Q: Does the iHome iH9 work with the new iPhone?

– Judy

A: The iH9 is not officially compatible with any model of iPhone—either the original or the iPhone 3G. However, like most other Dock-connecting iPod speakers and accessories, the iH9 will work just fine with the iPhone to provide the standard functions such as audio playback, charging the iPhone, and standard playback controls and even basic menu navigation support from the iH9 remote control.

Connecting the iPhone to the iH9, however, will result in the “Accessory Not Compatible” nag screen, prompting you to enable Airplane Mode prior to using the accessory in order to avoid potential interference from the cellular radio in the iPhone, as the iH9 is not shielded against this type of interference. The iPhone will continue to work with the iH9 regardless of whether or not you choose to enable Airplane Mode, although depending on your cellular service you may hear static or interference from the cellular phone radio while listening to your music on the iH9. This is generally only a serious problem if you are using EDGE coverage, as opposed to an active Wi-Fi or 3G connection, although it is possible to get some interference on 3G as well.

If you choose to enable Airplane Mode, you can listen to the iPhone, but all wireless communication capabilities will be disabled and you will not be able to receive calls. Removing the iPhone from the iH9 automatically disables Airplane Mode, however.

The other notable feature on the iH9 that does not work with the iPhone is the ability to wake up to a custom playlist—when the alarm sounds the iPhone will simply resume playing where it left off, or start playing content randomly if you had not already been listening to a playlist.

Note that iHome now also sells the iP9 speakers, which are basically identical to the iH9 but are certified as iPhone-compatible.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.