Two Minute Review: iHome iDM8 Bluetooth Speaker

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iHome, the brand that sells about 25% of all of the digital speakers sold in the US, recently gave me a model iDM8 portable Bluetooth speaker to review. Here are my impressions!

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iHome, the brand that sells about 25% of all of the digital speakers sold in the US, recently gave me a model iDM8 portable Bluetooth speaker to review.  First, a little bit from iHome on the iDM8:

The iDM8 offers a round world of sound. The spherical rechargeable mono speaker
with Bluetooth capability looks and sounds great anywhere.  The speaker provides crisp sound that’s perfect for your music, games or apps.  An auto-pairing and -linking feature makes Bluetooth setup simple and fast.  The built-in lithium-ion battery is rechargeable, so you can enjoy music on the go without worrying about batteries. 2-in-1 audio/charging cable included.

FEATURES

  • Bluetooth wireless capability
    iPad, iPhone, iPod and other Bluetooth devices connect and play music
    wirelessly through speaker unit
  • Single omni directional speaker
    Specially designed high-end driver delivers 360° of astounding clarity,
    depth and power in single speaker
  • Supplied cable for charging speakers and connecting to
    audio source

    2-in-1 cable has USB plug for charging speaker, with audio plug for
    connecting to audio source– you can charge speaker while listening
  • SRS TruBass
    Built-in SRS TruBass circuitry enhances all your audio: music, apps, games
  • Rechargeable built-in lithium ion battery for portable use
  • Travel lock to save battery life, preserve settings during travel

GENERAL INFORMATION
Product Color(s): Black, red, blue, green, purple
Dimensions W H D
Inches: 3.47 3.07 3.47
mm: 88 78 88
Weight: .06 lbs
Battery: Rechargeable lithium ion battery

This is a small, single-speaker portable speaker that uses Bluetooth or an audio cable to connect your mobile device.  Does it stack up?

Sound Quality

Since this is a small, single-speaker unit with no sub woofer, bass response is a bit low, so some sources like movies sound a bit tinny.  However, the sound is clear, and the volume level is sufficient to fill a bedroom or hotel room with perfectly acceptable quality sound.  The sound quality is just fine considering the single speaker design, size and price point.

Bluetooth Connectivity

This iDM8 connected without issue to the following devices in my home:

  • Samsung Galaxy S3 cell phone on Android 4.1;
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 on Android 4.1.;
  • Apple iPhone 5 on iOS 6;
  • Apple iPad (Gen 4) on iOS 6;
  • Apple iPad (Gen 1) on iOS 5;
  • Nokia Lumia 822 on Windows Phone 8;
  • Microsoft Surface RT running Windows RT;
  • ASUS EP-121 Windows 7 tablet.

The pairing process is easy and is well-documented in the instructions.  Every device that I tried paired on the first try, and playback of music and movies worked just fine.  This device will have a range of about 30 feet, and the connection was maintained while I walked around the first floor of my house with no issues.

Style and Design

This product looks like the top of a microphone, and sports a rechargable battery good for six hours of operation.  It looks great, is fairly light and easily could go with me on a trip.  In addition, there is a travel lock button on the bottom that locks out the controls while being transported; this prevents the battery from being drained by button pushes while packed away.  It comes in black, red, blue, green and purple, and I’m confident that you’ll find a color that you like.  This will look right at home in a kid’s bedroom or your kitchen, and the spherical shape is fun.  Buttons for controlling the device are wrapped around the middle of the sphere, feel sturdy and give good tactile feedback.  A handy LED status light tells you the current status of the device (connected, pairing, etc.) and volume controls are also placed on the device.  In practice, I set the volume to maximum on the speaker and used the mobile device to set the actual playback volume and that worked just fine.

Overall Evaluation

This is a nicely designed, sturdy single speaker portable speaker with Bluetooth connectivity.  While the bass response was a little light, sound quality was acceptable for this price range and speaker design.  Highly portable and attractively designed, this speaker is a good value at about $45, and is available now.  I give this one a 5/5 Gold Award.

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Check it out on Amazon.com today!

[button link="http://www.amazon.com/iHome-iDM8R-Bluetooth-Wireless-Speaker/dp/B007B61H0I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1359063011&sr=8-2&keywords=iDM8" style="info" window="yes"]Buy the iHome iDB8 on Amazon.Com[/button]