There's no denying that the Zeppelin and Mini from Bowers & Wilkins are handsome and powerful ways to dock your iPhone. While the Koostik dock can't hope to compete in the amplification stakes, there's something about the simple design and natural wood finish that makes it just as pleasing to the eye – and more than a little cheaper, too.
To project the sound from an iPhone placed in the central cradle to any assembled admirers, the Koostik dock channels the output from the smartphone's own speakers into left and right hollowed out, hemispherical sound chambers. This is said to acoustically amplify the audio by up to four times, the effect likened to the sonic difference between playing a solid-bodied and a hollow-body guitar acoustically.
The upside to being a completely acoustic delivery system is that there's no power requirement. That being the case of course, the Koostik dock won't be able to charge an iPhone while it pumps out the tunes. In fact, there's no hole cut out for a charger's cable either, as this would interfere with the channeling of the audio to the sound holes.
The designers do point out that the 8.5 x 3.5 x 2-inch (215.9 x 88.9 x 50.8mm) Koostik dock wasn't designed to compete with the amplified power of electrified systems (so if you like loud heavy rock then this probably won't be for you) but "if you like intimate vocals and instrumentals in relaxed settings, Koostik will blow you away (gently of course)."
The wonderfully lo-tech Koostik acoustic iPhone dock is hand-made in six different solid wood combinations – Cherry face and body, Walnut face and body, Cherry face and Walnut body and Walnut face and Cherry body for US$85, with a couple of Birdseye Maple fronted versions being a little more expensive at US$90.
Those at Koostik say that whatever finish you choose, the sound produced should be about the same, so your choice is entirely down to which version you find most aesthetically pleasing.