Last week, Grace Digital announced the forthcoming release of its FireDock charging speaker dock specifically designed for Amazon's Kindle Fire. We said that this was one of the first to reach the market. Well, here's one of the others. The FireStation from Readerdock is not only going to hit the marketplace well before July, but it's a good deal cheaper too. The company has also created a dedicated speaker dock for Nook Color users called the N-Station, that's due for release at the same time.
Readerdock's FireStation and N-Station are essentially the same dock, the only difference being the device connections on the cradle. The FireStation features a dual connector and the Kindle Fire is powered on or off via a button the front of the cradle. There's a 3.5mm audio jack next to the USB charging port at the rear which acts as a headphone output.
As the audio-out jack on the Nook Color is at the opposite end to the USB charging port, the N-Station runs an audio patch cable between an input on the base and the output of the docked Nook, which also means that the N-Station can be fed audio from any 3.5mm audio source (such as an MP3 player). The Nook is switched on using the power button on the device itself.
As soon as the tablet device is placed in the appropriate dock, charging begins – confirmed by a yellow light on the front of the cradle that turns green when the docked device is fully charged. A button on the base at the back turns the 3W/4 ohm stereo speakers on or off, and there's a volume control at the front. Both speaker docks have an audio frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and a signal-to-noise ratio of -80dB.
Users can choose whatever viewing angle suits thanks to a cradle that can be rotated left or right, or up and down. There's an adjustment screw to lock the cradle in the desired viewing orientation.
The FireStation and the N-Station both carry a recommended retail price of US$59.99 but Readerdock is currently knocking $5 off the ticket price to those who pre-order, with free shipping as an added incentive. The first Readerdock charging speaker docks are expected to be shipped out at the end of April 2012.