Wake up to your own music
iHome's iH8 is an excellent, if slightly expensive, iPod dock and clock radio. It has a number of great features and its basic functions are well-implemented. With decent sound quality and ease of use, the iH8 is versatile for home use but its price tag may deter some users.
- Well-implemented features, decent quality speakers
- iPod isn’t fully controllable, speakers aren’t magnetically shielded
The iH8 provides a fantastic combination clock radio and set of speakers for the iPod. There is little to fault iHome’s offering, though we would have liked to see slightly more integration with the iPod’s user interface.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
The iH8 has a simple but attractive design; it is available in gloss white or black. The white fascia suits the iPod's original colour theme, but we were more impressed with the black version, which has a slight wood grain. There is a simple LCD at the front, and backlit buttons and two large dials on top of the device.
The device's radio allows for up to 12 station presets, four across each of two FM bands and the AM band. It can charge iPods, except for the third-generation versions. The iH8 also allows basic control of an attached iPod.
The iH8 is accompanied by a small remote that controls most of the features on the device, including changing tracks, volume levels, equaliser settings and radio presets. Switching between iPod and radio functions is simple, though we would have preferred the iPod button to have a clearer label.
Although an iPod is attached via its dock connector, users are unable to navigate the iPod's menus in order to choose music, as is possible using other devices such as the Creative I-Trigue 3000i. It is still possible to skip tracks or adjust the volume, however.
Those looking to purchase an iPhone when it is released locally can be assured that it will work with the iH8. We were able to use the device to charge an iPhone and to play music. Users should note that the iH8's speakers are not magnetically shielded, and will frequently be subject to magnetic interference as a result of the iPhone's mobile capability. This is only a minor side effect and it doesn't happen too much during regular use.
We found the device's sound quality acceptable for a clock radio. Users can easily use a two-way equaliser for bass and treble adjustment, and a balance setting can also be altered. The equaliser is sufficient for standard use. The device can reach a decent volume with only slight hints of distortion. We didn't expect the iH8's bass levels to be outstanding, as the device simply isn't physically large enough to reproduce low frequencies. Nevertheless, the device's capable mid-range somewhat compensates this, and bass will probably only be a problem for those who prefer dance music.
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