10
Over-all score on the sound tests, 9.5 of 10
FM station reception with the dipole antenna fully stretched
out vertically and in an area with good strong stations is quite good.
Fidelity depends on signal strength from the station tough. AM is reception
is not so hot, at least in our area because all the stations are in LA
or San Diego, 100 miles in either direction.
Because both sides of the Flat Panel produce the sound, the TUNEPRO has
sound holes on the backside of the panel. We found that the TUNEPRO sound
much better if there is no wall or solid object close to the back of
the unit. On an open desk, the TUNEPRO produces rich full and sharp tones
from the music played. With a wall within 9 to 12 inches of the back,
the sound is noticeably muted and dull. I believe it is the result of “wave
nullification”, same result as stereo speakers being hooked up
out of phase.
By the way, for size challenged speakers with limited width, the TUNEPRO
does stereo effect exceptionally well if you’re near the system;
say within 6 to 8 feet. And, it’s fun watching the Flat Panel ripple
to the sound frequencies, interesting because you actually see the stereo
effect from a single panel of material. This NXT speaker technology is
just too cool.
We do have two criticisms – as we mentioned the
TUNEPRO needs a battery backup for clock and alarm settings when power
is removed or
lost and an IR remote control would be real nice.
- The latest NXT flat panel loudspeaker technology coupled with SRS WOW
technology for superior audio enhancement
- Award winning industrial design with attractive front mirror screen
and a Clock display behind
- Designed for all Apple iPod devices with 30-pin dock connector, including
1st and 2nd generation iPod nano, 4th and 5th generation iPod, iPod Photo,
and iPod Mini
- Dock, listen to and charge iPod simultaneously
- Dual independent Alarm settings with Snooze
- Wake to your favorite tune in iPod, Radio or Buzzer
- Gradual volume increase to Alarm
- Sleep timer function
- Easy to set up and use
- Supports 12/24 Hour time format
- Five AM and five FM Radio memory channels
- Additional Line-in jack for other portable audio devices
- Three display dimmer levels
- Slim profile and small footprint design
- Universal well dock, three iPod inserts included
Part Number: TUNEPRO
MSRP: US $ 129.99 (Lowest Street price $99.95)
Bottom Line –
We were all very impressed with the sound capabilities of the TUNEPRO,
it’s one of the top 3 we’ve tested in the sub $200 category.
Manufacturing quality is also exceptional good for the price (MSRP
- $129.99). The TUNEPRO will look great on your desk, on a table in
your family room or on your bedside nightstand. This is an outright
bargain for iPod speaker systems. Tech Edge E-zine awards Macally an
Editors’ Choice for 2007 and 4.5 stars out of 5 from our Tech
© 2007 Tech Edge