iHome iH5 Docking Stereo Clock Radio | iLounge

Reviews

61

I purchased this system at Sam's Wholesale. $99 for the unit, the remote, and an iPod mini case. In all, this system is fantastic. It does what it says it'll do. Does it have quirks? Some, but what doesn't? It's a great system and I recommend it to anyone looking for this type of accessory.

Posted by PodVenom on November 25, 2005 at 7:55 AM (PDT)

62

Regarding the Nano . . . IHome's site says it does. I don't know if the adapter is in the box since the Nano is so new. If not in old boxes, it's a $5.99 accessory

http://www.ihomeaudio.com/flash/default.asp

Posted by Expidia in NY on November 25, 2005 at 5:18 PM (PDT)

63

I went to Linens N Things to buy one for 69.99 (but no coupons) on sale day after Thanksgiving. They were sold out, so they put my name on a rain check list. I then went to Bed Bath & Beyond. They cut their price to $69.99 AND allow you to use their 20% off any single item coupon. I purchased two units on 11/25 for $55.99 each. I was planning to buy one for a gift, but at that price, purchased a second unit for myself, so the wife doesn't have to shop for me.

Posted by Ralph Ditto on November 26, 2005 at 12:52 AM (PDT)

64

I just purchased the iH5RC model at Sams Club for $88.94, and it includes the remote AND a RhinoSkin aluminum iPod Case. Sounds great, and I am alos using my iTrip to listen to it on my stereo in the other room at the same time. Remote works on line of sight, but I got it to work at over 20 feet so far without any problems. Lovin' it!

Posted by {OF}Erad on November 27, 2005 at 7:00 PM (PDT)

65

as others have said - when waking up to either the radio or the ipod, the volume starts out at a setting of 20. I normally listen at a setting of 10. You cannot adjust the start volume - and if you hit snooze it sets it back to 20 again! I can't below Ilounge didn't point this out in their review - it is after all a clock radio! Unfortunately I threw out my box already, or I'd take this thing back!

Posted by mattel on December 3, 2005 at 2:30 PM (PDT)

66

I've filled 6 orders so far for the tint that is just taped over the clock face to take the brightness out of it. I've got plenty left (at least 6 feet. I've stacked 4 tints so far on the clock face, seems to work OK for me as I can always go brighter. See my earlier post above for purchase.

On the rising volume . . . this is true! I've solved this issue by setting my radio to an FM classical station (and am fast on the draw hitting the snooze button) so I don't get blasted out of bed. I use the ipod to fall asleep with using the Ih5's auto off feature.

For the poster who wants to return theirs to the store . . . the store will take it back if you have your receipt without the box. Just tell them it's broken! Then when they give you another one, just take that back at a later date for a refund or credit. You can also take it to another store location the same day once you have a new one in the box..

Posted by Expidia in NY on December 11, 2005 at 12:11 PM (PDT)

67

Has anyone purchased the newer black model of the iH5? It is listed on the home page of the http://www.ihomeaudio.com website? I saw the white one in person at Best Buy...not too bad looking...but the black looks even better...AND comes with a nano insert (and of course I have a Nano which I received for Christmas from a client).

Has anyone seen the black model in a store...or is it available only from the ihome audio website?

Thanks!
rowjo

Posted by rowjo on December 11, 2005 at 3:54 PM (PDT)

68

I have owned the iHome clock radio now for 3 weeks and I am increasingly annoyed by the loud wake volume. The other thing that bothers me has not yet appeared here. When you wake to the ipod then turn off the unit, the ipod continues on. You have to remember to turn off the unit AND the ipod!

Posted by iteeitup on December 11, 2005 at 9:48 PM (PDT)

69

I spoke to someone at SDI this morning, manufacturer of the IHome iPod alarm clock about the problem of the alarm volume being too high. He said that they have made a running production change to the product which fixes the problem. In the current shipping model, the lowest alarm volume is "20". It can be raised higher than that, but that is the lowest. In the revised model, the lowest alarm volume is "10" and it can be raised from there.

The only way to determine if it is the new model is to look at the box. Next to the bar code is a date code embossed into the cardboard. If the next-to-the-last character is an "R" you have the new revised version. If it is not an "R" you have the original version. It sounds like the change was just made in the last week, so there is still lots of original inventory in the channel.

Posted by permagenix on December 13, 2005 at 11:33 AM (PDT)

70

I checked one of these out today in the Apple store. The sound quality isn't the best, but it's still a surprisingly good value. It's got Aux In so you can plug in a CD or cassette player, and a LINE OUT which allows you to route the sound through one of those radio transmitter/wireless speaker systems. That's a good cheap way to get Ipod sound in different rooms of your home or office. The $295 Bose system might sound a lot better but it has neither Aux In nor Line Out!

Posted by jazmaan in Santa Monica, CA on December 15, 2005 at 10:11 PM (PDT)

71

I received an IHome IH5 for Christmas, as a surprise gift. Having used it for a few days, I have the following comments:

-- everything works exactly as described in the packaging: no false claims or hype.

-- setup and learning are all incredibly simple and foolproof.

-- the sound is very good, considering the physical package. My wife's response was consistent with the review's: too much bass. My response was consistent but slightly different, the treble felt a bit thin, making the bass feel too strong. Either way, the overall sound quality is balanced and more than listenable for a clock radio. I would not use this as a primary speaker, but as a bedside accessory intended for no more than an hour of listening, it's perfect.

-- the light doesn't bother me, either high or low; I did notice some light seepage on either side of the light, where the speaker panel fits into the base.

-- FM reception is markedly improved over my previous clock radio: loud and clear.

My only suggestion would be a longer fade-in (and fade-out) time when using the alarm or the sleep function. Otherwise, this is a great accessory: I recommend it.

Posted by Alex Scherr on December 26, 2005 at 2:24 PM (PDT)

72

Loved the iPod features, but I found the reception so bad I have to take it back.
I was surprised to see few others on this site with similar problem.
Unpacked the ihome today and put it in the same spot i've had had previous clock radio for 15 years and reception was horrible despite attempt to place fm antenna in various positions.
I also tried ihome in other parts of the house and couldnt get good reception. problem is particularly bad below 98mhz.

Anyone have any ideas?
dandydad

Posted by dandydad on December 26, 2005 at 3:14 PM (PDT)

73

Got one for Christmas and it's going back to the store today. Integrating the iPod with a clock-radio is a terrific concept, but iHome got it wrong with this unit. I don't see how it could possibly rate an A-.

The biggest flaw is the alarm volume, which is way too loud - they should call it rude awakening instead of gentle wake, because it goes from whatever you've set it up to a window-rattling volume in about three seconds, and after an hour on hold the tech support person told me there's no way to change it.

The LCD display is also a flawed design - at the lowest brightness it still lights up the room at night, and while an LCD is cool on the iPod, it's not a good choice for a clock-radio because it's difficult to read the time from across the room due to the poor contrast.

So if you're hard of hearing or are going to use it somewhere other than a bedroom like an office or kitchen, it's probably worth a B+ rating, but for it's primary purpose (as an alarm clock with iPod integration) it deserves something closer to a D grade.

I wish someone would make a similar product without these flaws, because I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Posted by coertel on December 28, 2005 at 9:43 AM (PDT)

74

I read most of the posts about the iH5 with some trepidation since I really wanted one of these beasts. I took heart in the comments about a new production run with lower alarm volume. I took the plunge and bought an iH5R at BJ's Wholesale for $99 (the Apple Store was out of them locally but the price was the same so....) Its more than at some places but it included the remote and a Rhinoskin case. While I'm using a 30 Gig 4G Ipod, I was encouraged that it included the Nano insert so I figured it was a "new" version. Here's what I've found so far....

1. The back panel in my unit looks like the "version 2" picture in the manual on the iHome web site. The alarm in this unit does indeed does come on at "10" rather than "20". I think this will be low enough for me. It seems to be a quite modest volume level when at "10". We'll see next week when I go back to work smile

2. The sound is acceptable given the trade-off for the small footprint. I have to admit that I have been using the iPod with a Tivoli Audio PAL radio via either an iTrip or a line in wire and the PAL sounds quite a lot better (more and better bass). But, given that it won't charge my iPod and I have to fumble around with internal iPod clock settings every night I'm more than happy with giving up a little audio quality for the convenience of the iHome unit. Frankly, for Podcasts its perfect!

3. There are three levels of LCD brightness. The lowest is just about off. I can't imagine this bothering me now matter how close it will be to my head! The bright one is bright but perhaps actually usable during the day.

4. The integration with my 4G is perfect. The ipod powers up and down with the iH5R buttons as you would expect. No need to touch the iPod at all unless you want to rate a song or something.

5. The remote seems to work just fine but I've not tried it from more than a few feet away.

6. I agree with one comment made above that the alarm set "chirp" is too damned loud. While audio positive feedback is useful, my wife is almost always asleep when I get to bed and setting the alarm makes a bit of noise. I would also agree with a post above that longer ramp up times for the alarm would be welcome. These are about all I can find to complain about though.

I expected to be returning it. I'm keeping it. Heck, if you buy a simple $39 dock and a Griffin remote you've spent as much as this beast...so you get the radio function for free <grin> If you don't like it for a clock, hook it up to your stereo, turn the internal speakers down to zero and you still have a bargain.

cya
goose

Posted by goosepod on December 28, 2005 at 9:57 PM (PDT)

75

Got one of these at Xmas for $72 from Linens and Things -- it's Version 2 but without the remote and not the "R" revision mentioned by Permagenix on 12.13.05.

I find that contrary to the review, iHome's sleep function does _not_ turn off iPod. (I have a 5G, which probably wasn't the one used for testing when iLounge wrote the review.) I had to set the sleep timer in iPod _and_ iHome.

On the other hand, I don't understand all the complaints about the display brightness. The lowest setting is a bit less bright than a conventional nightlight, though a bit brighter than those glowing flat circular disks you see at Brookstone.

The sound is good for classical music, which is what I listen to mainly. Beethoven's 7th sounded as good as on CD; a Haydn symphony sounded a bit thin on the treble (as others have said) but still acceptable.

The footprint makes me very happy: This unit is about half the size of the boom box that used to be on my nightstand. Add in the space saving by getting rid of my alarm clock and not needing to buy an iPod charger, and I've exchanged a tableful of appliances for one sleek-looking unit.

The box came with a coupon for the remote with $19.95 and free shipping. I couldn't order through the Web site -- first it said "too much volume, try again later" and then when I did get in it kept asking me for a shipping address even though I had specified that. It took a few tries to get through by phone, but when I did I was able to order it.

All in all I'm happy with the purchase, and I'll be happier when the remote arrives, with the "missing" functions that aren't on the base unit. I do think it deserves teh A- it got from iLounge.

Posted by Stan Brown on December 30, 2005 at 8:56 AM (PDT)

76

It seems that the revised version has fixed most of the complaints, (gentle wake feature, overly bright back light). I'm about to order the new black unit in a few days and will report back on those topics.

Posted by phaze84 on January 4, 2006 at 10:46 AM (PDT)

77

Please follow the following link regarding the details of the black iH5 with pics

http://forums.ilounge.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=140796

Posted by CDub on January 5, 2006 at 12:11 AM (PDT)

78

More on iHome with 5G iPod ...

As I wrote earlier, iHome Sleep function does not stop iPod: iPod goes right on playing after iHome goes to sleep.

Also, I just received the remote control (kudos to iHome for sending it so promptly), and I find that the "scan within track" function does not work. According to the manual, if you press and hold the next track or prev track button, it advances or goes back within the same track. Actually, with my 5G iPod, whether I press and release or press and hold those bottons go to the next or previous track.

Seems like iHome needs a firmware revision to do everything with 5G iPod that it does with 4G.

Posted by Stan Brown on January 5, 2006 at 1:59 PM (PDT)

79

As others here, like the unit but loud alarm & bright display (even at dimmest setting) are a BIG problem. If I couldn't fix these problems, I'd likely have returned it. Overall, well-made (having seen the inside:), decent sounding, innovative unit.

I dove in & took the iHome apart and solved these two problems by:

1) Disconnecting one of the Display LEDs & putting a resistor in series with the other Display LED. After having it open, I saw a set of exposed leads on each side of the display (these are leads to the 2 display backlight LEDs). I simply desoldered one & wrapped it's lead w/electrical tape & put a small resistor (don't remember the value) in series w/the other LED.. The one closer to the TIME display). Now, clocks great at night & normal lighting but, as expected, display less readable in bright light (very sunlit room) than before.

and

2) Put a very small switch w/a 28 ohm resistor in the back of the case (drilled hole). Effectively, this is a High/Low loudness switch - down/low for alarm waking, up/high for general listening. It turns out that the speakers have a common ground (center 2 leads on speaker connector), so I connected them to the center of a SPST microswitch, one side direct to board and other through 28 ohm resistor to board. This is working very well.

Shouldn't have had to do this, it would be easy enough for the maker to fix properly. Big risk trying these mods as things are very tight in there & there are a lot of connectors to disconnect/reconnect... You void your warranty, yada, yada, yada.... Consider yourself warned:)

Posted by cfcubed on January 9, 2006 at 8:23 PM (PDT)

80

Can you hook up the iHome to a subwoofer? And can a nano with a core case fit on the dock adapter?

Posted by Nano13 on January 23, 2006 at 2:41 PM (PDT)

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