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Are you tired of seeing otherwise well-intentioned audiophiles make mindless forum statements like "iPod users will never experience high-end audio"? Do you regard those statements as nothing but smelly rubbish? Good. Cambridge Audio's new black or silver iD100 has us contrarians (or hopelessly hopeful) covered. Check out that rear panel. 1 = outboard power supply. 2 = video output. 3 = AES/EBU digital audio out. 4 = Toslink digital audio out. 5 = S/PDIF coaxial output. The USB socket is for easy syncing.

In the world of those who would turn iPodders into ignorant 3rd class citizens, who'd even credit them with the chops to know what to do with a 2V-out AES/EBU socket (coax is 500mV)? Clearly brain power at Cambridge is rather more enlightened. They get that an iDevice can be turned into an audiophile source once its digital files—lossless of course—are converted to analog externally by a quality DAC (which could be built into a receiver like Cambridge's own).

They also get that iPod users want full functionality for whatever remote comes bundled with an upscale iPod dock. That's where most competing efforts (few as there are at present) tend to suck wind. Once again the Cambridge iD100 seems to have us covered. The menu button of the pairable remote allows complete access to the various software layers which hands-on operation of an iDevice navigates by thumb (press returns to previous menu, hold to home menu). Device charging is defeatable to eliminate interference. Switched component, S-video (requires mini-to-S adaptor) and composite video outputs with supplied lead plus low-power <1-watt ecomode that activates automatically upon removal of the docked device and an infrared port for custom install repeaters round out the features.


Thanks must go to Matthew Bramble, Cambridge Audio technical director and the development team of the iD100 for their more open-minded attitude. Their iD100 is compatible with the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G (Airplane mode recommended), iPod Touch (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation), iPod Classic and iPod Nano (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation).
For $329, the iD100 is cheaper than the forthcoming $499 April Music Adam and a nice alternative to the Wadia and Onkyo precursors. It's something well-meaning audiophiles can easily turn into gifts for their 3rd-class iPod-happy offspring to protect the audiophile family honor.

Cambridge Audio definitely gets it. Now if someone just could make such a clever digital-direct and compact iDock but include a superior DAC. Things could turn even gettier...
Cambridge Audio website