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iHome IW1 Airplay Review

Posted: November 3, 2011
iHome IW1 Airplay Review
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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.

Price

  • $300 on Apple

Rating

  • 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.

Want something reviewed on Gadget Pr0n? Email us your suggestions to gadgetpron@g4tv.com.

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