The TunePro looks in line with conventional iPod dock/speaker systems, rather than harking back to a golden age of clockwork or transistor radios. It looks great in photos, with a centrally-mounted dock, and a large flat, mirrored surface containing the ‘speakers’.
When we unpacked the unit, we were slightly disappointed with its appearance - it’s just a big piece of plastic. Nothing wrong with that, but in the flesh it looks more functional than attractive. The iPod sits centre stage, with a power/snooze/mute button in front. On either side of the dock are buttons for alarm 1/2, sleep, radio presets, various setting controls, volume +/-, and audio mode. We found the small buttons inconvenient - it needs a remote control.
An LCD display appears under the mirrored panel surface; here you’ll also see information about radio, iPod, alarms, and so on. Behind the flat panel are buttons for the clock, LCD dimmer, and the WOW sound system. There’s a line-in port, a hardwired FM antenna, and a slot for a MW antenna. The package includes DC mains adaptor, FM antenna, three iPod dock inserts, and a stereo audio cable. Because of the flat panel, the TunePro has a small footprint.
The TunePro uses NXT flat panel technology, alongside switchable WOW audio enhancement. NXT means that a flat panel is used rather than the cones of a traditional speaker - this panel can be paper, plastic, glass fibre, aluminium, and so on.
The benefits of this system seem more to do with saving space than improving audio quality, although the ‘unfocused’ soundfield that results might be desirable in some situations. The TunePro sounds good, but a little harsh at the top end, and lacking in bass. To be honest we couldn’t tell much difference if WOW was on or off. We enjoyed watching the furious vibrations of the flat panel when we turned the volume up.
We don’t think the TunePro is at its best as a bedroom system, but it could well find life elsewhere, in the study, the office, or in presentations, courtesy of that useful line-in. The TunePro looks very cool in photos, although in reality the materials used don’t do the design justice, and the much-vaunted WOW factor of the audio enhancement truthfully doesn’t make much difference. The TunePro tends to sound a little edgy, but we found rolling off some treble helped with this. It will also work fine in an office/workspace situation. The TunePro doesn’t occupy much space, and is lightweight - this portability combined with the audio line-in suggests a dual career as a presentation tool, perhaps. We really want to see the TunePro repackaged with a remote control - this feature would definitely give its score a boost.