What is an iPod&Reg; Docking Station?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

An iPod® docking station has several potential purposes that may increase functionality of Apple iPods® or occasionally other Apple products such as the iPhone® or iTouch®. While with each of these, people are usually limited to listening to music on earphones or directly on their computers, an iPod® docking station can dramatically change that, and give people the opportunity to play music through speakers. Many other features can be found with docking stations, including ability to charge players or to add extra elements to them like alarm clocks.

An iPod docking station may be used with home theater systems.
An iPod docking station may be used with home theater systems.

There are very high quality iPod® docking station types that really convert these little MP3 players into a main stereo system. Companies like Bose®, well known for extraordinary sound quality, have attractive docks that produce incredible sound. Other companies may also have exceptional sound quality, and might feature extras like adjustments to base and treble so that the sound is just right. Those transitioning from stereos to an iPod® dock will want to look for higher end models to get the best sound.

Others want good sound and extras like being able to charge the iPod®, and there are a number of models and brands that might suit these purposes. These may cost about $50-200 US Dollars (USD), and people are encouraged to shop around and listen to a few models before making a purchase. In this price range, some docking stations also have alarm clock features. Other additions to look for include remote control, portability, song shuffle or design. Some may choose a model for its kitschy design in an animal shape or an attractive size and color that integrates well with home décor. Additionally, some stations can play slides or substitute for home theater stereo set-ups, though the latter may be a bit pricier.

One thing that is essential prior to purchasing an iPod® docking station is to determine if it will accommodate specific iPod® models. Some stations are universal and work with almost anything, with the possible exception of the Shuffle®. Other stations are definitely not universal, and there can be nothing quite as disappointing if they purchased and found they aren’t compatible with a person’s iPod®. To avoid this, know your iPod® model and be ready to ask questions to make certain the dock and iPod® will work together. Those with more than one type of iPod® may want to find docks that will work with several models.

Though Ipods® are made by Apple®, most iPod® docking station types are created by other manufacturers. Apple® online or local stores may carry a few of these, but people could find greater dock variety at electronics stores, sometimes stereo stores, large department stores and in many locations online. Those looking for a bargain may want to check for used docks, though these usually aren’t sold with any form of warranty.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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