Music and songs have become so influential in our lives that it doesn't matter whether you like the oldies, classical, techno, rap, or Justin Bieber, you just want to jam away. Now sure, your playlists might be awesome, but why not share it with everybody else? The well known audio accessory maker iHome has just what you need. Their latest iD55 Portable Stereo System wraps quality sound inside a sexy leather exterior that's then topped off with a fresh modern design. Head past the break to see if iHome's newest iAccessory works as well as it looks!
Right out of the box, the iD55 feels like a quality product. You can't help but take a second to admire how classy the faux leather makes this iHome appear. It isn't extremely light so that it feels cheaply manufactured and it isn't uncomfortably heavy that you wouldn't want to carry it anywhere, after all, it is suppose to be portable. As for when you simply want to leave it on your nightstand or desk, four rubberized feet keep the iHome steady as you dock and undock your devices.
It doesn't stop there. With an unique slide to use mechanism, the faux leather cover reveals a sleek mesh panel which protects two full ranged speakers that pump out tunes with a lot of "oomph". Despite all its fancy terminology such as the TruBass circuitry and Reson8 chambers which does all the heavy lifting, the overall sound quality has a lot of room for improvement. The lows have a healthy thump while the mids and highs are just jumbled together. Once you decide its time to turn it up, it gets to a point where everything is just mixed together and drowning each other out.
With the iD55, iHome pursued the minimalistic route. Nothing on here is extra or flashy, but it still gets the job done. You have your volume down button, a power button, and a volume up button. It couldn't be simpler.
Of course, with the release of the iPad, it just seems obvious for iHome to include compatibility with all of Apple's devices. Molded perfectly to size, the iD55 will fit any device that uses a 30-pin connector. While connected, the iHome also charges your device, which is expected of a dock nowadays anyways. As for Android and Windows Phone users, there is an aux-in port for you to enjoy your music as well. Along the back, a small but sturdy rubberized support holds your iDevice in place, preventing any unwanted accidents.
Before you get all excited, there are a few issues and annoyances that should be pointed out. The iD55 is powered through either AC power or batteries. You'd think that as this product is advertised as portable, one that you'd find yourself wanting to take along with you on long trips where you won't have the luxury of traditional speakers, they would include a built-in battery, instead of having to use four AA batteries, which aren't included.
Understanding that iHome chose to keep things simple with this latest product, I still can't help but feel that with the $80 price tag, the iD55 may be just too high up there for what it is capable of. Without any other extra features and not even a built-in battery, an $80 hole in my wallet is just too big for the iD55 to cover up. What happened to the radio and alarm features with the bright digital clock right in the front? As annoying as they were when they'd shine in your face, I can't help but miss it now.
At the $80 mark, iHome may be ripping us off with this one. If there ever was a large glorified dock with some mediocre speakers slapped on, these would be it. As sexy and sleek this iHome may be, it will forever be something you'd only want to see and nothing more.
However, if you fit under the category of having "money to blow," and wouldn't mind purchasing something on the higher end, we would direct your attention to Jawbone's Jambox and Big Jambox; while none of these are speaker docks, the Jambox speakers provide great sound quality in a simple portable package with a built-in rechargeable battery. Despite everything that the iD55 has to offer visually, everything else is subpar and the steep price point only lowers it down even further on our recommendations list. The overall experience the iD55s provided was lackluster at best, leaving room for a lot more to be desired.