With an abundance of docking station for iDevices right now in the market, it is a hard feat to sift through the mountains of useless docks that do not do what they say to find that really good dock for you.
This is what this website is for. I own a store that sells Apple accessories and I have used and tested numerous docks for my customers and my findings are found in this site.
The Top 10 iPad Docks
While there are lots of useless docks for iDevices, there are some really good ones too, and I had to narrow them down to ten. Check the table below for your perusal. update: Please take note that this list is for the old and familiar dock connector (thick one, with 30 pins) that are used by iPad 3 and older, iPhone 4 and older. Check this post for a list of the best docks for iPad 4 and newer, iPad Mini and iPhone 5 and newer.
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* My definition of portable is small enough to fit in a bag or backpack. If you can hand carry it but is bulky to fit inside anything that can be carried conveniently, it is not portable for this presentation’s purpose.
** Price ranges: $ – Below 100 dollars, $$ – 100-150 dollars, $$$ – above 150 dollars.
The Best 10 Picks for iPad Docks Reviewed
As a quick recap, here are the top ten, my thoughts and links to reviews.
This is the iPad dock I personally use and enjoy. The sounds are really crisp and clear (especially the bass) and can go really loud. The dock is quite portable and fits right into my backpack. This docking station is best for those who like to enjoy their music on the go.
2. iLuv Audio Cube
This one looks great and sounds great, too, like you own a large stereo in the house. It can make use of your other music players, too, so if you like to use different devices, this will be a great choice. This is not good for transporting, though, due to its bulky size.
3. Altec Lansing Octiv Stage
This iPad dock services the movie watchers more. With its 90 degree rotating angles, you can prop it to any height and still watch your favorite re-runs. This docking station can play great music, too, but works best featuring videos.
4. JBL OnBeat
This sounds great. If you cannot get your hands on a Fidelio from Philips, you should grab this one. The sounds are clear and crisp and the bass is chest-pounding. It is like using a home entertainment system! The downside, though, is it a bit on the bulky side to be transported for travel.
5. iHome iD37GZC
The best asset of this docking station is the fact that this is the only dock that has a dedicated alarm clock. The alarm is quite loud and you can use a particular file as an alarm and you can set up the snooze time, too. The speakers are good, too, but not as good as the docks that have music playing as their main function. It can also make use of your Android devices, too.
6. Sony RDPX200iP
The docking station that sounds the best in this list. After all, it is made by Sony. It can make use of other devices, too, as long as the device can use Bluetooth. However, while it is the best sounding iPad dock, it is also the priciest in this list.
7. Pyle Home PHST96IPBK
This is the only tower stereo docking station for iDevices. It looks really good and can really spruce up a room. It is large, though, so it is not portable at all, and will take up much space. It sounds great and can make use of various devices, or as a stand alone FM radio.
8. RCA Docking Sound System
This also sounds great and looks great, but its crowning feature is the RCA Dock Mate app that features Pandora Radio, WeatherBug updates, SHOUTcast Radio and an alarm clock.
9. Onkyo iOnly
This one boosts bass through its woofer ducts, so music that make use of bass very often will sound really really good (like Hip-hop). It looks good, too, with its brushed aluminum surface that matches the iPad’s. It does not have Bluetooth compatibility, though, so you cannot use your other players on this one.
10. Vizio Hi-Def
This comes with a built-in 4-inch subwoofer which is responsible for the high-fidelity audio output.
How to Buy an iPad Dock?
Wanting to do your own research and go out of the house and shop for your own dock? Here are things you should consider:
Audio Quality – Is you are going for the music playing dock, this should be your top concern. Do not hesitate to request for device demo!
Size – Portability is also an issue. Sometime, you want to take the docking station out with you to a vacation so you can enjoy your music on the go.
Remote Control – Some docks sound great but offer limited capability when it comes to remote control. Many docks do not have the advanced functions on the remote, like playlist browsing.
Other features – The ability to turn into an alarm clock, FM radio functionality and charging and synching while docking are also crucial considerations.
Price – Lastly, the price should be considered. Most good docks range from $100-150 but the high end ones can go more. There are decent docks that can go below $100, too but these are quite hard to find.