Oct 03

iHome iD55 with iPadAfter trying several portable iPhone speaker systems over the years, I pretty much gave up finding one ideal for my needs. I still tested portable speakers now and again, of course – for professional reasons – but all left me wanting. The best I’ve found was the Altec Lansing iMT702, and it was released over three years ago. Since then it’s been disappointment after disappointment.

So when word came that iHome, one of my favorite iOS speaker companies, was releasing a sleek new portable speaker, the iD55, I was encouraged. Surely this reasonably priced system would perform better than its current, lousy competitors. iHome had never really let me down before.

No such luck.

While well designed and constructed, its poor performance and lack of obvious conveniences left me, once again, looking for a wall outlet.

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Aug 08

iHome iD55 Portable iOS Speaker System

We’re always pleased when iHome releases new products, and today’s annoucement is no exception.

The new iHome iD55 is a portable speaker with a curved design and a universal dock for iPhone, iPad and Dock Connector iPods.  The unit runs either on AC power via a wall outlet, or with 4 AA batteries.  Includes SRS TruBass circuitry and 2 Reson8 speaker chambers. MSRP is $79.

According to iHome, the iD55 will offer 6-8 hours battery-powered playback at medium volume.  We hope to get one in for review soon to put it to the test.

Hope those new Dock Connector adapters are a reality…

Check out the iD55 and get more details at www.ihomeaudio.com.

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May 02

iHome iW2 AirPlay SpeakerAirPlay is a technology developed by Apple that allows media to be streamed wirelessly via Wi-Fi to and from various devices. The Apple TV is the most conspicuous exemplar of the technology, which allows users of iPads, iPhones, iPod touches and compatible computers to stream movies, photos and music to their TVs without a cable.

But AirPlay has another application that doesn’t get much attention: wireless speaker systems.

There is a small selection of AirPlay-enabled speaker systems that leverage this technology to create a speaker setup in a room, several rooms, or throughout the house. They’re expensive alternatives to traditional iOS speaker solutions, and not for everyone. But if you have certain needs – and a liberal budget – they fill a need few other solutions can: connected wireless speakers with excellent range and sound, with the option to expand to multiple rooms.

I’ve recently spent a few weeks with one of these systems, the iHome iW2, which is one of the more affordable AirPlay units sold. At $199 MSRP it’s not cheap, but its excellent performance and relatively low price make the iW2 a tempting choice for those looking to add AirPlay speakers to their home or office.  Sadly, though, the iW2 and other AirPlay speakers share a common usage restriction.

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Mar 27

iHome iD50 Front View with iPad 2Last year’s iHome iA100 remains one of the most feature-rich (and complicated) iPhone/iPad alarm systems ever released. It’s one of the few solutions  for demanding users who want unmatched control of how their alarm clock and iOS device(s) work together to ease them to sleep or into a new day. Despite its high price and over reliance on app-based controls, it’s still on my recommend list for users who would benefit (as I do) from its highly-customizable options. 

But there’s a new iHome iOS alarm clock that’s probably a better choice for most would-be users.  The company has released what you might call the iA100’s little brother, the iD50. Similar to the iA100, the new iHome iD50 is smaller, cheaper, shares most of the same features, and adds a welcome dose of simplicity without sacrificing function.

All things being equal, I’d say if you were considering the iA100, you should go with the iD50 instead.

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Jan 05

One of our favorite iOS accessory companies, iHome, has just taken the wraps off their new Speaker Docks for 2012.  The new products all support iPads (with the exception of the iP18) in addition to iPhones and iPod touches, so iHome’s focus of 2012 looks to be iPad compatibility.

iHome iW4 AirPlay Wireless Bedside Speaker System

iHome iW4 AirPlay Wireless Bedside Speaker System: This is the flagship model of the first part of 2012 with support for AirPlay, Apple’s Wi-Fi based wireless music streaming.  It uses the same type pivoting universal dock found on the iA100, the best we’ve seen from any iOS device dock. 

Other features include Reson8 speakers, iHome App support, multiple alarm support, Ethernet connectivity, FM radio with 6 presets, a remote control, upgradable firmware and a 3.5mm Aux-in audio jack. 

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