This black iPod Hi-fi dock never went on sale — and makes me yearn for the click wheel days once more

HomePod and iPhone handoff
(Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Do you remember the glossy white iPod Hi-Fi dock of yesteryear? Well, an unreleased black version has surfaced online, giving us an insight into what could’ve been for Apple’s speaker system.

Originally released in February 2006, the iPod Hi-Fi allows users to dock their iPod via the 30-pin connection and listen to their iTunes music via two wide-range speakers. It’s fair to say the product wasn’t a success, with its $349 price tag leading to the Hi-Fi’s discontinuation in September 2007.

Now, José Benitez Cong, who “helped build the team” that made the iPod Hi-Fi has taken to X to showcase a very rare blacked-out model. He says, “This was a marvel of a design for its time,” and that the black variant was a gift to a friend that was “THE only black HiFi in existence.” Cong says he still uses his iPod Hi-Fi for workouts, thanks to its ease of use and the ability to quickly dock your iPod and charge it at the same time.

Nowadays, Apple’s speaker offerings are HomePods and while they far exceed the audio quality and value proposition of the iPod Hi-Fi back in 2006, they still fall short in one key area: No display.

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A HomePod with a display?

We’ve heard the rumblings for months, and it’s likely that at some point in the product lifespan, we’ll see a HomePod with a display to select your tunes from Apple Music easily. Seeing the iPod Hi-Fi again for the first time in years reminds me of how awesome docking an iPod or even an iPhone 4 used to be. Rather than relying on Siri, you got to pick your music by scrolling through your library with that glorious click wheel — it’s far more manual but far more satisfying.

The HomePod 2 sounds fantastic, but AirPlay in my home can sometimes be a little unreliable, and crucially, Siri doesn’t understand my Scottish accent. The lack of options for controlling my HomePod actually led to me selling Apple’s smart speaker and opting for Sonos, which seems to be far more reliable on my home network.

The black iPod Hi-Fi has me yearning for some kind of built-in HomePod display, hopefully, Apple decides to launch one sooner rather than later.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.