My mate the AktiMate

I’m late into mp3 players, mainly because I’m not all that keen on walking around with earbuds stuck in my ears. I like to engage with the world – particularly when I walk – rather than cut myself off. After all, isn’t it nice to have some pockets of peace in our otherwise wonderfully connected world? Slowly, though, I started to realise there were other benefits to having an iPod. The car. What a boon it is to be able to plug a player into the car and have immediate access to a large music library (not to mention podcasts and audiobooks) without having to carry around a bunch of CDs. And then there’s home. CDs are on the way out, electronic music is in, and I have in fact been downloading music from iTunes for a while now. BUT, among the plethora of iPod dock options out there, which one to get?

This is where Mr Gums, dare I call him that?, came to the rescue as he always does when it comes to things technological. There are limits, I’m afraid, to my feminism. So, what did I want:

  • a neat system that would not take up a lot of space and would be easy to use;
  • a basic system (as I don’t at this stage need much in the way of fancy functionality);
  • decent sound for a biggish space; and also, hopefully,
  • the ability to plug in my internet radio so I can better listen to great stations like Folk Alley.
AktiMateMini Speaker (1 of 2), with iPod and Internet Radio

AktiMate Mini Speaker (1 of 2), with iPod and Internet Radio

And what, after a search of shops and the internet, did he find to meet these criteria? The AktiMate Mini – two neat little speakers with an iPod dock on one of them, and a remote control. That’s it. It has good sound, particularly for my uncomplicated ears though the experts also review it well, is easy to use, and takes up little space. Looks good too, though I have to admit that, at first, the little iPod did look a bit silly perched on top, but I soon got used to that. And, they do only come in black and white, so you can’t coordinate with all those glorious iPod Nano colours! But that’s probably just as well – lime green chromate speakers might have been a bit of overkill.

In the end, it was all so easy … why did I take so long?

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