Apple's iPod Hi-Fi Launched 18 Years Ago – and Lasted Just 554 Days

Reflecting on the iPod Hi-Fi, launched 18 years ago, many long-time readers may remember it as Apple's ambitious foray into the home audio market, long before smart speakers were a thing.

ipod hi fi
Priced at $349, it promised audiophile-quality sound within a compact design, offering home audio without the clutter of traditional stereo components. It featured a built-in Universal Dock for iPods, providing a seamless integration that allowed users to charge their device while playing music.

With its capability to produce a wide frequency range and room-filling sound without distortion, the iPod Hi-Fi combined Jony Ive's minimalist design aesthetic and high-quality audio performance. Its versatility was further highlighted by the inclusion of an Apple Remote, and the option for AC or battery power, making it portable.

Many products in the iPod series achieved remarkable success, but the iPod Hi-Fi wasn't one of them. The device was praised for its big rich sound, bass response, and ease of use, but its high price was a turn-off for many Apple device users. Also, the connector prominently positioned atop the speaker unit exposed docked iPods to potential knocks and damage.

Despite its innovative features, the iPod Hi-Fi remained a niche product in Apple's lineup​​, and the combination iPod dock/speaker system never took off. Apple discontinued it on September 5, 2007, just 554 days after its launch.

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Top Rated Comments

mattkally Avatar
20 weeks ago
I bought it 10 years ago. Still going strong

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Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FocusAndEarnIt Avatar
20 weeks ago
Still have mine. Bought a device to stream music to it via AirPlay. Still sounds amazing.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
20 weeks ago
iPod Hifi: "Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father."

HP Gen 1: "He told me enough! He told me you killed him!"

iPod Hifi: "No. I am your father." ;)

Great sound, fairly portable, somewhat like the modern day variations of the boombox... BUT... too locked down (though, unlike HPs, at least it had an optical input to use with other sources, making them still quite useful 18 years later, even without Apple audio sources), too relatively expensive, etc.

About 10 years later: "Let's roll out another branded speaker... but this time let's make it even more locked down (no AUX input at all) and offer it at the 'same great price' popularly judged as 'too expensive' before."

So when "Luke" was discontinued and < 2 years after Luke "went missing", "Rey" is rolled out with cuts in hardware (tweeters and microphones) to then basically offer what otherwise appeared to be the same for $50 less.

Cue The Imperial March ('') theme music: "And let's make it so that Rey can't dyad pair with Luke so that one must buy TWO Reys if they want stereo." Crank up some big spatial echo and insert that Emperor Palpatine laugh ('') here.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Account25476 Avatar
20 weeks ago
A project 1000 times better than building a car from exactly zero experience.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RodThePlod Avatar
20 weeks ago

I bought it 10 years ago. Still going strong
I got mine shortly after launch. I don't use it much these days, but it still works and sounds great!

I use it with my old iPod 3rd gen - which doesn't get updated in terms of music anymore. So it's great to listen to the music that I listened to back in the early-mid 2000s. Good for when I'm feeling nostalgic ?

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Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GfulDedFan Avatar
20 weeks ago
Still in use and lovin it

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Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)