Review: iLuv iMM173-Hi-Fi Dual Alarm Clock

A dual-dock alarm clock for your iPhone and iPod. (October 29th, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: iLuv

Price: $129.99 US

The Good

  • Excellent sound quality. Charges iPods and iPhone. Stylish look. Remote attaches to the device.

The Bad

  • Snooze time interval is not adjustable. Remote buttons do not light up. Only one dock is iPhone compatible.

The worldwide popularity of the iPod has created a market that is jam-packed with iPod accessories. Many different companies make iPod compatible alarm clocks, but few offer solutions for customers with multiple iPods. iLuv has taken that extra step and put a second dock on top of the iMM173: Hi-Fi Dual Alarm Clock that is iPhone 3G compatible as well. This means that you can charge multiple handhelds at the same time with one device. Unfortunately, because only one of the docks is iPhone compatible, customers with multiple iPhones in their household cannot charge both together.

imm173-full.jpg


The glossy black system features silver volume and tuning dials on the top that makes the iPhone look right at home when docked. All of the necessary controls, located on the top of the device, leave the front open for a large display, which features ten different levels of backlight adjustment. The majority of the buttons light up, which make it easy to control in the dark. You also have access to all the necessary commands on the included remote, but when in the dark you're limited to your memory. I wish the remote buttons lit up for use in the low light. iLuv also provides a solution for the constantly disappearing remote problem; a small magnet on the back of the clock holds the remote when not in use.

imm173-full.jpg

Remote Safely Attached on the Back

The Alarm

The iMM173 features two separate alarms that you can set to wake with either of the iPod docks, the radio, or a progressive buzzer. The buzzer starts off in series of two short beeps, moves to three beeps, then progresses to a constant series of beeps until your turn off the alarm. The alarms are easy to set and after the first few nights, I felt confident enough to remove my backup alarm clock. The snooze button silences the alarm for seven minutes and offers no way to change the time interval.

Versatile Clock Radio

The iMM173 offers three different ways to play audio -- the iPod docks on top, an AM/FM radio, and the AUX IN jack on the back. The radio uses an external antenna that picks up radio stations that other radios I have tested failed to access. There are also four programmable buttons, which can each store two radio stations of your choice, so you can set up to eight stations. The iMM173 includes several dock adapters: one for the iPod classic 80GB, one for the iPod nano 3G/iPod touch, and a third for the iPhone/iPod classic 160GB. Since the clock has two docks iLuv has included duplicates of each adapter. You can plug in any iPod without an adapter, but this makes the iPod less stable and increases the chance of damaging the iPod or iMM173 if you accidentally dislodge the device from the connector.

The Sound

The sound quality of the iMM173: Hi-Fi Dual Alarm Clock is better than other similar products I have used. iLuv has integrated jAura Acoustic Soundcell Technology that enhances the frequency range of the speakers by mixing forward and backward moving sound waves. I found that at a flat EQ, the mid-range was a little overpowering for my taste, but I adjusted the Treble and Bass to find a balance I enjoyed. After setting up my EQ, I found the sound quality to be very impressive given the unit's size. I tested the full volume range and found that the sound stayed clear almost up to the maximum output. In the top volume ranges some break-up did occur, but by this point the audio level was more than substantial. I use higher quality audio files on my music devices, so your mileage may vary if you use MP3s. Even when listening to weaker radio stations the sound quality remained strong throughout the iMM173's volume range.

imm173-full.jpg

View From The Top


The iMM173 performed leaps and bounds above other alarm clocks, but the sound quality must be kept in context of its environment. This clock radio does not perform as well in a large crowded room; it isn't made to be your only sound system. The iMM173 performed very well as an alarm clock and the dual docking options was greatly appreciated in my multiple iPod household. The remote is very handy to control the audio when I worked across the room. If the lights were out, I had to remember where the buttons were, which took a while to get used to because the buttons are small. Overall, the iMM173 looked, sounded and operated very well and only took me a few nights to gain its trust as a daily alarm.

Specifications

  • Radio frequency FM: 88MHz - 108MHz
  • Audio output: 5WRMS(L) + 5WRMS(R) @ 1%THD
  • Total: 10WRMS / 20WPEAK / 200WPMPO
  • Connectivity:
  • 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
  • 3.5mm aux. in jack
  • Power adapter jack
  • FM antenna
  • Power Requirement: AC100V~240V 60/50Hz Adapter
  • Power consumption: £25W
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 11.2" x 3.4" x 7.2" (284mm x 87mm x 183mm)
  • Weight: 5.31lbs (2.4kg)


Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Bradley McBurney


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