April 29 2010
Every time I promise not to review another iPod dock, something else appears to make me go back on my undertaking. In this case, it’s from über-smart Swiss manufacturer Geneva, and it’s absolutely delightful – so beautiful, and manufactured to such a sublime standard, that I just wanted to stroke it, let alone listen to its precise Swiss sound.
The GenevaSound S is a smoothly contoured, high-gloss, lacquered desktop- or bedside-table-friendly elongated cube, 23.5cm x 15.6cm x 17.6cm and weighing 3.2kg. It can be placed flat on a surface, or mounted on an (included) aluminium stalk, which is Geneva’s trademark look.
The device’s sound is fine; it’s no Meridian F80 (what is?) but it’ll give any overhyped Bose or sensible Tivoli or Vita Audio a (brief) run for its money. It also lacks a DAB radio, but that’s no deal breaker; FM’s better so long as you have a signal and, no, don’t believe the stories that FM won’t exist post 2015 – trust me, it will.
The point of the little Geneva, however, is its style and the pleasure of using it. The iPod dock, notably, is motorised. Bzeeezzz and it’s up. Bzeeezzz and it’s down again. It’s just a bit Thunderbirds 1967. FAB. There’s also an old-fashioned red LED clock hidden cleverly behind the front grille. Cool. And the iPod/iPhone controls appear magically as lights under what seems to be an opaque top panel. The power button is a concave recess; touch it and the controls just... appear. The volume is a flat, glowing circle, like an old iPod scrollwheel. It’s exceptionally nice gadgetry.