Tivoli iYiYi™ for Apple iPod
Tivoli iYiYi™ for Apple iPod (831623000708)
Overall rating:
Reviewed by 1 Epinions user
iYiYi - A Silly Name But Fantastic AM/FM and iPod Sound
Jan 07 '07
Author's Product Rating
Pros
Amazing sound, small footprint and ease of use make this a real winner
Cons
Possibly the $299 price but this is competitive with system offering a lot less.
The Bottom Line
Small, efficient, versatile and with outstanding, room-filling sounds, the iYiYi is another
sonic achievement from Tivoli which lives up to the company's reputation for quality
audio.
Full Review
Tivoli Audio continues to build on its foundation of great audio in small spaces first
begun by renowned sound engineer, Henry Kloss. The iYiYi may have the craziest
name ever given to a serious product but this is one more world class effort from Tivoli.
Overview
The market has been flooded with iPod speaker systems, many of which do nothing
more than allow an iPod to produce audible sound and nothing more. Tivoli’s approach
from their first iPal has been to offer the consumer more flexible alternatives to unitaskers which sit there until an iPod is plugged into them. Tivoli’s driving philosophy is
that the speaker system must reproduce great sound and offer the user a wide variety of
options in addition to iPod playback.
The first effort in this regard was the iSongbook which was introduced in late 2005. The
iYiYi builds upon that portable’s features by taking the approach that this is to be a plugin product which can be moved around but is not intended for taking to the beach or on a
camping trip. It is designed for home, office or patio use and taps the 120VAC mains
power rather than batteries. Because of this, the design allows for the best possible
sound since continuous power will be available and since batteries are no longer a
concern.
The layout of the iYiYi is similar to the iSongbook and there is a very fine digital PhasedLock-Loop (PLL) tuner for AM and FM but that is about where the similarities end. This
is a device with some guts.
Physical Layout and Size
At 12” wide by 7.5” high and 8.5” deep, this is not a huge sound system which will take
up an entire table, but it is the largest product in this series to date. Dual, fixed position
stereo speakers face the front with an iPod universal dock dead center (Seven different
iPod inserts are provided) and backlit LCD display in the upper center. The back of the
system features cutouts for bass reflex, - the deep bass “exhaust” from the cabinet so
that the lower frequency bass fires out the back as in expensive stand-alone speaker
designs while the treble and midrange come from the front. This allows the bass to
envelop the room rather than competing with or overpowering the highs and midrange.
The back of the cabinet offers connections for AC power, an FM antenna (included but
often the internal FM antenna is plenty good enough – this is clearly derived from the
Tivoli Model One radio) and aux input for a CD player or other audio device.
The front provides a series of five pushbuttons for memory locations. These are dual
purpose and maintain a memory location for one AM and one FM location, each.
Additional control buttons are provided for power on/off, alarm, sleep timer, time set and
RDS (more on this in a moment). Two rubberized and good-to-the-touch rotary knobs
are provided for volume and tuning.
Use of the iYiYi
Once again, Tivoli gets it. They made this product simple to use so one read through the
manual is about all the owner will ever need to do. The controls are intuitive. Simply turn
it on and it will default to the last source used (FM, AM, iPod or aux input). If it is playing
the radio and an iPod is connected, it assumes the user wants to listen to the iPod and it
automatically switches to the iPod dock connector and awaits for the user to tell the iPod
what to play.
Setting the time and alarm are as easy as setting a kitchen timer and the sleep timer
requires only one press to activate a 20-minute countdown timer in any mode. After the
twenty minute interval has ended, it shots down the iPod (if in use) and then itself. Any
time an iPod is connected to the dock of the iYiYi, it is fed power through the dock for
charging, so this makes an excellent charging stand as well even when turned off.
RDS is a broadcast system which allows digital information to be sent along with the
analog audio signals form the broadcast site. This can include the station’s call sign or
information about the song being played. Not all stations use this but if it is available, the
iYiYi captures and displays it.
A front panel ambient light sensor adjusts the brightness of the backlight based on the
amount of light available in the room. It ramps down as light decreases so it can be used
in a bedroom without being annoying even at night.
A “credit card” remote control is provided. This was pioneered for the iSongbook and
has been a real winner. It allows the user to control the volume, station and the playlists
of the iPod. It does not allow the user to change the source (AM/FM/iPod/Aux) from the
remote. However, all of the basic iPod and system functions are right there on a thin
remote with a membrane keypad. Range is excellent – up to 60 feet in most cases. As
distance increases, the aiming of the remote at the iYiYi becomes more critical but it’s
not difficult.
Like all Tivoli Audio products, this is simple to use. It will never become an exercise in
“What do I do now?” Press a button, dock an iPod and walk away.
Radio station presets are backed-up in case of power failure. The time – literally sets
itself by scanning for a broadcast time signal. It may also be set manually if no time
signal is present in a given area.
Sound Quality
Tivoli Audio is known for big sound form small boxes and this is no exception. The
increased bass response form the rear bass reflex ports is amazing and sound clarity of
highs and midrange are truly exceptional. For its small size, it is quite possible to turn it
up to uncomfortable volume levels without a bit of distortion. This is no lightweight. It can
fill a room with outstanding sound even for a party or other gathering. There are no
treble and bass adjustments simply because they are not needed. This is another
hallmark of Tivoli products. They are so well-designed that these user fiddle-knobs are
simply not required. Set it up, turn it on and be amazed at the sound which comes into
the room. That’s it.
The Tuner
A special note is required to discuss the tuner. This is a new generation of product which
builds upon the masterful tuner designs of Henry Kloss. The tuners have made Tivoli
Audio famous and this tuner is no exception to this long pedigree. It locks in on stations
cleanly while excluding nearby stations even in crowded radio markets. On top of that, I
found that like the Model One and iPAL radios, this one could zero-in on a classical
station from a city 130 miles away and bring it in with excellent quality – and in stereo!
To my amazement, the performance was virtually the same with the external FM
antenna and with the internal FM antenna for this particular test.
Warranty
In a world of 90- and now 30-day warranties, Tivoli backs this product for a full year for
parts and labor.
Summary
Tivoli Audio is never the first to hit the market with something new. They take their time
and refine a concept before offing it to the consumer. The iYiYi is no exception. It shows
careful thought, attention to consumer needs, high quality throughout and the kind of
high quality sound for which Tivoli Audio has become famous. This is a small, tabletop
device which delivers rich, full sound, AM/FM stereo radio and aux input at a price which
is competitive with many iPod-only speaker systems. There simply is no down-side to
this product. I think I know how the name was derived because “iYiYi” was virtually what
I said when I heard the sound from this system. The iYiYi is available in gloss white or
black to match the larger iPods.
Recommended:
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