Review: iHome iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker
The full product name of iHome's new iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker ($100) explains its main aim: a bedroom speaker meant to be a sleep machine. But that's not all, as iHome has packed the speaker with features, hoping for it to become a jack-of-all-trades speaker — at least as far as the bedroom goes. On top of its alarm clock and sleep machine abilities, iZBT10 allows for Bluetooth playback, a full array of lighting options — the speaker offers light therapy in addition to sound therapy — FM radio, and a 2.5A charging port, as well. While there are a number of on-speaker controls, iZBT10 reaches its full potential with the use of iHome's Zenergy app, which allows users to quickly access all of the speaker's features.
iZBT10 Zenergy is a triangular shaped speaker with rounded edges. The speaker has a modest enough footprint. It’s 5.56” at its widest point and 5.83” tall, weighing 1.35 pounds. iZBT10’s design is somewhat typical of iHome, but we do find it a bit more modern than the company’s usual products — perhaps owing to the decision to go with a soft, light silver exterior instead of black.
The top of the speaker is packed with controls, including buttons for lighting, volume, and alarm clock functions. Five buttons on each side of the speaker, near the top controls, reveal immediate sound options — “relaxing sounds” on one side, and white noise options on the other. On the back of the speaker are time setting and Bluetooth pairing buttons, a USB charging port, aux-in port, and the AC adapter port.
While there are plenty of controls on the speaker itself, it can be a bit unwieldy to control iZBT10 completely in that way, to say nothing of the other features. For that, iHome’s Zenergy iOS app is necessary. The app connects to the speaker via Bluetooth (the speaker needs to connect to an iOS device separately to stream music via Bluetooth). We had some issues at first, but iHome has already updated the app a few times in recent weeks, improving its performance dramatically.
Once in the app, you can switch between sound options — Bluetooth, auxiliary, FM, or any number of 10 sound modes. Below the sound options within the app are a number of light settings — pulsing colors, swirling colors, solid colors, and so forth. Brightness and volume can also be controlled on the same screen. There are also options for alarms, sleep, and nap timers.
iZBT10’s sound therapy options range from tonal white noise frequencies to more natural sounds, like ocean, storm, or a woodsy nature setting. We don’t know how this compares to high-end sound therapy machines, but we enjoyed at least a few of the sound options, specifically the storm and ocean settings. If you only want white noise, you’d probably be better off with a dedicated white noise machine, but iZBT10 gives you options.
It’s best to think of iZBT10 light therapy as a sort of mood lighting, and not something that will light up a room. Light patterns and solid colors of your choosing are both options. Even at full brightness, the lighting isn’t harsh, and we think it’s a nice addition to a bedroom.
While our views on the sound and light therapy features are certainly subjective, iZBT10’s sound quality is a bit easier to judge. Overall, we’d say it’s adequate. iZBT10 isn’t what you’d buy specifically for music listening — it lacks bass power, and its shortcomings become especially noticeable at higher volumes. But if you’re only going to listen to music periodically at low to medium levels, the treble-focused iZBT10 will likely suffice as a bedroom speaker. Speakerphone testing results proved to be only fair, as well.
iHome’s iZBT10 offers far more features, and tries to do much more, than most speakers we review. As a Bluetooth speaker alone, it’s rather forgettable. But its sound and light therapy options, combined with its functionality as a solid alarm clock, certainly give users enough incentive to put iZBT10 on a dresser or nightstand — the latter of which may be preferable if using iZBT10’s charging port for your iOS device.