It's not often that you see an iPhone dock that looks like an old-fashioned alarm clock, which is why we were excited to see the stylish Tick Tock Dock by Edifier. At $79.99, it's one of the less expensive docks on the market, and, aside from its funky looks, produces quality sound. Unfortunately, the Tick Tock Dock suffers from some serious flaws.
The Tick Tock Dock is a modern-day interpretation of your grandfather's alarm clock. Two silver faux bells at the top of the dock serve as covers for the unit's 7-watt omni-directional stereo speakers. They're superfluous, but without them, the Tick Tock would just be a bulbous-looking alarm clock. The clock's face is comprised of a rounded LCD screen surrounded by a band of glossy black paint. Surrounding that is a faux speaker grille bordered by silver trim.
The bottom portion of the grille is where the iPod dock connecter is hidden. Push on one side, and the dock rotates out. Herein lies our main problem with the Tick Tock Dock: When your iPhone or iPod is in the dock, it covers the entire screen, so you won't be able to set an alarm and listen to music at the same time.
In addition, switching between the Tick Tock's inputs was tricky to say the least, since we couldn't see which setting we were using. Instead, we had to wait for the input to switch over in order to hear if the radio, iPod or Aux were in use.
On the top of the device is the Tick Tock Dock's five-way control button. From here, you can rewind, skip and pause tracks as well as raise and lower the volume. Below the main controls is the unit's input and function rocker. Just below those are the Tick Tock Dock's alarm controls, power port and Aux input.
In addition to its iPhone/ iPod dock, the Tick Tock Dock allows users to save five different alarms. Beyond that, the dock houses a 3.5mm Aux-In port for playing music from your non-Apple devices, as well as an FM radio. If you're looking for an AM radio, look elsewhere. Also, unlike other iOS-compatible docks such as the iLuv Vibro II, the Tick Tock Dock does not have a corresponding app for your iPhone or iPod. You'll have to rely on the Clock app built into iOS.
Despite its diminutive size, the Tick Tock Dock's 7-watt speakers produced clear and accurate sound. We were quite surprised by this device's ability to kick out a moderate amount of bass while playing Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild." On the other end of the spectrum, the treble heavy sounds of 36 Crazy Fists were crisp without sounding tinny. Snare drums cracked sharply and cymbal crashes were clean. Pumping up the volume did little to throw the tiny Tick Tock Dock off of its game, with only small bits of distortion coming through.
Unfortunately, using the auxillary input with our Android phone resulted in a significant reduction in sound quality. Songs became flat and tinny and the overall volume fell off a cliff.
Edifier also sells a $69.99 SD/ USB/ FM Radio and a $79.99 Bluetooth model. While they both lack an iOS dock, you'll be able to see the Tick Tock's display even when a device is connected.
Yes, the Tick Tock Dock has a funky design and solid audio quality, but that only gets it so far. The fact that the LCD is completely covered when your iPhone or iPod is hooked into the dock will be a dealbreaker for many. If you're looking for a more practical dock, we suggest checking out the iLuv Vibro II, which costs the same, has an excellent app, and sounds even better.