iPod Hi-Fi was a speaker system that was developed and manufactured by Apple Inc. and was released on February 28, 2006, for use with any iPod digital music player. The iPod Hi-Fi retailed at the Apple Store for US$349 until its discontinuation on September 5, 2007.
The iPod Hi-Fi was announced by Steve Jobs on February 28, 2006, alongside the first Intel-based Mac mini.
- High price, more expensive than other similar products such as the iBoom and Bose's SoundDock.
- Lack of an AM/FM radio.
- Placement of the iPod itself in a vulnerable location compared to other similar devices such as the Bose SoundDock. This is due to the iPod device sitting atop the unit, with no other method of securing the player to the dock besides the 30-pin dock connector.
- The supplied remote control has limited functionality. The remote can only control the volume and skip between tracks within the selected playlist. The menu button switches between the dock and the audio-in port; it cannot assume the function of the menu button on the docked iPod itself.
- iPod compatibility: Only some iPod models can use the iPod Hi-Fi dock. The stereo comes with adapters for third generation (20 GB, 40 GB, U2 special edition), fourth generation (20 GB, 30 GB, 40 GB, 60 GB) and fifth generation (30 GB, 60 GB, 80 GB) iPods, and the first and second generations of the iPod nano. The iPod shuffle does not have a dock connector, and so can only connect to the audio-in port and cannot be recharged by the stereo. So, with the exception of the iPod shuffle, the iPod Hi-Fi can be used with all iPods with a dock connector, however will only charge iPods that support Firewire charging.
- An adapter must be used to charge newer iPod models (except for iPod classic) and the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S because they require a lower voltage: the iPod Hi-Fi supplies 12VDC (FireWire) while the newer devices expect 5VDC (USB).
On September 5, 2007, the iPod Hi-Fi was discontinued by Apple, and disappeared from Apple's online store. While no reason was given, one can presume it was due to poor sales, contributed to by the relatively high price, tepid consumer reaction to the device upon its introduction, and the myriad competing "speaker dock" systems on the market.
Engadget received an official statement from Apple:
||Apple has decided to focus priorities on the iPod and iPhone and will not be making more iPod Hi-Fi units. There are over 4,000 accessories in the iPod ecosystem and hundreds of speakers systems designed specifically for the iPod, which provide customers with a wide variety of options.