The AJ300D Docking Entertainment System from Philips works with both the company's own GoGear MP3 player and most flavours of the iPod.
It costs around £60 and tries to differ itself from more run of the mill speaker docks by having a built-in radio alarm clock.
The world seems to be flooded with iPod docks at the moment, so rather than just follow the pack, Philips has created one that lets you wake up to your music player in the morning. In the box you'll find 12 different dock inserts with 11 of these designed for use with various iPod models and one for Philips' GoGear players.
As well as playing music from an iPod or GoGear, the dock also has an FM tuner. This has very good reception and we were able to pick up all the major stations without even unfurling the small wire antenna. On the right hand side of the dock you'll find five handy preset buttons that you can assign to your favourite stations.
The alarm clock side of the dock is well thought out. You can set two alarms -- one for you and one for your other half -- and each has its own on/off button. To program an alarm, you just hold down its button, wait for it to beep and then use the track skip buttons to set the time. When you're finished, you hit the alarm button again. A selector switch on the side allows you to choose whether you want to wake up to the buzzer, radio or tunes on your music player.
When the alarm goes off in the morning, you can tap the large button that runs all the way across the top to activate the snooze mode. It'll silence the dock for nine minutes giving you extra snooze-time before having to face the world.
The dock also comes with a remote control and thankfully Philips has shied away from the membrane style remotes popular with other manufacturers. So while the remote is small and narrow, it does have proper rubberised buttons that feel very responsive to the touch.
We wouldn't exactly describe the sound quality from this dock as hi-fi quality. The design means that the speakers are sited quite close together, so you don't really get all that much stereo spread. And while the mini sub woofer on the rear gives more bass than you'd expect on a dock this size, the high frequencies from the main speakers aren't particularly clear or distinct, so you get quite a mid-range heavy sound.
It's also not particularly loud either. Even at full volume in a medium sized bedroom, you could hold a conversation with someone just by raising your voice slightly. Still, for a clock radio device, we'd have to say that the overall sound quality is above average and better than similar products like the iH8 from iHome.
As this is not a general purpose dock, but instead one designed to be used in the bedroom, it doesn't sport a video out to let you view photos and video on a telly. Also the remote control doesn't allow you to move through the iPod's menus like those on some rival docks. Instead, you only get volume controls and buttons for skipping forwards and backwards through playlists.
Some people may not be overly keen on the tallish design either, as it's quite different to the usual alarm clock shape.
Not everyone is going to appreciate the AJ300D's styling, but this is still a decent clock radio dock that's easy to use and has above average sound quality. If you're looking for a dock to wake you from your slumber in the morning it's a good option at £60.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire