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iHome Rechargeable Mini Speakers REVIEW

jsh1120

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Just purchased these speakers for the iPad from Amazon ($40 in black). Pictures at url below.

Was looking for inexpensive speakers for desktop, bedside, and travel use. Not shooting for audiophile sound nor even the high quality sound I get from my Sennheiser PX200-II foldable earphones. Just a significant step up from the iPad's speaker.

These are apparently from SDI, rebadged by iHome. An evolution from an earlier design, the speakers "pop up" to improve bass reproduction and point upward at an angle to direct sound at the listener. Power comes from rechargeable batteries that according to other reviews and the manufacturer's claim provide anywhere from 4-11 hours of listening before requiring a recharge. (Yes, I know that's quite a range. Haven't yet tested mine so the range comes from what I've read.)

Sound comes through the 3.5 mm headphone port and work with any device (e.g. iPad, iPod, iPhone, Android phone/tablet, laptop, etc) that uses a standard headphone jack.

Strong Points:

() Portability. Excellent design. Little speakers attach to one another magnetically to form an egg-like package about six inches long and two inches in diameter. Comes with a small nylon bag large enough to accommodate the speakers and the associated cables.

() Sound. For their size (2"x3" each) and the price, the sound is excellent. Certainly superior to the iPad and comparable to most speakers at twice the price. Stereo separation is surprisingly good and even classical music sounds pretty good.

Don't be fooled, though. The bass is predictably weak compared to larger speakers and the volume, while perfectly adequate for listening at a desk or in a hotel room, is not earth shaking. (The laws of physics haven't been repealed, in other words.)

Weak Points:

() Battery. Longer battery life would be delightful but would probably involve a larger enclosure, more weight, and a higher price.

() Recharging. Charging the battery involves connecting to a powered USB port. Virtually any usb charger should work with them including an auto charger. But the fact that one cannot substitute cheap AAA or AA batteries might be considered a weakness. And while the speakers can be used while charging, some users report a hiss when doing so.

All in all usb powered speakers (e.g. Logitech Z305's) provide comparable sound and greater volume at a similar price. But that option is not available for the iPad.

() Cables. The speakers come with a rather complicated set of cables that link the two speakers (mini-usb) to one another, the speakers to the headphone jack, and the speakers to a USB charging source. I suppose that the designers thought it better to combine all functions into a single set of cables than to provide separate cables for the various functions, but it does make for a rather tangled mess. (Yes, bluetooth would be better at least for convenience if not for sound but remember the price.)

Bottom Line. All in all, I'd recommend them highly for use with the iPad. My wife loves them for her iPod as well since they take up almost no room on her desk and unlike the speaker dock combo she has for the iPod, she can control the volume directly on the iPod. (Think I may have to get another set for the iPad.)

By the same token, though, a really good pair of earphones/headphones provides far better sound than these speakers. (Of course, "really good" typically means spending a minimum of close to $100. For the absolutely best pair of travel headphones, consider the Sennheiser PX200II's.) But there are many circumstances where only speakers will do. And for the price, these rank pretty highly.

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/IHOME-iHM79BC-Rechargeable-Speakers-Black/dp/B00343DNJK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1313293906&sr=1-1]Amazon.com: IHOME iHM79BC Rechargeable Mini Speakers (Black): Electronics[/ame]
 

Gabriel1

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Good review.

I have just started using a Rock-it speaker, plug it into the headphone socket and stick the other end on anything, a box, the window, a table, cupboard door, etc and it turns it into a speaker......the best result so far was a breakfast cereal box, which was full of the dried cereal, and it sounded awesome. Runs off batteries or if you have a laptop, desktop nearby you can power it off a USB port. Not stereo of course but as a travel speaker it is just so tiny yet attached to the right surface it can really boom it out.

The Archangel
 

Stuck

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I've found that a small signal booster helps the sound a good bit. I usually put a device called a Boosteroo between the iPad and the speakers. if you consider the booster the tweaked speakers and an IPhone, you have a pretty good mini stereo system
 

ThePhotog

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I just got a Jawbone Jambox and all I can say is WOW ! The only downside is a chamber ound when using it on phone calls.
 

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