iPod docking devices come in all sorts of imaginable shapes and sizes. Some are decidedly conservative, like the Memorex iWakeUp iPod Clock, while others are no-holds-barred exercises in alternative designs, like the Edifier Luna 5 iPod Docking Station. And in the middle are those who marry the two opposing schools of thought, melding form and function into one. The Panasonic SC-SP100 iPod Speakers, happens to be one of those docks.
The Panasonic SC-SP100 is remarkably compact, with a design quite unlike any we've seen. Its odd shape is hard to place, but if you're a keen petrolhead, it resembles a turbo from some angles. The dock is located round the front, and when you dock your Apple device, the central position of the dock makes it seem as if your device is sitting on a throne. All in all, the SC-SP100 looks classy and compact.
You'll find buttons to activate the Panasonic SC-SP100 on the silver trimmings to the right. The SC-SP100 can also be controlled via remote control, and the neat thing about the remote control is that it has buttons that performs "Menu" and "Select" functions. This was something that was sorely lacking on many an iPod dock that we've reviewed.
With this, you can now navigate through your iPod/iPhone's contents. The only problem is you'll still need to rely on your device's screen for navigation and this seriously limits the usefulness of the remote, since you'll need to be close enough to be able to read off the screen.
Don't be fooled by the Panasonic SC-SP100's petite looks. The SC-SP100 has a big sound, since it packs a 6.5cm cone woofer and passive dual radiators. If you had listened to it with your eyes closed, you'll never believe the sound was coming from something this small. On default mode, with the bass booster and surround sound equalizers turned off, the SC-SP100 has a very clear, crisp and airy sound, making it well suited for jazz and acoustic tracks.
However, the default mode does sound slightly lacking in body and substance. Thankfully, that can be resolving by hitting the bass booster button, which adds a little more oomph to the sound. Like the bass booster, the surround sound preset helped by slightly widening the soundstage, making the SC-SP100 sound a tad more spacious.
The Panasonic SC-SP100 is proof that big things do come in small packages. It fuses an unique design, easy-to-use user interface, and great audio performance in a compact package. However, at S$249, it's a tad pricey. But if you don't mind splashing the cash, the SC-SP100 is perhaps the best pound-for-pound iPod/iPhone speakers you'll find currently.