It’s getting to the point where there are more travel speakers/portable docks out for iPods than there are iPods themselves; manufacturers can’t seem to resist launching new products into the market with a slight twist on the classic setup.
The PYT from audio equipment specialists Voix isn’t particularly radical, though, with its most notable feature being a square design that allows you to rotate it 90 degrees to watch video in widescreen mode on compatible players.
It’s rather specifically designed for the iPhone, iTouch and Nano G3 since these are the only models with the right dimensions to fit snugly into the front compartment, and in the case of the latter only by using a supplied adaptor.
While it is usable with other devices, such as the newest generation iPod Video/Classic and Mini, a bit of fiddling is required and this raises concerns that the base connector may get damaged if too much force is used.
Considering the abundance of alternatives, then, there’s no reason for anyone who doesn’t own one of the three players mentioned to consider a purchase and, as it is, those who do are in for a rather uninspiring experience.
The square design houses four speakers – one at each corner – offering 7.5W of total power. There’s a volume and power on/off switch at the top and a kickstand at the back to prop it up on the table, with a choice of DC or 4 x AA batteries for power. There’s also an auxiliary-in jack at the back for generic use with other players, and a 3.5mm adaptor cable supplied to for that purpose.
Despite looking quite nice from the front, the design as a whole is overly basic in our opinion. Travel speakers tend to be ruggedised or at least solidly built with durable materials as they are typically at risk of getting knocked around a bit. There’s no such protection here, though, and while a rather thin leather-effect slip-on case is provided, this is unlikely to stand up to much punishment. The black plastic design of the casing feels solid but fairly brittle and certainly doesn’t seem capable of absorbing too many knocks and scratches.
With a player properly inserted you can access the controls at the front to select media and, if you’re using mains power, the device will be charged as well. Sound quality is no better than reasonable and while clarity is fairly good, there’s very little bass impact. It is capable of filling a room, though, and doesn’t distort too much even at max volume, though quality does begin to deteriorate at the top end.
The ability to rotate the player (and the kick-stand) 90 degrees to enjoy widescreen video is a nice little bonus, but as the stereo image isn’t flipped as well it doesn’t work perfectly. All of this means that the PYT is certainly capable of doing a job, but doesn’t work hard enough to elevate itself above a slew of rivals, many of which have been a bit more creative with what’s on offer.
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