CNET reviewer David Carnoy says the Audyssey South of Market Audio iPod Dock provides excellent sound, with "good detail and bass." Most reviewers agree; in fact, a couple of users compare the Audyssey side-by-side to various Bose speakers, and feel that the Audyssey provides better sound. Several reviewers comment about the South of Market's extremely minimalist controls, but don't seem to have strong opinions about them either way. Remote control aside, the only onboard controls are a play/pause/standby button and a volume bar/mute button, which doubles as the logo.
Most reviewers like the South of Market's Bluetooth streaming option, but a few note that because it uses a lossy protocol -- in other words, a bit of the data's complexity is lost when the music is compressed for transmission to the speaker -- the Bluetooth playback isn't quite as good as docked playback. The SoMa's companion app is another source of some ambivalence; Ray Aguilera of MacLife calls it "interesting," but mostly ignores it, and most other reviewers follow suit.
The SoMa has a built-in speakerphone function, but the listeners on the other end sometimes complained of echoes or muddled sound, despite the SoMa's two directional microphones. Speakerphone problems aside, we found only minimal complaints about this unit -- one user feels that the remote control sensor's location makes it hard to get your aim just right, another wishes the power cord were longer, and another would like to see a rechargeable battery so this compact speaker could be used as a portable. Overall, most reviewers feel the South of Market's excellent sound makes it worth the high price tag.
We're not sure why the Audyssey South of Market receives fewer -- and briefer -- expert reviews than many other iPod speaker models we researched; however, we were able to find useful, detailed expert reviews at CNET, MacWorld and MacLife. We also found a handful of helpful user reviews from Amazon.com and the Apple Store.
CNET gives the Audyssey Audio Dock an "excellent" 4-star rating. High points include the level of detail and bass the SoMa offers, its Bluetooth capability, the speakerphone, and the USB-sync option. Reviewer David Carnoy comments on the high price, but seems to feel this unit is worth it.
Review: Audyssey Audio Dock, David Carnoy, Sept. 15, 2010
MacWorld gives the Audyssey South of Market a rating of 4.0 out of 5 "mice". The reviewer calls the SoMa's sound "impressive," and notes that the remote control works well. However, the unit's streaming music quality doesn't compare to its docked quality, because of the lossy Bluetooth protocol it employs.
Review: Audyssey Laboratories South of Market Audio Dock, Lex Friedman, Feb. 4, 2011
MacLife reviewer Ray Aguilera tests the Audyssey South of Market with a variety of music and sound-file types, and is pleased with its "exceptionally clear audio." He calls the companion app "interesting," but doesn't feel it's a crucial part of the SoMa.
Review: South of Market Edition Audio Dock Review, Ray Aguilera, Jan. 25, 2011
For this very short review, the author handles a review sample and describes the sound as "quite loud" and having plenty of punch; however, listeners reported muddled-sounding voices on an experimental speakerphone call.
The author of this enthusiastic, but relatively detail-sparse review says that the SoMa sounds more like a full audio system than an iPod dock. He also likes a movable rubber node that allows the SoMa's dock to accommodate almost any iPhone case, "even the chunky ones."
Review: Audyssey South of Market Audio Dock, Nir Schneider, Nov. 21, 2010
6. Apple Store
More than 20 reviewers give the Audyssey South of Market a perfect 5-star rating in the Apple Store. A couple of users conduct side-by-side comparisons to various Bose speakers, and decide that the Audyssey SoMa provides better sound.
Review: Audyssey South of Market Audio Dock, Contributors to the Apple Store
The Audyssey South of Market receives a 4.6-star overall rating from more than 20 Amazon.com user reviews. Most users are, like the experts, impressed with this compact unit's "phenomenal" sound quality. One reviewer comments that the speakers turn his iPod on at random times.
Review: Audyssey South of Market Audio Dock, Contributors to Amazon.com