iHome iH5 Docking Stereo Clock Radio | iLounge

Reviews

81

I love my new black IHOME. The bright back light now has three settings and can be turned down to an almost off brightness that doesn’t need a tint to be put over it.

The alarm works great, at night I use the sleep function to listen to pod casts at a low volume and in the morning it wakes me up at a higher volume level. I love the way the volume drifts out at night and drifts in when the alarm goes off (this happens very quickly over a few seconds but is nicer than being abruptly woken in the morning).

The sound is above par for a clock radio to listen to in your bedroom but if you want the sound of a high end stereo for your living room you may want to buy just that.

I also prepared myself to return the IHOME if wasn’t up to par but I love it and it’s a bargain at $100, finely I get to move my 20 year old clock radio to the guest room.

Posted by Wisco on January 31, 2006 at 9:55 AM (PDT)

82

I finally threw the towel in after 3 months and returned the white IH5.
I had the box and receipt and returned it to the Apple store where I bought it for $99 with remote.
The salesman said they had a 14 day return policy, so I asked for the manager and he asked how he could resolve my problem, so I said to be fair since it's been 3 months, I don't want my money back, just issue me a credit and I'll buy another one once IH5 gets the volume control corrected. Seems some say the black one might have the "searchlight" clock face resolved, but still the volume ramping up is still to loud and quickly (which is what my Wife hates about the unit, still). I had solved the clock face with the film tint trick.

If Apple gets another unit or one similar from a different manufacturer I buy that one or wait for an improved IH5.

This is NOT a cheap radio, but it is a poorly designed one in some respects. It's supposed to gently wake one up, but it scares you up!
It does not work as advertised on the box or their website site.
I bet Jeremy does not have one of these little "wakeup scare machines" next to his ear on "his" night table ??? If so Jeremy, please provide us with pic of your setup :o)

As a consumer, don't settle for this expensive yet poorly designed unit. Bring it back to where you bought it or return it to Ihome. Arm yourself with a printout of this thread and highlight each line where a poster complained of an issue.
Most stores will take it back without the box. If you don't have a receipt ask for a store credit.

Apple was fair with me with my return but once I use their credit up I won't buy from them again due to their high price and their 14 day return policy which is 14 days short of the 30 days most good stores offer. LNT and BBY are 20% less when the carry the unit.

Posted by Expidia in NY on February 16, 2006 at 6:20 AM (PDT)

83

Thanks to everyone with advice about how to dim the screen. For months I've been blocking the light with a post-it note but this is suboptimal because the note would have to be removed whenever I wanted to check the time or adjust the sleep/wake timers.

After reading the suggestions about translucent static cling cut outs, I decided to make one out of a black (dark green) trash bag. Poof. Problem gone.

Cut a piece out of the the bag in a size sufficient to cover the screen and leave a little hanging over the top of the screen. It clings just fine on its own but I added a little bit of tape to be sure it doesn't fall off if brushed.

Not as asthetically pleasing as some of the other suggestions here, but it gets the job done without requiring a visit to an office supply store. Quick and dirty.

Posted by mpet on February 22, 2006 at 7:21 PM (PDT)

84

Based on Jeremy's review and some of the comments found here, I decided to purchase the iH5. What a mistake!! I was looking for something to listen to AM radio with at work and thought: "Why not get something that is iPod compatible". Well, this thing sucks cuz the reception is awful. I have been playing around with the AM and FM antennas and can't get rid of the static. The reception is so bad that I am afraid that if others around me could hear this thing I would become the butt of a lot of jokes around the office. How pathetic is that?! We can send a man to the moon but we can't produce a $100.00 clock radio that anyone would actually want to listen to. Given the size and heft of this thing, one would think I could pull in signals from Japan just fine. This will be going back to the apple store first thing and will be replaced with a $20 clock radio that has some reception. What a waist of time.

Posted by ShinezALot on February 23, 2006 at 3:13 PM (PDT)

85

I got mine for christmas, and I love love love it. I used to listen to beeping and had to set two alarms to wake up. The backlight was an adjustment but it's fine once I got used to it. For a clock/radio the sound quality is amazing, and I love the design. I would give this as a gift, or reccomend it to anyone. It's awesome that it charges while I sleep and also that I can wake up to my new morning mix playlist. Talk about a great way to start the day.

Posted by superbecca on February 25, 2006 at 12:01 AM (PDT)

86

I did some asking around here at the office and discovered that radio reception is manifestly terrible throughout this space. Please disregard my post of 02.23.06.

I will take the unit home and see what the radio sounds like there and then provide another comment.

Guess my next best option to listening to the radio is to download podcasts each day.

Posted by ShinezALot on February 27, 2006 at 2:04 PM (PDT)

87

Good tips on using the 20% off on Linens and Bed Bath - didn't know they carried iPod stuff.

Will look for the R version as my wife wants one bad.

Posted by yagrax on March 10, 2006 at 1:28 PM (PDT)

88

COOOOOL!..im thinking of buying those so i can wake up from the alarm of this ipod speaker..im sooo glad they made this..and at a good price to..its got all the features you want including your ipod.. =D

Posted by GestureBoi on March 12, 2006 at 11:23 PM (PDT)

89

i picked on up from compusa for $99.99 with remote. it worked out pretty well, so i returned the ihome and picked one up at ebay for $69.99. the unit works pretty well for my needs. i'm not picky and i love to listen to cnet buzz out loud podcast before i fall asleep. i've also notice the music alarm graduately gets louder, but i always catch it and turn it down slightly. its no biggy..great device. i'm loving it!!

Posted by fondoo in NYC on March 16, 2006 at 1:19 PM (PDT)

90

I was a little skeptical about buying the IH5 after reading about not being able to set the wake up volume, but I ended getting the IH5 as a gift for my birthday so I decided to give it a shot. It seems that I have a unit that does not have that problem. The max wake up alarm sound level is the same as the level I play the unit at before turning it off. So it seems I can actually set the wake up volume (which I set to about 8). Playing with the volume dial after turning the unit off does change the volume though even if the screen does not show it. Granted the "gradual wake" volume increase is not as gradual as it could be, but it's not an issue as I can set the max volume level.

My unit was bought from BestBuy, and has the "iPod Nano compatible insert included" text printed right on the box, and the little extra rubber padding for the 5th Gen iPods included in the sleeve with the manual. It is the 2nd version of the IH5 (does not have a sleep volume button on the back), and the stamped serial number above the barcode is C3A6A3.

The screen backlight settings on my unit seem good too. There is Nightlight bright, 1/2 way bright, and almost off. The digital FM tuner reception is quite good too out here in Champaign-Urbana, IL (haven't tried AM).

I'm quite pleased with the unit I have since it seems all the mentioned issues have been fixed. I am sorry that the early adopters got stuck with flawed units though :-|

Posted by keertib on March 28, 2006 at 8:01 AM (PDT)

91

Hey folks ..

My wife just picked one of these up for me this week - I've had the same clockradio sine 1988!

Just to follow up with other users. I also found the dimmed display's lowest setting a tad bright. it sits about 2 feet above/away from my bed, and it casts some light across the bed. I'll probably try the tint on the screen if it keep it too.

I'll also concur with the alarm loudness getting to high in ipod alarm mode. I wrote their support group and got an email back the next day. They told me that the alarm volume in radio/ipod mode goes from 0 to 20 in 10 seconds. If you're like me and not a great morning person, having that volume go up is quite surprising in the morning. They did say that once 10 seconds passes, you can adjust the volume back down. IF you snooze though, after doing that, it ramps back up to 20. I'm a person who likes to eaze into wakefulness, not get yanked into it.

Overall though, i'm quite happy with the unit. I'm debating keeping it, or trying something else, if anyone has a suggestion.

I just checked mine, and it's V2 - doesn't have the "sleep volume" button on the back. I also tested it by turning on and rolling the volume up to 10. If they have a version with the "Gentle Wake" feature that goes up to 10, i'd definitely keep that one. Again, my only complaint really, is the alarm volume going up to 20 first thing in the morning.

reading keertib's note, mine's the same version - 3 dim settings, no sleep volume button, and extra bumpers for thin ipods.

Does anyoneknow if the new revisions with alarm volumes that roll from 0 to 10 are available anywhere?


dwight.

Posted by dwightery on April 7, 2006 at 6:14 PM (PDT)

92

test .. will not allow me to post.

Posted by dwightery on April 10, 2006 at 9:39 AM (PDT)

93

A quick follow up. I wrote to iha technical support again, about the volume Gentle Wake feature in the alarm. I asked if there was a new version that went 10, not 20, and they responded, saying to look for one with a date code of "xxxxRx" near the bar code, or to ship it directly back to them for replacement.

I sent my email in on this past Friday night and got a response this morning.
I'll be looking at my local store for a new version in the next few nights.

dwight.

Posted by dwightery on April 10, 2006 at 9:47 AM (PDT)

94

Finally . . . hopefully a better choice than the Ihome. It won't take much to be better than the Ihome's version.

I returned mine as I couldn't take all the problems. Saw in today's NY Post JR was advertising the new Teac SR-L2001W
I ordered one at Amazon today for $121 delivered. I'll report back after I've tested it out. Comes with a remote, 20 presets, headphone jack for night listening (the Ihomes out jack is not powered so it's useless for using headphones) Hopefully this won't have a blasting alarm and glaring clock face. I knew someone would come out with something better than the disappointing design of the Ihome.

Findings: This one still has an overly bright clock face with only a two position dim setting. Still requires me to use 3 layers of tint over the face. Clock face is twice the size too giving off twice the light.. Also the unit is HUGE, even bigger than a Bose Wave radio. But has a flat top so I can keep stuff on top of it like my remote, so I actually did not give up much night table space. Also no tone adjustment and it plays a little on the bassy side, I’d like a little more treble to brighten it up. When listening to AM talk shows bassy sound muddies up the voices a little on certain stations. Station sensitivity seems better than the Ihome though. Nice remote holder, nice hefty remote, all adjustment near the front, I hate when they put adjustments on the BACK of a clock radio. No alarm sound, only has wakeup by Ipod or tuner (this is odd).

Conclusion: has some good features, but for most people it is not a step up from the Ihome yet. The size and bright clock face will still be a deal breaker for most consumers and they would be better off with a revised Ihome unit which has the clock face dim ability and it’s shrill rising alarm corrected, supposedly.

Posted by Expidia in NY on May 4, 2006 at 6:07 AM (PDT)

95

Ok read through a lot of things here...

I have 2 of these iHome Clock/Radios!
Yes 2.
I like them both very much! I have one at work and one at home.
I am glad I logged in here to find the hint about the Static Cling (tinted) sheet... I will find one for sure!
The iHome I have at work is awesome! I can Plug in my Computer Speakers to it and WOW what a great sound!

I have NO PROBLEMS with either unit.

They both sound great and Recommend it for anyone!

WALK

Posted by WALK on May 10, 2006 at 7:15 AM (PDT)

96

Does having a case on your video iPod affect its fiiting in the dock?

Posted by skoolsmart on May 13, 2006 at 12:49 PM (PDT)

97

I just found the perfect alternative to the Ihome. I returned mine and tried the Teac (worse). But while looking in Target tonight I found and bought the Emerson Research IC200 iTone IC200 tonight. It's $79 and its beautiful and much much better than the Ihome IMO. Trouble is I've searched around on the net to show you a picture and can't come up with it anywhere.
It's black and a sleek looking unit. Charges iPod and comes with all the ipod adapters, pod sits plugged in just like the Ihome unit. Nice good sized blue glowing numbers so the clock face is not bright, has a 2 position dim switch too. Built in replaceable 5 year battery backup, remote (real nice 13 key remote) Nice alarm (not schrill or suddenly rising. Automatically sets the time date and year when you plug it in. FM stereo tuner, all digital, 20 presets (10 AM,10FM. 2 alarms (weekend and weekdays) "Touchless" snooze sensor (you just wave hand in front of it)nap setting, headphone jack and auxilliary input jacks. dimensions 12 wide, 6 deep and 4 1/2 inches high. Kinda like the Bose Wave radio's shape but smaller and classier as it has a shiny black finish to the case.
If someone can find a link to a picture of one please post it. For $79 this has "every" one of the features I was looking for that the Ihome didn't in a much better looking design. Check it out!

Posted by Expidia in NY on May 14, 2006 at 5:50 PM (PDT)

98

my iHome connector (iPod to iHome) snaped off so now i can't listen to my iHome

Posted by babybear2608 on June 21, 2006 at 8:44 AM (PDT)

99

I'm completely baffled by this review. We got one of these turkeys and wish we'd returned it. As many have noted, whether using radio, ipod, or the fire alarm they call a buzzer, the thing blares you awake with no control over the volume at all. The beeps it makes when pressing any button are incredibly annoying. And it has virtually none of "the key features" I would expect from a clock radio: primarily it doesn't have two alarms and it doesn't have a weekend setting. I too am impressed by the Emerson iTone iC200. It's got everything I'm looking for, none of the iHome's fatal flaws, and the sound quality is, at least to these 50-year-old ears, every bit as good as the iHome.

Posted by mmckaibab on June 30, 2006 at 7:24 PM (PDT)

100

CompUSA has a picture of the IC200 FYI

Posted by Jamesk on July 4, 2006 at 10:11 PM (PDT)

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