Details on the Soloist Media Dock for SIRIUS
The initial announcement of the Soloist media dock for SIRIUS wetted my appetite and left me wanting more. This device sure is sexy, but the iPod connection was something I didn't really get. Is it just a marketing ploy by using an AUX IN connector to put "plays your iPod!" on the box? Or can I actually charge the iPod while using this thing? Well folks, our questions have been answered.
First off, the iPod integration. There is, in fact, a 30-pin iPod connector embedded in the unit that charges the iPod (the dock meets the "Made for Ipod" program requirements).
When you remove the cradle for the SIRIUS connection (remember, SIRIUS is now using a common connector - like that on the Sportster 4 - for all their future receivers) you'll find the iPod connector in front of the Sirius connector. A cradle with an adjustable backrest for all iPod 30-pin models then fits into the unit. See the photo below for the cradle.
SIRIUS Sportster 4 Cradle:
There's also a third cradle supplied with the Soloist, but I have no details on it because it's still a secret (Stiletto dock maybe? who knows).
As for the USB connector in the back of the Soloist. This lets you connect to your PC so you can transfer files to your iPod as well.
For older SIRIUS plug-and-play receivers, or say for the Sirius S50, the AUX IN jack lets non-dockable units get some action out of the Soloist.
The AUX OUT jack is configured for Audio/Video output, so if you use a stereo + composite video adapter cable (3.5mm 4-contact to L/R/V RCA) you can pipe video or images from a Video iPod out to a monitor, TV, or your PC or your laptop.
The remote control will control any of the docked Sirius radios, or the iPod as well.
The sleek SurfaceSound flat-panel speaker provides a bipolar-type sound field which is dispersed to the rear and wraps around quite a bit - so even standing at a 90 degree angle to the front of the unit you get good sound – not necessarily stereo at that location, but still very listenable compared to being 90 degrees off-axis to a conventional speaker system.
And there it is. Look for a hands-on review of the Soloist soon.