The iPod. Yes, it's arguably the most successful portable music player of all time. Yes, it's easy enough for your granny to use. And yes, everyone on the planet has one - or so it seems. But therein lies the inherent problem for any iPod accessory manufacturer... Because the iPod is so popular and the add-on market already …
"we found the sub-woofer needed at least a 3ft distance from the docking station to get a decent separation of sounds."
The whole point about sub-woofers is that the ear cannot tell where they are, because they only emit low frequency sound which lacks a directional component. That is why you only need one of them in a stereo or multi-channel system, and why it shouldn't matter where they are placed relative to the other speakers (although it does matter where they are placed in the room, due to "room modes"). To talk about "separation of sounds" is nonsense when the separation you want is between left and right channels, not high and low frequencies, the subwoofer being a mono device reproducing low frequency components from both channels. In fact, you want the opposite - the high and low frequencies should blend together to sound natural.
Yeah, but PC subwoofers don't deserve the name, most of them do more mid-range than low and drop off a cliff below 100Hz, so this is pretty par for course. Even expensive 2.1 and 5.1 pc kit is much lower quality than a similarly priced amp+studio monitors or bookshelves, let alone expensive hi-fi sets and giant earth-rattling subs.
A cheapie iPod dock is nice for okay portable sound (not this one, but there are small ipod speakers with decent low-mid sound) and remote control (again unlike this), but it makes no sense to pay that kind of money for something that'll tie you down when real speakers are the better deal.