Audio: Edifier `On The Go` if350

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edifier_on_the_go_if350Compact travel sound systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but none so far have impressed us quite so much as the Edifier `On The Go` if350.  In comparison to other portable speaker systems, the Edifier if350 had obviously had a lot of time lavished on it during the design process.  Finished in a classic rounded casing with a contrasting black and white colour scheme the little design features of this model have been very well though out.  The credit card remote control is stowed in a discrete slot on the back of the unit, whilst the units stand and iPod docking point are cleverly pivoted using soft release system at the push of a button.  The stand itself also reveals the power inout and Aux IN port for other external devices to be connected and the telescopic aerial for the unit is carefully recessed on the top edge of the casing. All this can be carried in the included heavy duty neoprene case whilst travelling.

The units display is a fairly basic LCD (white on black in keeping with the main colour scheme) which displays the current input (Radio, iPod or AUX IN) as well as the volume levels and a basic menu system for setting the time, alarms (for travel use) and also regional world settings.

Internally the Edifier if350 sports two magnetically shielded 6W speakers for stereo output and in our tests they provided a well rounded reproduction of treble and mid-range.  Bass was slightly lacking (as would be expected from portable systems of this kind), however that is not to say there was none, and the unit provided ample volume and no distortion was evident in out testing even at the highest volume setting.  What impressed us most, however, was the incorporation of a LI-ion battery that allows operation of the speaker system for up to 15 hours from one 4 hour charge on the mains (which can be done anywhere in the world as the unit has a switching-mode power supply).

The radio unit in the system performs very well and using the automatic search facility local and national radio stations were found in a matter of seconds and saved, although we were slightly disappointed that it wasn't a digital unit and that there was no RDS facility.  Despite this even in a low signal area the reception was excellent and stable.

The Edifier if350 comes with a number of baseplates for use with all versions of the iPod for simple docking of the devices, and if you don't subscribe to the Apple generation of MP3 players, there is also the possibility of using the AUX IN port in the back of the unit.  Of course, if an iPod is docked the if350 remote allows full navigation of your media library for playback of your music at the touch of a button.

Every feature of the device is fully covered in the manual and as such is very simple to access and use.  The fact that the unit can be operated without mains power for up to 15 hours is brilliant in our eyes, as was the quality of the playback given the relatively small form factor of the device.  It can be used worldwide and is very well designed and packaged for ease of transport making it ideal as a travel companion.  In our opinion it compares very favourably with other travel speaker systems on the market (as long as you can live without the features of RDS or digital radio) and for ~£100 (at the time of writing) they won't break the bank.

Available from:

Amazon: EDIFIER iF350 docking station MP3 speakers iPod speakers AUDIO