As you might expect, the Marantz IS301 iPod dock is much more than just another generic "me, too" product. Rather, it's the all-in-one solution you need to integrate an iPod into a home entertainment system without losing the iPod's great menu system or its portability. Thanks to Bluetooth technology and CAT5 wiring options, you can use it almost anywhere. And the IS301 is designed to the same high standards that have distinguished Marantz products for well over half a century.
When Marantz engineers first looked at iPod docks, they were not impressed for several reasons.
Most docks disable an iPod's easy and intuitive menu system and substitute something far less understandable. And many generic docks made you turn ON your TV to see what you wanted to listen to! Finally, ordinary docks deprived iPod owners of one of the most endearing aspects of owning an iPod in the first place – portability.
The IS301 answers all these shortcomings in a simple to use and easy to understand package.
First, it uses iPod's already excellent menu system. In fact, it uses the iPod itself as the interface between you and your music. That means there's nothing new for you to learn. By using the iPod's own display, you no longer need to turn on a TV to see your choices. They're already displayed – quite nicely, thank you – on the iPod, comfortably resting in the palm of your hand.
But aren't "docking" and "in the palm of your hand" mutually exclusive? Not if you're using an IS301.
That's because Bluetooth technology solved the portability issue. All you have to do is plug your iPod into the included Bluetooth handset and you're transmitting music files wirelessly to your system though a connecting block that's also included. The handset itself also includes controls for the most-used functions of a Marantz A/V receiver: power, input selection, and volume adjustment.
If you want to display any of your iPod's still photos or videos, you'll use the included base unit and CAT5 cable runs to the connection block. (That's because Bluetooth doesn't transmit video images.) You can place the base unit on a coffee table or mount it directly on a wall or cabinet. And, the base also serves as a convenient place to recharge your iPod when you dock it.
The good news about CAT5 is that the connections are ultra-reliable and you can easily find just the right cable lengths for your particular installation. So the choice is easy – use the wireless Bluetooth link for audio and control signals or the CAT5 link for audio/control and video.Either way you're in control of everything through the iPod's menu.
The IS301's benefits don't end there either. Because of its Bluetooth capabilities, the unit is compatible with virtually any Bluetooth device such as a PDA or a PC. Regardless of where you store your music, the Marantz IS301 has you covered.
The IS301 includes everything you need including: the handset, the base station/charger, the connector block, the AC adaptors, the small system remote, and associated cables.
That's why we said that the IS301 is nothing like a conventional iPod dock.
But isn't that why you're considering a Marantz? Of course it is.