ICF-CS10iP iPhone Clock Radio Docking Station
I once dreamed I would get a Sony Dream Machine for Christmas. I am no longer dreaming, but waking up every morning to the tunes coming from my iPhone MP3 player docked inside my new ICF-CS10ip model, Sony Dream Machine. Since receiving the Sony Dream Machine from Santa, I’m a little bit surprised at the number of unfavorable user reviews and comments that I’ve read on this particular model. The ICF-CS10iP is Sony’s latest iPod Docking Station/Clock Radio/Music Player. Perhaps my reasons for wanting this unit fall short of some people’s dreams, but the ICF-CS10ip has actually exceeded my own expectations. As a relatively new iPhone owner, this is the first docking station/music player I’ve ever owned. My reason for dreaming for a Sony Dream Machine in the first place was simply to be able to play music in the bedroom and keep my iPhone conveniently charged at night. I got the idea from my Sony- Dream-Machine-owning brother who told me that this nifty little gadget filled a room with reasonable quality sound.
Features and Functions
What I didn’t consider was how useful the clock radio would be to me. The dream machine is far superior to my old AM/FM clock radio, which has a tiny led display that is hard to see and annoying little switches that are hard to program. The Sony Dream Machine displays the time on a large LCD display with three different brightness settings. I was able to place the unit about 8 feet away from the bed, on top of my dresser drawers where the display is easy and convenient to read. I usually sleep on my left side facing the dresser drawers, so checking the time is a simple matter of merely opening my eyes. Thanks to the handy remote control, I don’t need to get out of bed to use the snooze button, change volume, stations or turn it completely off and go back to sleep. The Clock Radio portion of the dream machine can be programmed with its own volume setting, apart from the levels of loudness you might prefer for regular listening throughout the day. The dream machine clock radio includes dual alarms with four settings: Digital AM/FM Tuner(10 presets), iPod and Clock Radio. You can use your iPhone’s iPod settings to choose the music you want to wake up to, or have it set so any music from your entire iTunes collection can be randomly played at the launching of the alarm. I also appreciate the accuracy of the clock which was set at the factory and backed up by its internal CR2025 battery. All you need to do is select your time zone. The clocks time was 100% in synch with my iPhone time which indicates to me that this clock does a good job of keeping accurate time. The built-in clock also can display the date and year. The programmable buttons on top of the radio are easy to learn and manage. One other convenient feature is the programmable sleep timer which goes from 15 to 90 minutes. Also included is an input for using another audio device.
The Dream Machine does produce pretty good sound for a unit this small. The sound is significantly better with the Mega Bass and Mega Xpand features turned on. Some users complain that the Xpand feature makes the sound a bit distorted. I did not notice this much at all unless it was turned to a very loud level. What I did notice was that the Xpand did a better job of spreading sound throughout the room. My feeling is that for $89.00, you’ve got a pretty versatile stereo in your bedroom or office.
Looks and Ergonomics
The ICF-CS10iP is better looking than the other iPod docking stations I’ve seen. The Dream Machine’s exterior is rectangular in shape with a speaker grill that wraps around to both sides. When docked, the top of the iPhone fits flush with the rest of the unit. The docking station portion of the unit is a little quirky. A couple of plastic inserts are provided. You install the one that matches your iPhone or iPod. When these are snapped into place, the jacket or case of your iPhone will have to be removed in order to fit in the docking station. I bought a leather iPhone jacket with a removable bottom to address this inconvenience. The other solution is to simply forgo using the plastic inserts altogether. My iPhone seemed to dock securely enough while inside its jacket without using the plastic insert.
The Sony met my expectations of being a useful, good-sounding stereo and docking station. It exceeded my expectations by replacing my old, outdated clock radio. It is a convenient and versatile Clock/Radio/Stereo/Docking-Station that works with 9 Different models of iPhones, iTouch, iPods and iPod Nanos. I believe the $89.00 price tag fairly represents the value, quality, features and function this unit has to offer.