Recently we were sent a new product manufactured by a company called Magicbox, “The Tower” is a DAB / FM radio and an iPhone / iPod dock, not only this but it also has a built-in alarm clock.
This product is lightweight, portable and available in four different metallic colors (red, purple, blue and black), inside the retail packaging you get the tower, a basic user manual and a mains adapter.
According to the packaging “The Tower” features MBX speaker technology, also the built-in DAB / FM radio allows for up to 20 presets and you can automatically or manually scan for stations, other features worth mentioning include its snooze button for the alarm (snooze time can be set to your preference), adjustable backlight for the LCD display and clock which features automatic time adjustment (GMT).
If you plan on using the dock functionality you will be glad to hear that it supports iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, all iPod Touch variants, iPod (4th and 5th gen), iPod Nano (3rd, 4th and 5th gen), iPod Mini and iPod Classic, despite the original Nano not being officially supported it worked fine for me.
In terms of build quality you can’t really question Magicbox’s product, the metallic finish is a nice touch and all of the buttons feel sturdy, one thing which I didn’t like was the long length of the antenna, however this is adjustable, if the signal is good in your area you do not need to fully extend it, however in my home I needed to have it at full-length.
The device itself is very easy to use and after roughly two minutes I had ran an autoscan and was happily listening to my favorite radio station, when you dock your iPhone / iPod you simply press the mode button to listen to your playlists, there is also an auxiliary input (3.5mm jack) which is pretty self-explanatory.
I am a nightmare for getting up early, therefore I was keen to test out the alarm clock functionality, the menu system was pretty easy to navigate and you can choose what you wake up to, the built-in buzzer can be set to a very high-volume which would probably be unpopular with your neighbours, alternatively you can also set alarms to play the radio or play music from your Apple device.
As previously mentioned the display’s backlight is adjustable, personally I thought that the default setting was fine, however if you are in a brighter environment this feature would come in very handy, also if you are using “The Tower” as an alarm and do not like lights in the bedroom you can adjust it to appear much dimmer.
Sound quality was pretty good, however as you would expect the depth of sound wasn’t breathtaking, I used the radio functionality in my kitchen and I was more than happy with the volume and clarity, for a party the device would be pretty suitable, however uncomparable to high-end speakers like my Teufel Concept B 200s, believe me there is no shame in that.
The device being light is not great for when you press the buttons on the front, because the buttons are pretty stiff it means that the dock would topple over if you didn’t support the tower at the same time, luckily the volume and snooze buttons are placed on top, which means you can tiredly hit snooze without having to worry about it falling over.
All in all we have to say that the Magicbox “The Tower” is a great DAB radio / alarm clock / iPod dock, there are some very slight imperfections, however everything which was important worked just fine. I mentioned the sound quality wasn’t the best, however I really think you will struggle to find a similar device at a similar price which seriously outperforms “The Tower”, you can buy the device for roughly £70 at a lot of UK retailers such as Comet.