iHome iA5: Basic audio system has transformative qualities

The iHome iPhone app converts the otherwise basic iA5 into a feature-loaded alarm clock.

The iHome iA5 is an app-enhanced alarm clock that retails for $100. iHome

iHome dubs its iA5 an "app enhanced" alarm clock, which is exactly what it sounds like. This unit is designed to work with iHome's iPhone app, which means you probably shouldn't bother reading on unless you have an iPhone or iPod Touch to connect to its dock.

From a design standpoint, the iA5 isn't terribly distinguished-looking, but it looks attractive enough with a speaker/dock system that slants back and leaves your iPhone or iPod Touch sitting in a lightly reclined position. The speaker is a little deeper and bigger than you'd think looking at it from the front, measuring 3.9 inches high by 5.83 inches wide by 9.34 inches deep. In other words, if you have a small nightstand, adding the iA5 won't leave a lot of spare room.

On its own--without a compatible Apple device connected to it--the iA5 has little in the way of features. There's no AM/FM radio and there's just a single alarm (on the connectivity front, you do get an auxiliary input for connecting other devices), but there is a separate time display to the left of the iPhone dock, so you always know the time.

However, once you download the free iHome app from the App Store--it's called iHome + Sleep--and dock your iPhone in the iA5, things get a lot more interesting. You suddenly have a very feature-rich clock radio with a touch-screen display (you can sync the time on your iPhone with the time on the iA5's display with a touch of a button).

Read the full review of the iHome iA5.

About the author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.


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