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Hardware Review Review: Henge Docks Gravitas iPhone and iPad Media Dock

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    By Ronald Epstein
    January, 2015
    One of the smartest choices I made last year was my decision to switch from Android back to iOS with my purchase of the iPhone 6 Plus. At the time of that purchase I was amazed that the market was absolutely void of any media docks for Apple's new phones. Now three months post ownership of my iPhone 6, I am absolutely stunned that even Apple isn't even making a media dock for their new flagship models.​
    So why is a media dock so important for me -- and perhaps for you as well? Firstly, it's a dock that you can place your iPhone into, resting it upright as it charges, allowing you to easily view any alerts/notifications that arrive on its screen. Secondly, and most importantly, it allows a direct connection to an accompanying music device with an auxiliary input (such as a boombox or a bedside clock/radio system). Lastly, it accomplishes this task -- effectively hiding unsightly audio and headphone cables that would otherwise run across a desk or table -- as you try to stream music to your system.​
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    Enter Gravitas Mobile Dock for the iPhone and iPad. It comes from Henge Docks, one of the few companies out there taking media docks for iOS devices very seriously. ​
    When I first learned about the Gravitas dock through the Henge Docks website, I was instantly attracted by its simple, elegant design and small footprint. What immediately struck me as troubling, however, was its $70 price tag (before additional shipping charges) and the fact that I would have to pay an additional $5 for an iPhone 6/6 Plus insert. In all, with insert and shipping, you are looking at this media dock setting you back nearly $100. I believe I can confidently say that even if Apple made their own media dock for the iPhone 6/6 Plus, it would not cost this much money.​
    So, does the Gravitas media dock live up to its exorbitant price? That's something I will help you decide as I move forward in this review.​
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    Right off the bat, I can say that the dock itself looks and feels like a quality product. In fact, its design looks exactly like something Apple would manufacture itself. Made of zinc alloy, it has that distinct, silver "Apple" look to it which means that it will look perfect next to any Macintosh computer you may already own. Next, it weighs in at a rather hefty 2.5 pounds, which is very important for the fact that it won't tip over. Best of all, at 3.5" in diameter, it takes up a minuscule amount of space on your desk or bedside table. ​
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    If you aren't buying this media dock for the new iPhone 6/6 Plus, you are in luck. Enclosed with the Gravitas dock are a multitude of swappable inserts that support current and older iPhones and iPads. One of the included inserts even supports the new iPad 2, though its not labeled for that purpose. I was happy to find that my naked iPad 2 fit quite snuggly into the dock. Once again, if you intend to use the Gravitas dock for the new iPhone 6 models, you will need to order the inserts separately. ​
    Do you use your iPhone naked? The inserts are designed to guarantee a firm fit. Is your iPhone housed in a slimline case? A removable insert liner allows you to place your iPhone into the dock without removing its case. For a list of insert compatible cases for this dock, please visit their website.​
    Since I am on the subject of the swappable inserts, let me now talk about the single biggest flaw of this product: the ability to actually remove the insert that is initially embedded with the shipped dock. Technically, to swap inserts, you simply pull the insert up and out. Well, I went through three Gravitas docks (two I bought, another was sent to me when one of the docks became suddenly defective), and with each dock, it took me a considerable amount of time and finger pain to remove the insert. Fortunately, all the other included inserts have raised backs on them to better grab and pull.​
    The Gravitas dock is available for lightning or 30-pin models. With my lightning cable unit, I was easily able to insert and detach my iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2, though I must admit, I had to hold the base unit down with one hand as I was removing both. ​
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    On the rear base of the Gravitas dock you will find a USB to power output (cable supplied) as well as a 3.5mm port that supplies audio to your favorite music system. In my case, I use it with my Bose Wave Music system that sits next to my bed. I found the quality of the audio to be exceptional. ​
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    Final Thoughts
    Henge Docks should find themselves in a very good position within a market almost void of media docks for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. When limited with choices, it's sort of difficult not to opt to pay for the rather hefty price tag associated with this Gravitas dock. Thankfully, the folks at Henge Docks have put together a quality product, and when one of my units failed on me, they were very quick to send out a replacement unit and pay for return shipping. That earns high marks in my book.​
    For anyone like myself that enjoys the convenience of simply docking and charging their iPhone and iPad -- while having the ability to play music directly to an audio device without having to fumble with cables --- the Gravitas Dock fits the bill nicely. If only it were about $20 less expensive, it would be a more compelling purchase for budget-minded individuals.​
    PROS
    Quality Product. Very "Apple" like in construction and finish​
    Heavyweight base ensures that heavier iPhone 6 and iPad will not tilt forward or back​
    Enables playback of music directly from iPhone or iPad by simply inserting into dock rather than fumbling with cables​
    CONS

    Insert shipped with dock is almost impossible to remove by hand and may require tools to extract.​
    Considerably overpriced by $20​
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Great review. I don't use a dock but this one looks solid, forgive the pun!
     

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