The Archive: iPod Hi-Fi

This is the first in a short series of posts around my new and blossoming “Archive” collection. Mainly comprised of technology, it is stuff that I enjoyed/had/desired in the past that I feel a connection to. Some of it was purchased used (since I may have sold it/donated it like a dummy). 

The iPod Hi-Fi has always had a special place in my heart. It was considered one of Apple’s rare failures – it was on the market for a little over a year. Turns out it was a casualty of Apple’s “Project Purple” (the iPhone) since recruiting and working for that project was so secretive. The reason I say it was a casualty was due to the voltage coming through the dock connector – it was too high for the iPhone and later the iPod Touch (a legacy from the FireWire days). Because the Project Purple team couldn’t tell anyone that fact, it was basically incompatible out of the box with the iPhone (but you can use workarounds today). It retailed for $349 back in 2006 and frequently sells for anywhere from $60-300 today, due to its inherent rarity. 

ipod hifi with ipod

I was lucky enough to have a Bose Sounddock (a gift) back in those days prior to the Hi-Fi being released. Since I already had a speaker for my iPod I didn’t have a great reason to upgrade, especially as a poor college student. It went off the market around the time the iPhone went on sale only added to its allure. It faded to the back of my mind but every now and then I would see a post about it and go down memory lane. 

front of ipod hifi
*drools*

I infrequently looked for one over the years but couldn’t find anything within my price range – I wanted something I could use, not something for resale. Then, in 2020, I discovered that Goodwill had online auctions *and* they had one for sale! After some bidding over a course of a week, I managed to get one shipped from across the country to my door. 

ipod hifi with ipod

It sounds great, even after all these years. The construction is solid, despite being mostly white plastic. You can really see the design notes that carried over to the HomePod years later. I’m really happy to finally have this in my collection and I hope it works for years to come.

side view of ipod hifi speaker
back view of ipod
back view of ipod on ipod hifi
Yes this can run on D batteries
A line in means this can support Bluetooth among other inputs!
“Don’t talk to me or my son ever again”
Interestingly enough, the are both roughly the same height
Both have large rubber pads on the bottom

One response to “The Archive: iPod Hi-Fi”

  1. […] iPod 5.5G was also the first device I got in my new collection, followed closely by the iPod Hi-Fi. The 5.5G was one of the last iPods that could use the Hi-Fi since it had higher device voltage […]

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