There’s a bevy of options out there if you’re looking for an affordable docking speaker system for your iPod, but not all of them have the same design priorities in mind. Here’s our detailed look at XtremeMac’s Tango X2 iPod speaker system. Does the Tango X2 sound as good as it looks?
As you may have guessed, because of the speaker’s small size, the Tango X2 won’t take on any high-end audio setups any time soon. At its worse, the sound is tinny and the speaker lacks bass at the default setting. Cranking it up, however, leaves a bloated punch of bass that leaves a desire for detail. I had to leave the unit’s bass and treble levels on "four" to get any sort of satisfying thump out of the bass, but it was still obviously short of a dedicated (or decent sounding integrated) subwoofer.
However, when the size is put into perspective, the X2 sounds somewhat decent. The tiny speakers managed to output clear sound at an audible level, but the quality tapered at higher levels. The sound may be satisfactory enough to fill a small den or bedroom, but don’t expect it to supply loud, good-sounding music for a large room or party. The idea here is non-critical sound in a small package.
In my opinion, the biggest flaw the X2 faces is the inability to use batteries. Even the much larger Apple HiFi, as well as many competitors have a battery compartment, boom-box style, for traveling or use in an area without access to a power source. Because the Tango X2 is much smaller than the aforementioned product, it only makes sense in my mind to include the same feature.
I also found the AM and FM reception to be fairly weak. While it is worth noting that I have never gotten an exceptional signal in my area, decent receivers can usually compensate. At best, the X2 sounds -okay-, but by no means a $149 MSRP okay. The FM antenna, in particular, bothered me, because the connection on the back of the speaker doesn’t fit snug with the connection for the antenna; the connector is round on the speaker and rectangular on the wire, letting the wire hang loose with the possibility of being disconnected. The problem could have simply been solved by having the antenna’s built in, but this is unfortunately not the case.
Ultimately, I would recommend the product if you’re looking for a small system without a concern for discrete audio quality. The radio performance is just manageable, so if you have a large reliance on reception, I would encourage you to look elsewhere. XtremeMac’s Tango X2 is by no means a bad product, but the fact is, it’s audio quality do not deliver in an acceptable way.
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