Finally! I've been waiting for this review/first look to come out.

I have been wondering about sound quality a lot. In the final review can please test on bass heavy songs with along with louder listening levels than normal to discuss any distortion. I am quite interested on how the lows compare as as far as I know this doesnt have a dedicated 2.1 its just a 2.0 system. Perhaps you could compare its sound quality also to the inMotion 7...

Posted by Mijman2 on December 15, 2006 at 10:36 PM (PDT) Comment 1

What is it about owning an iPod that suddenly makes one consider $100-$150 a reasonable price for a $20 alarm clock with an iPod dock? *sigh* I don't want a room filling stereo with all the geegaws and gadgets they can stuff into it, I want a replacement for my cheap LED alarm clock that can charge my iPod and wake me up with tunes from it. At 6am, I'm not really that concerned with audio fidelity or a remote control or anything, I just want something approximate.

Posted by pfriedel on December 16, 2006 at 9:46 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Let's put a few things in perspective here: this isn't going to be an inMotion iM7, which is much larger and has a dedicated bass driver. It's also not a $20 alarm clock with an iPod dock. Trust us, we've spent time with the equivalents of that product - look at our recently posted reviews of the Excalibur iBlaster and Jensen JiMS-190 if you're looking for a budget radio and speaker.

The beauty of the iPod accessory market is that there are now options for different types of consumers, at varying price levels, with wildly disparate levels of quality and performance. Viewed as one point on a larger spectrum of products, Luna is a step above JBL's once $300 On Time in clock and screen functionality, at half the price, and has a design that will appeal to a lot of people. But if you don't want something so nicely thought out, look at the other options we've covered.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on December 16, 2006 at 11:10 AM (PDT) Comment 3

Does the reversed stereo channels mean the unit is defective?

Posted by bigstar62 on December 17, 2006 at 12:25 AM (PDT) Comment 4

Does the iPod nano dock well insert work for the first-gen, second-gen, or both?

Posted by MacGeek Pro on December 17, 2006 at 2:57 AM (PDT) Comment 5

This is SWEET!

Posted by Gordy. on December 17, 2006 at 6:00 AM (PDT) Comment 6

I auditioned the Luna the Seattle University Village Apple store. I agree with the reviewer that the radio looks great. However, It was tiny sounding becoming distorted at medium volume. I opted for the Monitor Audio system being heavily discounted at Audio Advisor.

Posted by ChineseHamsterOvary on December 17, 2006 at 7:04 PM (PDT) Comment 7

How soon will the full review be released? If the product is as good as it sounds so far then I will probably be getting this for the holidays.

Posted by rockchalk on December 17, 2006 at 8:30 PM (PDT) Comment 8

pfriedel- You must not have much experience with alarm clocks. I have a 8 year old Sony CD alarm clock that as $100. So, switch out the CD for iPod dock, and add some features and you are around $150.

Plus it can be found for $120 online. Waiting for another review on sound. Do all Apple stores stock these already? I amy check it out in person.

Posted by Rick Lyon on December 18, 2006 at 5:21 PM (PDT) Comment 9

Also, is the LCD black or blue? In xtrememac's photos it's black with white letters. In your photos here, it's dark blue. I like the black look.

Posted by Rick Lyon on December 18, 2006 at 5:45 PM (PDT) Comment 10

@Rick - you can invert the display:

Our pictures attempt to do justice to the screen, which has impressive contrast and backlight dimmer settings that render it clean and easy to read in person, even on a sharp angle when properly lit. Using an Invert command from the unit’s menu system lets the screen go iHome-style, with dark text on a much brighter backdrop, if you’re not as light-sensitive at night. The date is displayed up top, with a battery warning if there aren’t any AAs inside, and the time settings for both of the unit’s alarm clocks appear at the bottom.

Posted by milkmage on December 19, 2006 at 8:50 AM (PDT) Comment 11

@ milkmage- I understand the inverted feature, I was more curious if the black background with white text as seen in production photos was really a black background? Because in the photos here, what I thought was black, is blue. So I didn't know if the background really is blue, or the camera is just so close to the display that it's picking up light leakage in the color of blue.

Any follow up to sound quality? Anxious to know because I really like the design.

Posted by Rick Lyon on December 19, 2006 at 4:02 PM (PDT) Comment 12

I can't wait to get one of these, have been waiting quite some time for the right iPod clock radio to come along. However, since they will be offering an updated version in early 2007 (how early though?), I'll have to resist getting it presently. What's the point in gettting it if FM radio reception isn't satisfactory? It is after all a clock radio. It's a shame they couldn't improve this before releasing it. I'll have to be patient I guess smile

Posted by canadan on December 19, 2006 at 4:28 PM (PDT) Comment 13

Just got back from the Apple Store in Fashion Island, where they had a Luna on display. I've been looking forward to a device with these features for over a year, and will happily plonk down $150 for a good-sounding, easy to use, and nice looking iPod alarm clock. That being said, I'm distressed to say that at least this display unit sounded horrible. Nobody expects large speaker sound to come out of something this small, but that being said I was still very disappointed. Music seemed to lack much of a low end; after raising the bass slightly it sounded merely muddy. The worst part, however, was the distortion at higher volume levels. For what it's worth, here's a second Luna review.

Posted by Jeff Berman on December 19, 2006 at 7:14 PM (PDT) Comment 14

To play devil's advocate, how full can the sonic range be playing mp3s encoded at 128kbp? Assuming the Apple store loaded iTunes Music store songs, and did you listen to more than one genre? This is almost depressing tho, two people at Apple Stores don't like the sound quality. I may take my own iPod in locally and audition it for myself.

Posted by Rick Lyon on December 20, 2006 at 4:05 PM (PDT) Comment 15

There are 7 reviews at and all are positive. I heard the unit at an apple store and thoght it sounded fair, could be the channels were reversed. For what its worth, I heard the ihome iH5 next to the 199.00 Altec Lansing unit and the sound was not that much different for the extra bucks.

Posted by bigstar62 on December 21, 2006 at 9:56 AM (PDT) Comment 16

I went ahead and picked one up today for my college freshman son. Turns out he's been using his cell phone alarm, as neither he nor his dorm roomate have an alarm clock, to get up in the morning. So a clock radio was a natural for a good Christmas present.

For $150, I don't expect much in the way of sound quality but it's a fair price for an attractive, functional iPod dock/radio/alarm clock with a remote.

Posted by Downing on December 21, 2006 at 10:46 AM (PDT) Comment 17


I found the Luna to be unlistenable. The sound was basically distorted at medium volumes. The argument by Rick that this is acceptable since the source materials are MP3's encoded at 128kbp is faulty since good sound can be had with better equipment at lower prices.

I recommend potential buyers audition and trust their ears.

Posted by ChineseHamsterOvary on December 21, 2006 at 8:34 PM (PDT) Comment 18

I wouldn't buy anything from XtremeMac again regardless because I am still waiting for my AirPlay boost to be shipped which was supposed to do so Nov. 20th.... Absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by JeremytheCamel on December 22, 2006 at 10:03 AM (PDT) Comment 19

Comments for this review were temporarily closed while we sorted out suspected commenter fraud. Please keep your comments on topic, honest, and in line with our terms of service. Thank you.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on December 22, 2006 at 5:40 PM (PDT) Comment 20

what was the fraud? Is the sound quality OK then?

Posted by wonderstoat on December 30, 2006 at 1:25 PM (PDT) Comment 21

Hi, I'd like to amend my original Luna review. I auditioned it at a second Apple Store and this time the clipping didn't occur. To my ears, the Luna still has the same mediocre sound quality as any other clock radio, but at least distortion and clipping don't seem to be standard features. So to agree with another commenter on this forum, listen to it yourself and see if it sounds acceptable to you. Apart from the depth of sound, it looks like a great product.

Posted by Jeff Berman on January 2, 2007 at 11:12 AM (PDT) Comment 22

jeff, do you think the luna was better at the second apple store because the model was a 'revised' model with improved am fm functionality as well as improved sound? i ask because i'm waiting to buy the luna but only after some kinks have been worked out. when will i know?

Posted by promatt on January 4, 2007 at 5:27 PM (PDT) Comment 23

I bought the Luna at the Applestore this morning. I think it is on its way to being a great product, BUT the radio function on the one I picked up is all but worthless.

The Bad:
-FM radio is barely usable with severe static and AM isn't worth even trying. The external wire FM antenna is less than ideal. Radio reception is impossible unless I string the wire up the wall.
- It can be difficult to read the screen due to font or size. For example the p in pm. I had trouble tunning the radio because it took a minute to tell the small numbers apart.
- If you are up close and at an angle (such as in bed with it on nightstand next to you looking at it) the screen inverts. It is fine from a distance.

The Good:
- Good audio for a clock radio for iPod playback.
- The remote control. It is very nice and feature packed. Change playlists, bass/treble, turn alarms on/off.
- Knobs and menu's are easy to learn and use. Well thought out and simple to use. I could go on and on on how much I like the menu system on Luna.

My Conclusion:
I would say it is an acceptable product as is, but front runner with radio improvements. With radio improvements is will give iHome a run for its money.

I am very happy with it for the most part - 1 serious drawback and you minor ones.

Posted by Russell Silver on January 4, 2007 at 7:49 PM (PDT) Comment 24

Promatt: I suppose it's possible that when XtremeMac fixed the reversed audio channel issue they also fixed other things, but I don't know that they've updated the Luna yet with improved FM capabilities like this article mentioned. I kind of suspect that the Luna at the first Apple store was abused somehow such that the speakers blew out, although you'd think that a device like that shouldn't be able to break just by playing at loud volumes. Hopefully, when the Luna is updated they'll announce it as "improved" or "version 2" or something so we'll know. I'd like to buy one, too (although I still maintain that the sound quality is merely "acceptable").

Posted by Jeff Berman on January 5, 2007 at 6:03 AM (PDT) Comment 25
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