iHome IW1 Airplay Review

Posted: November 3, 2011
iHome IW1 Airplay Review

The iHome IW1 Airplay dock allows anyone to stream music from their iPhone, iPod or iTunes with high performance audio wherever they go. Kevin Pereira and Jessica Chobot review the $300 device for its officially Gadget Pr0n rating.

What You Need To Know

  • The iHome IW1 Airplay is the first product that is enabled with Apple's Airplay feature.
  • The design features smooth lines that look great and the aluminum rim at the bottom is a nice touch.
  • There are a series of high gloss capacitive touch buttons on the top that are only visible when the unit has power.
  • The touch panel was extremely responsive and always registered finger taps or slides for volume control.
  • The button layout is interesting: you have to flip a switch on the back of the device to be able to hit the power button on top, which actually turns the device on.
  • There are also two Wi-fi indicators on the back as well as on the top panel.
  • The IW1 is also portable with its own rechargeable lithium battery, which was a feature we found ourselves using more often than expected.
  • We kept forgetting it was portable until we moved into another room and wished the music followed us.
  • The IW1 has a built in handle to make carrying it easy.
  • The charging station, which is a curved adapter that the IW1 sits on, was great and the battery lasts 10 hours.
  • iHome offers a free app that makes set-up relatively easy: just select the network you want and both of the two Wi-fi indicators on the device will let you know if the connection was successful.
  • If you've ever used Airplay, you'll know sometimes it can be finicky.
  • There were latency issues where it wouldn't start playing for a few seconds.
  • We found this model to be much more reliable on networks with less than two routers.
  • Sound-wise, the iW1 sounded pretty great at mid volume.
  • There was some distortion when we cranked the sound all the way up.
  • The IW1 comes with Bongiovi's DPS (digital power station) which is essentially a dynamic equalization that changes based on the music that plays.
  • It's not the loudest thing in the world but if you have some smaller rooms that you want to fill with sound, the IW1 handles the task well.


  • $300 on Apple


  • 3 Seals of Approval out of 5. (How do we rate gadgets?)
  • We did like the visual design of it.
  • The sound was decent for the money.
  • It has some new product jitters.
  • Airplay can be a little tricky to begin with and we just had a lot of audio dropping out on this than we'd like to see.
  • At this price, the IW1 is one of the cheaper Airplay enabled speaker systems on the market.

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