What's Hot: Clear and loud sound, works with Bluetooth and has S-video out for TV audio streaming.
What's Not: Doesn't have super powerful bass.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
The iHome iP76 GlowTunes Bluetooth Speaker System is a uniquely designed wireless speaker system for your home or office. The system features 4 active speakers, LED light show and four audio connection sources including 30-pin connections to iPhone and iPhone models, Bluetooth to any A2DP device, 3.5mm audio in and S-video for TV. The speaker system has clear and very loud audio, exciting or hypnotizing lighting effects and it's very easy to use.
The iHome GlowTune Bluetooth Speaker System has a unique design. The tube style speaker stands over 3 feet tall and weighs 8.25 pounds. The long tube houses 4 speakers and 16 clusters of LED lights, and at the bottom of the tube is a weighed base to keep the tower steady. All controls and ports are on or near the top for your convenience. You will find the Power button, volume and LED light on/off buttons on top of the speaker in a circle. Five light display mode control buttons live under the 30-pin docking port. There is also a dedicated Bluetooth button that lets you turn on Bluetooth pairing mode, and a line-in selector button to switch between audio input sources.
Behind the speaker near the top, you will find S-video ports in case you want to use the speaker with your TV and a 3.5mm audio jack for plugging in mobile devices to stream audio. The small holder on the back is for the included remote control. At the bottom of the tube above the base, you will find the AC port.
The iHome iP76 Speaker System has large audio presence thanks to the large body and its 4 active speakers with 2 Reson8 speaker chambers. The speaker sounds loud and powerful, and the audio can easily fill a very large space without losing any clarity or adding distortion. The separation of tracks is excellent and music in all genres sound dynamic and full. The clarity of the audio is superb. In tracks that showcase different instruments, vocals and percussions, each piece has good clarity and yet all mixes well together without anything sounding harsh or stands out unintentionally. We tested different genres and found the speakers working well with all tracks in our tests. The only thing that's lacking a little is the bass. Without a subwoofer, the speaker doesn't have the super bass power.
With some Bluetooth speakers, we have experienced certain audio quality lost via Bluetooth when compared to the docking connection or 3.5mm audio jack. The iHome iP76 doesn't have that problem. The audio sounds just as clear and full via Bluetooth as via other connections. The only thing that the Bluetooth connection loses some steam is the volume. But thankfully the speaker's own high volume compensates the volume nicely.
The iHome iP76 works very well for movie playback and gaming, making it a much more immersive experience when you have a bigger and fuller sound. The speaker offers full and clear audio for movie playback and gaming. The better the sound mastered in the movies and games, the better it shows through the iP76.
Bluetooth and Compatibility
The iHome iP76 Bluetooth Speaker system has built-in Bluetooth and supports A2DP and AVRCP profile, but not Hands-free or Headset profiles. It can stream music, movie and gaming audios but doesn't stream phone call audio. The built-in Bluetooth supports multi-pairing and auto-pairing features. It can pair with multiple devices and reconnect to the pairing partners stored in the memory. It's very easy to pair with the iP76, just press and hold the dedicated Bluetooth button on top of the speaker to put the Bluetooth in pairing mode. We tested the iPhone 4/4S and several Android smartphones pairing with the speaker via Bluetooth, all worked nicely.
Audio streams smooth in music, movies and games on Android phones, but playing movie trailers on the iPhone 4 via Bluetooth connection had some delays, making choppy playbacks. If you use the dock connector or the 3.5mm audio jack for the movie trailers, the playback is very smooth on the iPhone 4.
The iHome iP76 is compatible with all iPhone models, iPod touch models and many iPod and iPod nano models. It comes with several docking adapter to work with these supported devices. While your device is docked on the speaker, the iP76 charges your iDevice even when the speaker isn't on.
Why stop at audio when you have such a tall body and a lot of extra space? It just begs for a light show. The iHome iP76 system has whopping 16 LED clusters that can produce 5 display modes. You can choose from Slow Fade which rotates all available colors (indigo, blue, green, white, orange, red, violet and yellow), or choose one Favorite color or Pulse the colors to the music beat, or Strobe effect in different patterns and colors or in a more relaxing Dimmable lamp in amber light. There are five control buttons on top of the speaker, one for each display mode. You can press each button repeatedly to cycle through all available light and color patterns. You can also leave the lights on even when the music isn't playing.
If you are looking for a home or office speaker system that works with your phone, tablet and computer, and gives you light effects and nightlight, the iHome iP76 is for you. The speaker system stands out with its clear audio and loud volume but the LED lights literately steals the show. It's nice to find the visual effects that match your audio tracks, and with five different light display modes and 16 clusters of LED lights, you'll have no trouble finding the right colors and patterns to fit your mood. Where else can you get something like this after the '60s and the disco era?