For iPhone users, an iPhone docking station is practically a must-have accessory, and it’s not a bad idea to have several, such as one for the car, home and office. The problem for the first-time buyer is that there is a great deal of choice on the market, including options by Panasonic, Griffin, iHome and Apple itself, and all of that choice can be a bit overwhelming. In order to help, we’ve assembled this brief overview of the core points for first-time buyers.
Today, the most popular iPhone docking station models are much more than simple charging bases. Take the incredibly popular iHome iP90, which is an unconventional station in that it looks and behaves like a digital clock and stereo radio system. In addition to being a stereo radio, the iHome iP90 is a charger, an alarm and even a speakerphone. It’s perfect for the bedroom, but the one thing it is missing is a data connection for the computer.
Most users consider a data connection to be vital, especially if they intend to use it in an office or home office. The nice thing about a data link is that you just have to make the physical connection between the computer system and the iPhone docking station once. Then, whenever you seat the iPhone in the station, you have automatic and immediate access to its files. This is particularly convenient for transferring videos, digital images and music files.
For similar reasons, many users prefer a docking station that has multiple memory card slots. The great advantage of having the slots directly on the station is accessibility. Attaching and detaching memory cards from the iPhone can be extremely inconvenient, so it is far easier to look at a series of memory cards by connecting them directly to the dock. In fact, you do not even need the iPhone connected unless you need to transfer files from or to its storage.
When choosing your first dock, opt for one that is compact and perhaps even portable. Some of the most popular docking stations from manufacturers like Panasonic and Griffin are both compact and portable. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the larger stations, but they can be a bit cumbersome. If you buy too big, you might be out of luck, but if you buy too small, you can use that smaller station somewhere else in your home or office.
For your first iphone docking station, in addition to being portable and compact, choose a station that charges, provides a data connection and has at least one memory slot. You might also want to consider a station that has speakers and serves as a digital radio and stereo. If you plan to use it as a mini entertainment center for a bedroom or den, then you may also want to consider a remote, which can make the music listening experience much more convenient.