ipod Docking Station with FM Radio and Wireless Remote - Too Bad About the Lifespan
Jun 4, 2010 (Updated Oct 29, 2010)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:portable, charges and plays Apple iPod, AC power, optional batteries
Cons:eats batteries, remote control not reliable -- See update to learn about the fatal flaw
The Bottom Line: The Memorex MiniMove worked great for me as an iPod docking station and player. However, the machine has a few issues ... and it later developed a fatal problem.
Last year I was the delighted recipient of an Apple iPod Nano MP3 player. Of course, after I had the iPod for a bit, I decided I needed a docking station. That is how I came to own this Memorex MiniMove Boombox for iPod (Model # Mi3X-SIL).
Recommend this product?
The Memorex MiniMove is an attractive unit. The color is silver, though it is available in other finishes. It measures 11 1/2" long x 10 3/4" wide x 5 3/4" deep. It weights 2 1/4" pounds. Along the top of the machine is a handle for easy carrying. The speakers are on the front, along with the operating controls. It has a backlit LCD display. The unit comes with a 2-pronged AC adapter. On the bottom of the unit is an area that holds four AA batteries (in case you don't want to use the adapter). The MiniMove also comes with a small remote control (about 1 1/2" x 2 1/4").
A digital FM radio is part of this unit, with an extendable antenna that pulls horizontally from the side of the machine.
An iPod can also be inserted into this device using a universal dock insert that comes with the MiniMove. The iPod slides into the dock where it can charge as long as the unit is connected to a wall receptacle via the AC adapter. The iPod can play, taking advantage of the speakers in the MiniMove, whether AC power or batteries are used.
A user guide comes in the package. It is illustrated and easy to understand.
My Experiences (Make sure to read the update below)
First off, let me say this machine is not perfect. However, it suits all of my needs. I wanted an easily portable iPod docking station with speakers so that it could charge and play the iPod. The battery and AC power option were a plus. I also wanted a unit that was affordable.
The machine was easy to setup. The AC plug connects at the back of the MiniMove. Remove the AC plug when using battery power. Battery installation is a breeze. I find that the Alkaline batteries don't last long, though. (There is a battery low indicator that will blink.) The battery option is great if you want to play music for awhile without being tethered to a wall outlet. However, if you plan to frequently use this machine on the go, only using batteries, you will find they need regular changing. The manufacturer recommends Alkaline batteries for the longest playing time. The only place in the instructions where rechargeable batteries are mentioned is in the "batteries precautions" section. The user guide says not to mix Alkaline, Rechargeable, and Carbon-zinc batteries, or old batteries with new batteries.
The control layout on the front of the player is nice. The power button is on the left, and is followed by the forward/backward skip feature, the source button (radio or iPod), preset/set button, volume controls, and an Equalizer button. The "buttons" have an interesting feel to them. Press against the symbol on the control panel, and the covering "gives" so that the clicking device beneath it engages. The covering that is over the control panel is holding up well. There are no signs of distress, and all the buttons work great.
When using the iPod (which is most of the time), I use the controls on the iPod to cycle through the albums and music choices, and to select the "shuffle" feature to mix up the song selections. Since the iPod sits vertically atop the player, the iPod dial control is easy to reach and use.
I like that the remote control is small. On the flip side, being small means it can easily become lost. The machine has separate controls, so the remote is not necessary for operation ... which is good considering my remote is not reliable. Sometimes the buttons work, and most times the buttons require multiple pushing or don't function. The remote can control the volume and has the usual play/pause/skip features. It also has a belt clip.
A pet peeve is that when I unplug the MiniMove, the machine loses its volume setting. I constantly have to adjust the volume if moving this player from one location to another. A nice feature is that the device is light enough to easily carry. It also sits well on a flat or slightly angled surface.
As with any audio device, sound is important. I have no complaints. Considering the affordable price of this machine, it delivers great sound. An acoustic connoisseur will note the lack of a separate bass and treble adjustment. The Equalizer has four settings or the off position. If needed, there is a headphone jack at the back of the unit.
The FM radio is a mixed bag. There are ten presets to program favorite radio stations. Fortunately, the one radio station I enjoy listening to all the time comes in well. The sound is strong with a clear signal. Other radio stations I like don't tune in as well; lots of static. Not even the short antenna helps with reception, though sometimes changing the location of the player helps improve the signal.
The MiniMove retails for $49.99. Amazon.com is offering it for $47.87. Target is currently selling it online only for $44.99. (Last year it was bought from a local Target store.)
Update October 29, 2010
I liked this Memorex MiniMove Boombox. It looks great and is portable. It also charged my 5th generation iPod. Plus, the price was right. However, it died. The speakers stopped working so that the device sounded like an incredibly cheap transister radio. Also, I lost iPod functionality through this player. I could no longer change songs or even adjust the volume. I tried all manner of "fixes", but nothing worked.
Even when working ... I can see where this machine would not appeal to everyone. I wish the remote control worked better. I'm also happy that this player is, for the most part, in a stationary location using AC power; otherwise it would have chewed through batteries. If the machine had not stopped working properly, I would still be happily using it. Due to it's lack of life, I have to change my rating to below average.
Enjoy the day,
Power Source: DC 6V Adapter (center positive)
Batteries: 4 AA
Speaker: 2 x 4 ohms
Output Power: 2 x 2 W
Please read my other reviews:
Apple iPod Nano
Sony Walkman Digital Media Player
Altec Lansing Speakers
Philips Portable DVD Player with screen
LiteOn DVD Recorder/Player
Samsung 32" LCD HD Television
Samsung 50" Plasma HD Television
Copyright 2010 Dawn L. Stewart
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