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iHome iP39 iPhone/iPod Speaker with Kitchen Timer and Clock Radio
Editor's rating (1-5):
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What's hot: Designed to be used in the kitchen. Surprisingly good sound. Integration of the iHome + Sleep App.
What's not: Not: The app must be running for the extra features to work (even running iOS4). The speakers can only handle approximately 3/4 volume without sound breaking up.
Reviewed July 2010 by Tom Slayton
In the crowded world of iPhone and iPod speaker docks, it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate between them. The iHome iP39 stands out a bit from the crowd because it seeks not to occupy just your hearts, minds, and nightstands, but your kitchens as well. Yes, this little baby with its (relatively) tiny footprint and dual timers strives to be in direct competition with your Slap Chop and Magic Bullet for counter space. I was skeptical at first, but after a week with it, I find myself wondering how I’d gotten along without it.
The iHome iP39 is a capable speaker dock with some added functionality specifically targeted at the kitchen. The iP39 charges your iPhone or iPod when docked. It's compatible with all iPhone models and iPods with a dock connector. The docking tray hides neatly away to prevent it filling up with kitchen debris, and re-emerges with the press of a finger when needed. All of the controls are on top of the device, and are “splash-proof.”
As anybody who owns a VCR that continually flashes 12:00 am can attest, we all hate to set the time on these things. With the iHome iP39, all you need to do is dock your iDevice and press the “Time Sync” button on the back. NICE. Also nice are the dual countdown timers. Nobody wants a kitchen timer that has to be programmed, and the folks at iHome know this. Both of the timers can be accessed with a few quick button presses; in fact, they can even be set from across the room with the included remote. This is a feature I thought I’d never use but found to be quite convenient.
I have always wondered why the manufacturers of speaker docks build alarms into them. I suppose if they didn’t include them they would be roundly condemned for leaving them out. However, with a “wake to music” alarm built in to every iPod/iPhone, as well as the iHome + Sleep app (and literally hundreds of other alarm apps), one wonders who exactly opts to go with a buzzer.
The speakers themselves do a surprisingly good job for such a small unit. As with all portable devices in this size range, the bass response was a bit thin, but I found the overall sound to be surprisingly good. You can take it all the way up to 3/4 maximum volume before the sound starts to degrade, which is likely to be louder than you will ever need.
One feature that seems to be missing from almost all of these speaker dock systems is the ability to dock your device horizontally. I briefly toyed with the idea of setting the speaker system on its side so I could watch a movie while I made dinner but it just wasn’t designed for that, and I found it maddeningly unstable.