Short version: A great set of computer speakers with a built in iPod dock and USB sound card. They sound great, no matter if you’re listening to music or just playing games. My only complaint about them would be the price, but frankly, they’re worth it.
Long Version: The Samson StudioDock 3i is a set of professional quality studio monitors that someone installed a iPod dock and a USB sound card in. The result is nothing short of amazing. Computer speakers and iPod docks are normally, shall we say, not of the highest quality. These Samsons really buck that trend, providing an excellent quality sound for a quite reasonable $150.
The 3i version has a 3.25 inch woofer in each side, coupled with a 25mm tweeter. The response is great across the board, no matter if you are listening if you are listening to Jay-Z or Gordon Lightfoot. The front of the right speaker has a volume control, aux stereo input, a stereo headphone output (which mutes the speakers), and a blue LED power indicator. The top of the speaker has a slot and connector for a your iPod. The back of the speaker has a USB cable connection, stereo RCA inputs, and the connection for the wires running to the left speaker. And despite the fact that they’re rated at only 15 watts each, they put out an impressive amount of sound and don’t distort at high volumes. I also think that I should mention that these speakers did in fact come out last year, and were named one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2008.
Recommendation: Buy ‘em. They are a great set of speakers for a reasonable price. I wish I would have included this in our back to school feature, because they’d be great for a dorm room. In fact, after I sent these back to Samson, I went out and bought a set for my home office. Retail is $150, but I found them on Amazon for $85.