For today's match in our iPod Bracket Battle, the Sonic Impact T24 ($179.99) faces off against the Eton Sound 100 iPod ($199). And let me tell you, these docks hate each other, Montagues and Capulets-style.
Who will win the battle? Design/Functionality
Sonic Impact The T24's design is stereotypical, so we'll save you clichÃ©d descriptions of symmetry and my takes on the finer distinctions of silver and gunmetal. The T24 has video out and is generally streamlined for ease of use.
Eton Internet shots of Eton's Sound 100 iPod (essentially their Sound 100 with iPod dock) never impressed me much, but the in-person effect is much less retro-wannabe and far more small and indiscrete. Plus, you get a radio, alarm with sleep timer and an LCD that has plenty of room for the song titles but doesn't display them. Oh, well.
Sound We just haven't been able to shake Journey's Don't Stop Believing after watching the incredible Sopranos finale. So we looped that for a while.
Sonic Impact The entire sound has a bit of an echo, but not obnoxiously so. On the contrary, it rounds out the sound. The vocals are very strong and, once again I'm left with that car stereo effect: strong mids with highs that that blend into an indefinable but palatable mixture. But there's not much of going on the lowest ranges.
Eton The sound feels more contained, but the highest ranges feel truer...if occasionally metallic. And believe it or not, this little machine performs better at the lowest ranges. It's weird, the Eton's downfall is its lackluster midrange playback. WINNER: Eton Sound 100 iPod We choose the Eton, not because of the sound (which is admittedly a half step better on the Sonic Impact), but for the small stature that still manages to keep up that is packed with practical features. Neither of these units should be chosen based upon their fidelity alone, so with a width of roughly half its competitor's size, Eton's Sound 100 iPod takes this round.