Gear Review: The Kindle FireDock

By Sam Parker

The pool outside of Apple accessories is getting a little deeper. Grace Digital Audio, an innovative digital audio company, released plans for its FireDock, the first docking speaker system designed specifically for Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Designed to rival Apple’s docking products, the FireDock will provide charging capabilities, cordless playback abilities, a turn-and-tilt feature and 3 inch, full-range stereo speakers for Kindle Fire users, according to Grace Digital Audio’s website.

Greg Fadul, CEO of Grace Digital Audio, said in a press release that the creation of the FireDock was inspired by the lack of products available on the market for non-Apple customers. “There are hundreds of iPhone speaker docks, but there is no quality audio solution for the 14 million Americans who have purchased the 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet,” Fadul said in the release. “Grace Digital engineered the FireDock as a no compromise solution to enhance Kindle Fire’s multimedia offerings such as Netflix, Pandora Internet Radio and Amazon audio books.”

amazon kindle fire dock speakers charging station firedock

The Kindle Fire Battery Life Battle

Because the FireDock is designed specifically to cater to the Kindle Fire’s unique features, it sports connector capabilities with the tablet’s USB port, headphone jack and power button, according to the product’s website. Similar to Apple products, while docked, the Kindle Fire will charge if the device is plugged into a wall-power outlet, but an optional lithium-ion battery pack is also available separately. The additional battery will allow customers to enjoy cordless playback for up to six hours, but this will also halt all charging capabilities.

A Range of Viewpoints

Differing widely from Apple’s iHome products, a turn-and-tilt feature is available through the FireDock’s rotating cradle, allowing users to switch between portrait and landscape orientations. By rotating either 50 or 38 degrees, customers can listen to and view song selections on Pandora, television shows on Netflix or audio books on Amazon either horizontally or vertically.

Quality of Sound and Audio Capabilities

The device’s 3 inch, full range stereo speakers and 16-watt, Class D digital amp bring maximized sound to any room, and a remote control with bass, treble and volume control buttons lets users control their audio output levels. Like an iHome, volume controls are also mounted as panel buttons on top of the device.

Unlike Apple devices, a secondary auxiliary audio input jack on the back of the FireDock provides access to non-Kindle Fire users. Owners of the Samsung Galaxy, iPhone or iPad will be able to plug in their devices to enjoy the same audio output.

Less Specialized Features

Unlike Apple iHome products, the FireDock will not host clock, alarm clock or radio capabilities, but because of its relatively low price, the device is an attractive option for those who are looking to buy a stereo system for their tablet.

The FireDock is available on Amazon.com for $99.99

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