Review: iHome Dual Alarm Cube Clock

This dual alarm cube clock wakes you up with radio or iPod. (June 9th, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: iHome, a division of SDI Technologies

Price: $79.99 US

The Good

  • Dual alarm settings. Simple to set up and use. Combination AM/FM radio and iPod speaker. Raised rubber buttons makes it easy to feel for the right button in the dark.

The Bad

  • Location of iPod next to Off and Snooze buttons increases the risk of hitting and damaging the iPod. Too bulky to use as a travel alarm clock. Average audio quality.

You already know the convenience of listening to your own special music with your iPod and earphones and with an iPod stereo, you can share that music with your household too. Now, wouldn't you also like to wake up listening to your hand picked playlists, instead of some radio station ads sprinkled with annoying music? iHome offers a dual alarm cube that solves the morning radio assault on your ears. Just plug your iPod in the iH12 Dual Alarm Cube Clock Radio Dock on top of the unit, set a time when you want to wake up, and the next morning you hear your iPod music at your designated wake up time. Now you can hear exactly what you want to hear every morning, including the radio, if that is your preference.

iH12


iH12 Dual Alarm Cube Clock Radio

The device works exactly as advertised. Setting an alarm is simple, and for convenience, you can set two different alarms so two people can share the same alarm clock and wake up at different times. If the idea of turning your iPod into an alarm clock appeals to you, then the iHome is worth buying, as long as you're aware of some potential pitfalls. As with many other iPod alarm clocks, the biggest design flaw centers on the placement of the Alarm Off button and the iPod itself. You plug your iPod into a slot directly on top of the alarm clock. The iPod fits snugly in a small adapter slot and rests at a slightly tilted angle. In this precarious position, the iPod is vulnerable to an errant swipe of the arm that could knock it out of its adapter slot and potentially bend the connecting adapter.

iH12 Diagrm


iH12 Dual Alarm Cube Clock Radio Controls


What increases your chance of smacking the iPod by mistake is that the Alarm Off and Snooze buttons are near the front of the unit while the iPod rests in the middle slightly more than an inch away. If you fumble for the Off or Snooze button in the dark while in a groggy state of mind, there's a fairly good chance you could snap the iPod out of its adapter slot. If you're lucky, nothing will happen other than having to plug the iPod back in again. If you're unlucky, you could damage the connecting slot on either iPod or the Cube. To increase your chances of hitting the right button, each button appears in bright white with a raised rubber surface. This lets you feel for the right button in the dark and press the one you want, hopefully without knocking the iPod over in the process.

iH12 For Real


Raised Rubber Buttons Make It Easy To Identify Buttons


If you want to make sure you don't knock your iPod over while reaching for the Off or Snooze button, you should place the cube across the room or just out of reach and use the included remote control. Now you can hit the Off or Snooze button on the remote control without the risk of toppling the iPod out of its adapter slot.

iH12


iH12 Remote


In addition to its alarm features to wake you up, the iHome also offers a sleep function to lull you to bed while listening to your iPod music. You can set the sleep timer for various lengths of time, such as 120, 90, 60, 30, or 15 minutes. After the designated amount of time has passed, the iH12 shuts off your music.

For added convenience, you can adjust two different volume settings for the sleep function and the alarm function. You might want to turn the volume low while you sleep while having the volume cranked up much higher when it's time to wake up.

Battery Powered

To insure that you don't miss an alarm, the iHome can run off two AA batteries to keep the unit powered up in the event of a power failure. Running off battery power is also handy when you want to use the iH12 Clock Radio as an alarm clock away from an electrical outlet, such as at a campsite. The small print in the manual notes that the backlight does not work while on battery power.

Sound Quality

For such a tiny speaker, the audio quality is sufficient, but nothing exceptional. You'll hear your music just fine, but these aren't the type of speakers to enjoy concert sound on.

Sound Quality

Unfortunately, the Dual Alarm Cube Clock Radio is a bit chunky to carry easily. Its boxy dimensions (5.0" height x 5.0" width x 5.19" depth) makes the device easy to transport and place around the home, but not so easy to carry in a backpack or suitcase. Its weight and heft takes up too much room in the typical suitcase, firmly tethering the iH12 to your home.

Although primarily an iPod accessory, the iH12 functions perfectly well on its own as an alarm clock and AM/FM radio with 12 presets. If you have any other digital music player, just connect the music player to the Line-in Jack and listen to your music through the iHome's speaker.

Compatibility

The iH12 Dual Alarm Cube Clock Radio charges your iPod when connected, so you can get up and go with your iPod in tow. It is only compatible with the iPod video, Classic, the nano with video, and the iPod Touch. iHome doesn't say whether it works with an iPhone, but it probably does. The back of the unit includes a convenient Daylight Savings Time switch and a Time Zone button.

If you need an alarm clock for your home, but don't want to be restricted to a simple AM/FM alarm radio, or a really annoying alarm clock that will jar you awake every morning with a bell that sounds like a miniature fire alarm, the $79.99 iH12 is a worthwhile investment. It is a simple way to turn your iPod into an alarm clock, and the iH12 does the job nicely and inexpensively.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Wallace Wang


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