Bayan Audio 3 iPod & iPhone speaker dock
Price: £159.99
Contact: Bayan Audio

Geek: Unique design; excellent performance; not too large
Weak: Remote feels cheap; build quality could be better; not true stereo
Score: 4/5

It’s nice when a company pushes the boat out and creates a speaker dock that doesn’t just look like a pair of speaker with a connector stuck between them. Bayan Audio’s range of docks offers varying levels of features and performance, depending on your budget, but they all feature a distinct design, as seen on the Bayan Audio 3 we’re testing here.

The unit compromises a thick front panel, dominated by the 5.25” bass driver and the dock is positioned off to one side, providing a ledge for your iPod or iPhone, with the 2” mid- and high-frequency driver sitting above it. It’s a fantastic looking piece of design, quite minimalist, clean and simple and while it’s quite large, it’s not so large as to prove intrusive and dominate a room.

Click your iPod or iPhone in place and you’re away, the remote control giving you access to the volume, bass and treble and tracks and there are also ports at the back to allow you to connect and charge your iPad or tablet should you wish to use either to play your music. The Bayan 3 puts in an excellent audio performance and will not disappoint. It’s got 45W of power and while it doesn’t offer true stereo, Pseudo Stereo generates a wide sound stage to mimic a proper stereo arrangement. Does it work? Surprisingly, yes. It never feels like it is held back by its mono arrangement and it’s certainly not short on power or bass. It goes loud and while the listening experience always feels like its somewhat dominated by bass, it’s not overpowering to the point of spoiling the experience. It lends itself best to big music, thumping basslines and heavy beats, but is subtle enough to allow you to enjoy more delicate music. It’s a very impressive performance and I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed with how it sounds.

It’s not all smiles and sunshine, though, and there are a few negative points. The Bayan 3 looks better in pictures than it feels in real life – the construction is every bit as simple as you might imagine and while the finish is nice and the build is good, it could be better. The remote, too, feels rather cheap and plasticky, though it does the job. And finally, not having any visual reference for volume or bass and treble levels is a personal bugbear of mine – not a deal breaker, but something I would have liked to see.

Overall though, taking into account the price, design and audio performance, the Bayan Audio 3 is a fine, and fine looking, speaker dock and one worthy of your time, and money.

Verdict: While build quality might not be the best, the unique design and big sound make the Bayan Audio3 a top dock.