Onkyo Digital Media Transport: Dock your iPod or iPhone in style

You know the score: you bought an iPod or iPhone and you find yourself with all of your music on one device. But how do you listen to it on that expensive home cinema in your lounge? Onkyo, like so many other companies, is keen to be the receptacle for your pod-based device with its Digital Media Transport — a very glamorous name for an iPod dock.

The Digital Media Transport is designed to work with Onkyo equipment and it features its new dock connection. Digital optical and coaxial connectors mean it will work with any suitably endowed audio equipment. A remote control is also supplied, which makes controlling your iPod a little easier too.  

The Onkyo has the advantage of bypassing the iPod’s built-in digital-to-analogue convertor, so you should be able to squeeze a much better sound out of your MP3 player. This will be especially true of lossless music encoded in WAV format or Apple’s own lossless AAC system.

It helps that it’s a lovely place to rest your iPod. Finished in an attractive black colour, it’s intended to fit in with the rest of your home cinema equipment. It’s compatible with most modern iPods, including the iPhone 3GS, both variants of the iPod touch and all of the nano generations. Fifth-generation iPod users are also in luck, but owners of older models are left out in the cold.

What makes the Onkyo slightly more interesting is its ability to connect to your computer over USB. This has two advantages: you can sync your iPod with iTunes, but you can also use the Digital Media Transport as a way to pump audio from your computer to your AV system. This requires that your computer is close to your AV gear, but it’ll suit laptop users.

You also get composite video output, which is hardly going to set the world alight, but is handy for video podcasts and other low-quality video. We think it’ll be interesting to see how video on the iPod develops, considering the Zune HD is about to get 720p playback via its dock connector… The times, they are a-slightly-changing.

Update: Onkyo has been in touch to explain that most iPod docks do not bypass the iPod’s built-in DAC, as we previously stated, and it’s this feature that makes this product so awesome. We’ve updated the story to correct this error.

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