Earlier this year I blogged about the Firedock, a high end speaker dock for the Kindle Fire. This device didn’t get much attention at the time, so I wasn’t surprised when no one seemed to notice when it started shipping last month.
Even I missed it, but luckily for me Grace Digital sent me a review unit earlier this week. They’re calling it thenow, and for $130 it’s a fairly impressive dock.
I played with it today, and I think you might be getting your money’s worth.
The Matchstick is significantly larger and more expensive than the N-Station, the Nook Tablet dock I tried a couple months back. It has 2 large forward facing speakers, not the 2 small sideways facing ones on the N-Station. The MatchStick has a cradle for the Kindle Fire which holds it quite firmly in portrait and landscape.
There’s 5 buttons on the dock, including power and volume as well as a button to wake the KF and a 5th button to charge the KF from the dock. (I like how that’s optional). The wake button is on the bottom of the cradle, about where the power button for the KF is located. There aren’t many audio controls on the dock, but the remote has buttons for mute, volume, bass, treble, and an equalizer.
Build quality is good. This is a solid and rather heavy dock, and it also has an extra audio in jack next to the power port (on the backside).
The quality of the sound is also good, but to be honest I don’t have hearing good enough to discern the nuances. But I can say that this gets quite loud without any noticeable distortion. The speakers also correctly played my test word (‘murphy’s’ in the song High on Firefly), and that puts this dock ahead of pretty much all the tablets I’ve tested. In comparison, my laptop can’t even get that word right.
So is it worth it? Given that I’m not one to buy a dock in the first place, I can’t answer. I’m more of a hold a tablet in my hand kind of person, so I don’t really understand who would use the dock.
Edit: When I reviewed the N-Station dock, I could see someone using it as they sat at their computer, but I don’t think the Matchstick would work quite so well. It’s larger, and the speakers are much stronger. That is more of a room-size dock, so I don’t think ti would work so well on a desk.
But I can say that I don’t see any issues with it. It’s a solid piece of equipment.