argh dammit ! if only they would have put alarm clock functions on this it would be the perfect iPod accessory.

I like to fall asleep to the radio and wake to the iPod, and also need something that can go outside with me. This is so painfully close.

Posted by mike in boston or toronto on July 12, 2006 at 3:04 PM (PDT) Comment 1

I think the sound quality of this system is overstated in this review. I agree with the review in all other respects, but the sound quality of it would drop my rating down to B-.

Posted by icantpod on July 21, 2006 at 9:45 AM (PDT) Comment 2

icantpod: Have you compared it against all the other offerings in its price range? If so - which would be surprising given that there's no store out there that stocks all of the models next to each other - then okay. Point out a boombox sold for the same price or less that sounds markedly better and has comparable features.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on July 21, 2006 at 10:39 AM (PDT) Comment 3

have the people at SDI not learned their lesson about posting in these forums?

Posted by mike in boston or toronto on July 21, 2006 at 11:00 AM (PDT) Comment 4

december, I hope you're not accusing me of being a shill for some company.

Jeremy, no I haven't compared it to ALL others in its price range. But I've compared it to many in its "portable" class. I've owned 8 of them, many at the same time, and only kept the IM7, which cost $60 more. That's not a negligible amount of money to some people, I'm sure, but I'll pay it quickly for MUCH better sound quality, even without a radio (which I don't value very highly anyway).

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm looking at the sound quality independent of value or other features, and I wouldn't call the iLuv's sound "good". It is barely acceptible at any price and not nearly as good as the IM7.

Sound quality for most people is what is most important, so I suppose I don't agree with both of those units getting the same grade of A-. Too much weight on the radio and price - Just my opinion, nothing more.

Posted by icantpod on July 23, 2006 at 2:12 PM (PDT) Comment 5

icantpod: Though I'd be open to the prospect that iLuv has made some significant revving tweaks to the i552 since you tried one, "barely acceptable at any price" would be an unreasonably harsh description given our tested i552's performance versus any number of pure portable speaker systems we've tried. At this price level, the i552 does a good job, and we've heard basically everything out there.

Is the iM7 better? As a speaker system, yes. It also MSRPs for $150 more and sells at street prices around $65 higher than the i552. And it lacks the AM/FM radio, shuffle dock, and (regrettably) superior remote of the i552. Comparing these two systems and saying only one is good and one is bad would require us to ignore all of i552's positives, focus only on one of its features (SQ), and tell people to cough up more money for the purchase besides. There are many reasons we focus on more than just one facet of speaker dock appeal, and try to recommend good products at different price levels, but you're obviously entitled to your own opinion.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on July 23, 2006 at 5:00 PM (PDT) Comment 6

Jeremy, thanks for the reply.

Actually I often wonder how consistent some products are from one to the next. I once owned two identical Fender guitar amps that sounded remarkably different from each other.

Anyway, the sound on the iLuv I had wasn't horrible and I wouldn't say it was a bad product, just that I put most importance on sound, though no one would consider me an "audiophile".

One thing that would be helpful (and maybe totally impractical for you guys) is to have some direct objective apples-to-apples comparisons on crucial features for products in the same category. For example, on "audio quality", I'd give the IM7 a 9 and the iLuv maybe a 4.5. I think this would be helpful to everyone deciding between lots of different options.


Posted by icantpod on July 25, 2006 at 10:37 AM (PDT) Comment 7

Just wondering if the i552 can cradle the new Nano (aluminum)?

Posted by Knobber on January 1, 2007 at 9:27 PM (PDT) Comment 8

I just received one of these today and was very disappointed. The sound quality seems awful to me. I get a substantial amount of static just by turning it on. The volume of the static is just about the same as the volume I want to listen at, so I can't drown it out just by turning the volume up. It's consistent whether I am using the iPod or the radio, and even when using headphones. I really don't know how anyone can stand it. I guess I'm going to send it back and try to figure out what to try next.

Posted by cghipp on January 4, 2007 at 11:20 AM (PDT) Comment 9
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