iHome iH52 vs. XtremeMac Tango vs. Eton Sound 100 iPod

Round two of our iPod Dock Bracket continues as three docks battle it out for our eternal love and loyalty...until the next round. It's heavyweights iHome iH52 and XtremeMac Tango duking it out in the same ring as the welterweight Eton Sound 100 iPod. Who will win? Why would you even read the teaser anymore? Just hit the jump to find out.



For testing we listened to Emiliana Torrini's Sunny Road, light acoustic rock that builds into deeper instrumentation.

iHome iH52

iHome iH52 vs. XtremeMac Tango vs. Eton Sound 100 iPod

All the ranges are well represented, with plenty of bass available. The guitar sounds pleasant, and the voice is OK, but not stellar. Nothing here will completely blow you away as no particular range really shines, but there's nothing blatantly broken, either.

XtremeMac Tango

iHome iH52 vs. XtremeMac Tango vs. Eton Sound 100 iPod

In the quiet opening, there is a noticeable buzz. It's a high and faint, an almost digital-sounding overtone. And once you hear that, it sours the whole package. The lows seem to keep up with the iHome's, though sounds sometimes become murky from lower ranges to the mids—it's lacking control in its resonance. But the vocal track is actually surprisingly quite strong.

Eton Sound 100 iPod

iHome iH52 vs. XtremeMac Tango vs. Eton Sound 100 iPod

The Sound 100 surprised me, nearly keeping up with its competitors in its overall frequency range. But overall, the experience is a little thinner than offerings from either the iHome or Tango. Still...

WINNER: Eton Sound 100 iPod

iHome iH52 vs. XtremeMac Tango vs. Eton Sound 100 iPod

Admittedly, the Eton comes in third place regarding sound. The iHome takes that category. But this is the second round, and I refuse to put through a computer speaker system with a dock attachment and a big iHome slapped on the front.

iPod docks are superfluous tech, meant to have a level of sexiness that's superior to our existing computer or surround sound system (and besides, could you imagine if Logitech and Altec Lansing entered their computer systems in the competition). Meanwhile, the Tango just doesn't sound as good as its footprint would suggest. The bottom line: if we were choosing one dock of the three for our home, it would be the Eton. And even if we bitched a little about the sound, at least we wouldn't have to look at another ugly pile of cords.