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First Look: iH12 Dual Alarm Cube Clock Radio

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2008

iH12 iPod/Clock Radio

An iPod can store your entire music collection, and keep it with you wherever you want to go. While the iPod is great for listening to music through ear buds by yourself, it's not so handy when you want to play your music so others can hear it too. If you want to broadcast your music throughout a room, consider plugging your iPod into a device such as the iH12 alarm clock.

At first glance, the iH12 looks like nothing more than an ordinary AM/FM alarm clock. An AM/FM antenna plugs in the back of the unit, allowing you to move the antenna away from the unit for increased reception. The top of the iH12 provides large buttons for turning the unit on and off or adjusting the volume.

Two other buttons on top let you set two separate alarms. Additional buttons on top let you preset up to 12 different radio stations (4 AM stations and 8 FM stations).

The front of the unit contains an oversize backlit display that shows the current time and radio station that you're currently listening to. Three buttons appear on the back of the unit for adjusting the clock. One button adjusts the time, a second button adjusts the time zone, and a third lets you conveniently move the time back or forward one hour to adjust for daylight savings time.

What separates the iH12 from ordinary clock radios is its ability to play music from an iPod. The top of the unit provides a docking station that recharges an iPod while playing its music. Since iPods come in different sizes, the unit comes with four different adapters that plug into the top. Plug the correct adapter for your particular iPod into the top of the iH12 and then plug your iPod directly on top to play music from your playlists.

The unit plays music from your iPod (or from the AM/FM radio) through stereo speakers with passive subwoofer featuring Reson8 speaker technology for enhanced sound. While you won't mistake the sound quality from the iH12 for a pair of dedicated stereo speakers, the sound quality of the iH12 is more than adequate for the limited size of the unit.

Not only can the unit play music from an iPod, but it can also use your iPod's stored music as part of its alarm. Instead of waking up to the sound of your favorite radio station, you can wake up to the sound of your iPod's music library.

In case you don't have an iPod, you can still plug any MP3 digital music player into the iH12 through the line-in port. This allows you to play music from an ordinary MP3 player, but it can't use that music to wake you up in the morning through an alarm. All alarms must either play an AM/FM radio station or an iPod.

Like most alarm clocks, the iH12 also includes a snooze function along with an adjustable sleep timer so the unit can automatically shut itself off after a fixed period of time, such as 15 or 30 minutes. This lets you enjoy your favorite radio station or iPod song while you drift off to sleep. To protect you in case of a power failure, the iH12 includes a battery backup.

The compact size of the iH12 combined with its iPod docking station makes it handy for listening to music anywhere you can find an electrical outlet. Put it in the kitchen or bedroom and you'll have a handy radio that can also play your iPod music collection. Toss in the remote control and you have a simple entertainment center.

The iH12 is small enough to be carried easily (with a width of 8.74 inches, a height of 6.57 inches, and a depth of 6.37 inches), but it's not the type of unit that you can comfortably pack in your luggage and take wherever you go. If you don't need absolute portability but want to enjoy your iPod music in your bedroom, kitchen, living room, or any other room in a building, the $79.99 cost is low enough to make the iH12 a worthwhile accessory to your iPod.

by MacNN Staff





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