The iHome iA17WZC is a nifty gadget that puts a smile on my face. Poor sound quality proves to be the Achilles' heal of this otherwise promising product.
PROs + Interesting round shape- fits great in a corner of a countertop. + Colorful built-in LED lights up the entire body of the clock in millions of colors. + Remote control. + Great integration with the iPhone/iPod. Syncs time with the push of a button. + Has a free iPhone/iPod app that could develop into something really neat. + iPhone 4 fits great on dock, even with iPhone bumper installed.
CONs - Has an ugly DC power converter brick attached to the plug. - Muddy, mediocre sound quality from the built-in speaker. - Not terribly loud.
iPhone 4 --------------- My iPhone 4 docked beautifully, even with the bumper installed. The phone charged while in the dock and any music I played through the iPhone played to the clock-radio's speaker.
I played local MP3 music and also ran both the Pandora and SiriusXM apps on my phone. Everything worked great and played as expected. Overall, I think this product integrates beautifully with the iPhone/iPod.
iPod Touch --------------- My iPod Touch worked perfectly with the iHome iA17WZC. The iHome app installed and worked the same as it did with my iPhone. Charging works great. Basically it is the same as the behavior of the iPhone 4 described above.
iPad 2 --------------- This dock does not support the iPad. It doesn't claim to so that isn't really a problem.
Speakers --------------- The speakers on this clock are fairly mediocre. I'm not impressed with the muddy sound. Also, when you crank them up, they don't get very loud. In my opinion, I think only a young kid or someone listening to talk radio would be pleased with the quality of the speaker. Speakers alone make this a 3-star product. With better sound quality, this would be 5 stars.
Clock --------------- The clock display on the iHome iA17WZC is bright and easy to read from any viewing angle. Even better, the color of the clock changes to exactly match the LED inside the "orb" of the clock. Everything changes in perfect sync.
Miscellaneous --------------- The absolute coolest feature of this product is the infinite color display of the internal light. This color glows through the body of the clock and can be configured to be a solid color, to slowly transition through the entire spectrum of colors, or to pulse to the beat of the music you have playing. This feature brings such a big grin to my face and if the unit only had decent sound, this would be a slam-dunk 5 star product.
Summary --------------- I really wish there was a way to upgrade the speaker quality of this product. The ability to control the clock from an iPhone/iPod app gives a world of possibilities and the colorful LED backlight adds a lot of character to any room. I think this is a great product for a 1-14 year old (because I don't think they'll be as discriminating on sound quality).