Despite recent advances in audio technology, there's only so "big" sound can get when it comes from a smallish speaker. And a lot of the more popular speaker docks are, well, smallish.
The problem is, if you want big, rich, room-filling sound from your iPhone or iPod, it'll cost you at least $200.
Or not, if you jump on today's deal -- a Cheapskate exclusive! While supplies last, you can get the Fluance FiSDK500 iPhone/iPod speaker dock for $169.99 shipped when you apply coupon code FISDK5 at checkout. Regular price: $229.99.
This is no wimpy dock. The FiSDK500 weighs more than 13 pounds and measures 20.4 x 5.8 x 7.1 inches, making it anything but portable and needing a decent amount of overhead clearance. Best bet: a countertop or tall shelf.
As noted in CNET's review of the dock, that hefty casing houses "0.6-inch soft dome tweeters mounted in the center of 5-inch woven fiberglass woofers." I'm no audiophile, so I don't understand a lot of the terminology, but I do know this: the FiSDK500 sounds awesome.
Fluance was kind enough to send me a unit to check out, and my ears have rarely been happier. When paired with my iPhone 4S and an app like Songza, one of my own playlists, or my new favorite album (Marble Party's "Lyle"), the FiSDK500 belts out some of the loudest, cleanest, deepest audio I've heard (in my house, anyway).
Though equipped with an iDevice dock, the speaker also has stereo RCA inputs, meaning you can pair it with just about any other audio device -- even a TV. (CNET linked with a Samsung and found that it made for a superb sound bar.) Fluance supplies a small but full-featured remote for controlling volume and playback from afar.
The one thing the FiSDK500 lacks is any kind of wireless capability: AirPlay or Bluetooth. You can add the latter using various third-party accessories (like the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter), meaning you can ice this already yummy cake yourself.
So if you're looking for a serious audio accessory for your smartphone or MP3 player, something that can really fill a room, here's your chance to score a winning speaker at a hefty discount. Fluance's code expires in one week, though there's always a chance the FiSDK500 will sell out before then.