45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
I've long been looking for a truly portable (battery capable) set of speakers for my iPhone that actually have good sound. iHome delivers! For its size and cost, the sounds is among the best I've heard. No, you're not going to get thumping bass from a speaker like this - some sacrifices have to be made for the size. That said, this speaker can get quite loud with good tone and no (or very minimal) distortion at max volume. I also like that it comes with the AC adapter and an auxiliary line cord (for hooking up other equipment) included. It also charges your iPhone/iPod while docked when it's on AC power. When away from power, the 4 AA batteries last quite awhile as well - even at medium volumes (which is pretty loud for this speaker). I'm still trying to kill the original set after about 6 hours of continuous music playback.
My iPhone docks securely without an adapter while still in the case (Incase Slider)! That was a big factor for me - not having to remove the case in order to dock. There are also adapters available for various iPods.
Construction wise, it seems well built and is very compact when zippered closed. I do have two suggestions for a revision, however. The first is that the zipper is quite stiff and you need a good deal of force to zip it open/closed. Perhaps this will give more after repeated use. The final complaint concerns the straps that hold the speaker open. With my iPhone docked, it serves to keep the speaker open. Without it, the straps aren't quite long enough and the top of the case keeps wanting to close. If they'd made the straps just a few millimeters longer, it would solve this. My solution is simple - just put something (like a couple of magazines) under the front of the speaker and let gravity keep it open. Again, this is only an issue if you don't have an iPhone or iPod Touch docked. For these reasons, however, I can't give it 5-stars.
Overall, I highly recommend this portable speaker for iPhone and iPod users. It really does have excellent sound for its size and reasonable price! Being somewhat of an electronics snob, I continue to be impressed with the products iHome is releasing. It's obvious they do a lot of research to find out what people are looking for in their products and they put them together with quality.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2010
This is an outstanding speaker set that is fully compatible with my iPhone 3GS. I wanted a small speaker system that would allow me to listen to music in my office and that would travel well. This fills the bill completely and I am very happy with it. Specifically:
The sound quality is wonderful for a unit of it's size. Though some reviewers objected to the sound quality, I am quite satisfied. The bass was quoted as a deficiency by some users but in my view it produces plenty of bass. I believe that any better bass response would require a much larger and heavier unit (akin to a subwoofer). Those units exist but I am unwilling to sacrifice the size and weight as I use it while travelling. As for volume, I am playing Pandora on it now as it sits eighteen inches (.5 m) or so from my computer and the volume is more than adequate at 50%. If I turn it up a bit (100% is not required) it is more than adequate to fill my large-ish hotel room.
The full functionality of my iPhone 3GS is available; airplane mode is not required as with older iPod docks.
The case zips closed and it travels supremely well.
The controls are simmple (power, volume up and volume down) and are integrated into the iPhone OS (i.e. there is no requirement to manage the iPhone volume and the speaker volume separately, as you would if it used the headphone output instead of the Apple connector on the bottom).
The reviewer that pointed out that the top of the unit rests on the iPhone is correct. I have found that it rests very lightly, however, and this has not been an issue. I do not see any stress on the connector or potential problems from this. iHome would do well to lengthen the support straps a touch so it rested on them rather than on the device when in use. It will also not remain open when empty (without an iPod/iPhone), but I see no problem with that.
The only complaint that I have is a minor one. In order to accommodate various Apple i-devices (iPod, iPhone, etc.), the unit comes with a number of plastic "cups" (the best descriptive term I can come up with) that slide over the Apple connector and cradle the bottom of the device. Obviously these are different shapes to accommodate devices that range in size from the iPod Nano to the iPhone. They are tightly fitted (I applaud the effort) and therefore do not allow the use of a case. My minimal iFrogz Luxe case is too thick to allow the use of the iPhone adapter. My solution is to omit the adapter "cup" and attach the iPhone without it; I have seen no issue with that. It seems to me that a semi-flexible (foam?) cushion around the connector (instead of the cup) may allow more flexibility there, but I leave that to iHome. Again, this is a minor flaw and it has not in any way interferred with my use of this product.
Nicely done, iHome. I recommend this product to those that are looking for a small, portable speaker set for an iPhone or iPod.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2009
I just got my IHOME Portable Stereo for my Ipod Nano. I had been looking for a portable battery operated travel stereo that was sturdy for me to put in a suitcase or carry without getting damaged. I had it working in about 10-15 minutes as long it took me to unwrap everything and decide which docking piece I needed.
It's so easy to use.
I agree the lid kind of wants to close if you have it on a flat surface and it lightly rests on my ipod..which ok but if they would have made the straps a little bit longer it would have stayed open on it's own.
Not a big deal.
It's good sound for a small player and for the price. I"m not disappointed unless your used to listening to a several hundred dollar BOSE or need alot of BASS. I'm happy with it. I'm planning on taking it to the park for a picnic or camping or to the softball park to play in the dugout. I don't necessarily need the public far away to hear it but those around me can enjoy the music. Close it , zip it and stuff it in a bag.. done!! I'm happy so far.
Wish list and I'd play a little more for them.
2. Compartment to store the other docking size pieces and for the line-in jack cable for other mp3's.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2010
I bought this unit on a whim before a business trip so I could have some music in the hotel room. The unit worked with my ipod and iphone, sounded pretty good, packs well, not too big, etc. Then it came time for me to have a conference call with one of my coworkes in the room so I wanted to use it as a speakerphone with the iphone, it did not do this well. I also wanted to display a small movie on the iphone to one of my customers and it did not do this well either since it only works with the phone in portrait. After a little looking around I discovered the livespeakr unit. The livespeakr has a rechargeable battery, it is more compact, charges from the usb port of my laptop, plays loud enough, works well as a speakerphone, plays movies in landscape , and generally seems to be a better more versatile unit so I returned the ihome unit and kept the livespeakr unit. From a sound consideration alone the ihome unit has a bit more bass but not enough to overshadow the other benefits of the livespeakr unit. The livespeakr unit gets a 5 star rating.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2010
Unlike other iPhone / iPod external speakers ..this guy can either go with you in completely portable mode ..or stay at home by your easy chair plugged into the wall. While plugged into an AC source, this unit then can power both the speaker/amp itself ..and also charges your device that's plugged into it ..even while your device is in use. Otherwise, in battery mode the 4 AA cells just power the speaker.
I bought this iHome speaker device more so to use with my iPhone 'scanner911' app (wow get this app if you don't already have it) and my iPhone combined with this speaker sounds just like something from the Rescue 911 TV show.
The speaker itself seems unusually durable. It has a heavy duty surround zipper and hard shell case that's covered in a sort of tight poly/canvas feeling hard fabric. For portable use, it's really a nice size to travel with you and with its nicely sculpted corners and hard fabric shell cover it also looks very cool as well.
PROS: Though this is not a larger size stationary Bose system ..and it's not intended to be, the sound quality is really pretty good and plenty loud enough, given it's smaller size. It's small enough, tough shelled and urganomic enough to easily go with you.
That said, be certain to understand that you CAN NOT actually use this speaker while walking around, on the go, but once you reach your destination, on a flat horizontal surface ..or, possibly placing it on your car seat it works fine.
CONS: This unit comes with want looks like 3 little 29 cent snap in plug sheilds. These allow its large otherwise open plug-in area to better match, physically support and conform to the exact shape of your specific device.
I have the original iPhone ..and was surpised to find that iHome did not think it was necessary to include what to my view is a 29 cent snap-in seat to accommodate my iPhone ..even though over a half million of these iPhones were sold, with most still on the road.
So after about another $7+ ..and two more weeks for the 2nd order to arrive this time directly from iHome, I was able to then snap this seat for my iPhone. While this Speaker is pretty much universal in terms of being able to electronically serve many devices ..in the end, iHome decides which 3 free device seats they will include ..and conversely, which seats for other devices that you will need to pay iHome extra $ for through a 2nd order. For a nearly $100 retail item ..a simple PVC strip of a half dozen or so break-off and use seats inserts in order to accommodate many more of their customer's devices would have been expected.
Though I bought this speaker with my eyes wide open ..it would have been 'very nice' if the user could 'landscape' the connection plug ..and yes, I know that's easier said than done.
By that I mean ..by design, your device can only plug onto the speaker 'vertically'. Sooo guess what! Your landscape orientled movies, TV ..or UTube visuals are then 90 degrees out of phase in terms of the angle you need to watch the screen. Try bending your neck so that your right ear touches your right shoulder ..and then hold it there for a few minutes or more.
CONLUSION: I would have rated this item with 4 1/2 starts but this format only lets me rate it in whole star numbers.
This unit is really pretty nice and fills a unique niche when it comes to being a rugged, portable speaker amp for iPhone and iPod devices. However, you may be spending a little more $ on a 2nd order directly to iHome for what should have been included "in the box" to accommodate more of the most popular devices.
.."are you listening iHome"?
Though that part of my experience was both disturbing and irritating ..I would reccommend this speaker to others and buy it again myself due to its unique, almost military like, urganomic encasement, cool looks, over-all build quality and good sound.
As for Amazon itself ..thank you Amazon for being out there to provide not only one of the best cost alternatives going ..but also for Amazon customer service which is 2nd to none.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2010
I was so excited to get a small, carry-with-me, speaker set for my iPod...Except it doesn't FIT my iPod. There are 3 adapters, none of which work for my Nano 4G(which the box said it would). Seems I have the wrong "generation" of iPod Nano 4G. Well, I can "order" an adapter, pay 5.99 plus the same in shipping and handling and get it, when-I-don't-know, in the mail. Or I could find an Apple Store, wait in lines (because of the iPad and iPhone sales and people wanting all kinds of help) for a clerk to provide me with a "set" of adapters..."3"...I have to buy 3 in order to get the 1 I want (and of course it's going to cost me 10% of what I paid for the speaker system!). OR, I could just go out and buy a whole new iPod that would work in the system and reload all my songs (more than four times the cost of the speakers).
I have an iHome radio/alarm clock that I enjoy and use this iPod with. It came with the correct adapter, noted on the box for "iPod Nano 4G". So it was not a stretch to assume the speakers would also work.
I contacted the iHome assistance online, not easy to maneuver, so I called the help line. Oh, this is where I have issues with companies that provide tech help, they really don't need to be rude. If I was really knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of the product, I wouldn't need to call the help line, would I? However the woman I spoke with acted like I was am imbecile because I didn't know which "generation" iPod I owned. She suggested I check a number which is almost impossible to read on the back of my iPod and then call the iPod company and ask which version I have...THEN I could call back and decide which adapter I wanted to buy. Seems easier to just send the contraption back.
She didn't like that idea much, so she suggested that I could just play it without the adapter, it plugs in. BUT the instructions with the speakers have a specific WARNING not to do that because it can bend the pins on the iPod and iHome speaker system damaging both. This suggestion came from their company "helpline" though. Bet they wouldn't take the speaker system back if it didn't work because the pins were bent.
The speakers have great sound for such a little portable device. Though as others have said, the straps are too short to keep the top open (or the top is too heavy to stay upright) without leaning on the top of the inserted iPod...That would really play havoc with an iPod inserted without the adapter; wonder how long it would take for both products to be damaged that way?
My suggestion is that unless you are buying a brand new iPod at the same time you are buying the iHome speakers, don't! You may not have a fit. Of course the helpline lady suggested that even if I knew my "generation", their site might not show the correct numbers for the adapter for the speakers I have because they need to be updated for this newer product.
Hmmm....how do these places stay in business?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2011
Sound quality is pretty good, however the construction and engineering is poor.
The device appears to draw from batteries even if plugged into A/C. I have to change batteries constantly, even though actually use of batteries (unplugged from A/C) is at most 20-30 minutes. After having previously owned an iFusion Sonic Impact, which lasted upto 20 hours on its rechargable lead batteries.
Additionally, if the batteries are low or dead, the device won't operate EVEN IF PLUGGED INTO A/C. Honestly, what's the point then? The point of having the A/C adapter plugged is so you don't need batteries. If you remove the dead batteries, then the device operates, but you can't leave them in the device. This supports the first observation above that in fact there is a power draw on the batteries, however small, even if it's plugged in, enough to drain them very quickly, even if not 'playing' off of the batteries.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2010
We purchased this item from a local retailer but are returning without even trying the sound. While this seemed to be just what we were looking for when we bought it, when we got it home we found that it would not stay open; the top is too heavy and the straps too short to allow the "clamshell" design to stay open on its own. It will only stay open if propped open with something else or if the top leans on the docked nano (which puts pressure on the bottom of the nano where the pins are). It is disappointing that such a product would be released with such an obvious manufacturing flaw. We are returning the unit and will be unlikely to try anything else from iHome; if they release a product with such an obvious physical flaw, how good can their quality control be?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2010
I am a sailor and love to take my iPod with me when crewing on a boat. Often I need an iPod player because there is not one on the boat. The iHome filed this need perfectly. I like that the unit takes double A batteries. The worst thing to happen is to have a rechargeable battery and the batteries die while on the water. The sound quality is good and my ipod fits snuggly in the closed case.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2011
This has turned out to be a good purchase. I've owned it for close to a year now. I had reservations because I use to own a Sonic Impact with a built-in Lithium Ion rechargable battery. I'm able to get the necessary charges I need with the iHome using rechargable AA batteries. I use it for working around the house, taking showers and working out. It's very durable. I have the updated model with the Aux/DC inputs in the exterior rear. There is an earlier model with the inputs inside the unit close to the docking area that I would not recommend. The sound is very good for it's size. My only complaint is that when the batteries go down, the unit stops playing at random intervals. This is not a problem once you are use to it but I wish this was mentioned in the operating instructions since there is no battery life indicator. Unless you know this beforehand, the way it just stops playing gives you the impression it's a defective unit, when all it needs is a recharge. Other than that, I'm very pleased and would recommend it for sure. The battery life I get is close to a week between charges for my use.