iPhone Speaker Review: iHome iA63 Speaker Dock for iPhone/iPod Touch Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Rotating Dock allows you to watch videos while docked. True left/right (stereo) speakers. Small footprint. Good sound for the size/price. iHome + Sleep App really makes it feature-rich.
What's Not: Highs are a somewhat subdued due to cloth covering over speakers and their lateral rather than forward-facing orientation.
The iHome iA63 is a truly unique clock radio speaker dock due to its ability to rotate to a horizontal orientation. This nifty little feature will allow you to watch videos in all their 3.5" widescreen glory with fully amplified stereo sound. Sure, it's a specialized feature and it may be one that you have no use for. However, if you're like me, youíre likely to be thinking that this capability in a dock is long overdue.
Features and Quality
The iA63 has a nice compact footprint (about 5Ē x 7Ē) yet delivers very good sound via its true left/right (stereo) speakers. I say very good rather than excellent because the highs sound a bit subdued due to the lateral orientation of the speakers and possibly the fabric speaker covers. This is my only complaint about the iA63, and frankly itís a small one. The speakerís claim to fame, however, is the rotating dock. With the click of a button (either on the device or the included remote), your iPhone/iPod Touch will smoothly and automatically rotate, allowing you to watch videos in a widescreen orientation. Itís a feature that works quite well, and is one that I have found handy while I was putting the speaker through its paces.
The iA63 sports all the usual niceties that we have come to expect from iHome, such as a time sync button, FM Radio, iPod controls, and an auxiliary input port. As with other iHome devices, this one supports their iHome + Sleep (alarm) and iHome + Radio (internet radio) Apps; both of which add a tremendous amount of functionality to the device. The former allows you to easily set very versatile alarms, and includes the ability to program sleep timers (sleep to music) and quick nap alarms. It also displays basic weather information, news via Facebook, and allows you to wake to your iPod music. While earlier iterations of this software were a bit rough around the edges, it has evolved into a very reliable and stable alarm app that has made its way onto the home screen of my iPhone.
The iA63 has a round, grey metallic face where the iDevice docks, while the body is matte black. It takes up surprisingly little room on your nightstand because the speakers are hidden behind the dish, giving the device a pleasing minimalist appearance. Itís not art, but itís much less obtrusive than most other speaker docks on the market.
The iA63ís signature rotating dock truly sets it apart from the pack. Its solid sound and thoughtful features demonstrate that iHome remains the dominant player in the iOS speaker dock space. The final piece of the puzzle is their iHome + Sleep app, which has finally matured into the software it was meant to be. If you havenít got a lot of real estate on your nightstand and have a hankeriní to watch videos on your iPhone while it is nestled in its dock, this is the speaker dock for you. There may be better sounding systems out there, but not for the price, and certainly not with their own software and a rotating dock to boot.