AV Systems Guide

iHome iH5 review

First Looks: iHome iH5

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An iPod User's Delight

An iPod User's Delight

Manufacturers are creating more and more products that "complement" the iPod. From the iCarta iPod Toilet Roll, to the iPod Hifi, these gadgets and accessories are squarely targeted at folks who just can't get enough of their music to keep their juices flowing. And while the iHome iH5 is one of the hundreds, if not, thousands of iPod accessories in the market today, it brings a new twist to something that we normally use - a clock radio.

iH5 Up Close and Personal

This product is unique in a sense that it fuses various elements like an iPod speaker system, an alarm clock, an MW/FM radio, and then rolling it all into one product called the iH5. Up front, users will find the LCD screen with blue backlighting that shows the time, radio frequency and status, along with its gray speaker grills flanking the ends of the unit.

Function buttons for Snooze, Wake-to, Alarm Set, Alarm On/Off, iPod, Radio, MW/FM selection, Sleep, Alarm Reset/Power off, the Volume wheel and the Set wheel can be found on top of the iH5, making it easy for users to access them. Besides majority of the control buttons, users can also find the iPod dock slot that comes with four slot adaptors, allowing users to dock with most iPod models in the market today. Finally, users can find the 12/24-Hour mode button, Line-out/in jacks, AC Adaptor jack, Clock Adjust button and the FM Antenna at the rear of the iH5 - stuff that you don't want to normally tinker with.

Sleep and Wake Up to your iPod

The iH5 provides a lot of options for audiophiles. Once users dock in their iPod, they can immediately listen to their tunes with a touch of the iPod button. Tired of your playlist? By pressing the Radio button, the iH5 immediately turns off your iPod and switches you to the radio mode where users are able to tune in to their favorite station – whether it's in FM band or MW band.

Sadly, there is no way to save favorite stations, so users have to resort to manually scanning the frequency every time. This can be rather annoying and is a bad oversight in design. It's a shame considering that the reception of the iH5 is quite clear and it sounds better than most other clock radios.

The digital clock has large numbers that are easy to read anytime as it has a bright bluish backlight. Setting up the clock is as easy task. Just click on the Clock Adjust button at the back of the unit, use the Set wheel for time adjustments, and then end by once again pressing Clock Adjust. Do you fret if the clock would reset during power shortages? Fear not as the iH5 comes with a backup battery to provide continuous alarm clock operation during those dark times.

For those who would like to lull themselves to sleep with their iPod, the Sleep function of the iH5 comes in handy. Besides being able to set the iPod to sleep at 15, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes intervals, it also reduces the volume gradually until it shuts the unit down altogether. The alarm is also a noteworthy feature of this clock radio too as the type of alarm can be changed according to your personal mood. Users can wake up to a buzzing sound, their favorite radio station playing, or better yet, to the sound of their iPod playlist. Similar to the sleep function, the volume gradually increases until users turn the alarm off.

Final Thoughts

iHome brings it all home as it combines iPod docking with speakers, an alarm clock, and a MW/FM radio into the iH5 unit. The convenient features (which even includes a remote control), along with good audio quality (be it in radio or iPod mode) makes this a must-have home accessory for audiophiles and non-audiophiles alike who just can't get enough of their music with greater integration in their daily routines.