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First Look: iHome iHMP5

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First Look: iHome iHMP5

1:56 /

iHome's iHMP5 2-in-1 speaker/headphone system is an intriguing concept, but it falls short in the performance and comfort departments.

[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:03 >> [David Carnoy:] Hi, I'm David Carnoy, executive editor for CNET.com, and I'm here with the iHome 2-in-1 stereo speakers and headphones. This is kind of an interesting product from iHome. As its name implies, it is both a pair of headphones and a set of stereo speakers. Now in theory that should be kind of a cool concept: you have your headphones on and if you want to, say, play a video on your iPhone and play it out to a few people -- say, two or three people -- you would then transform the headphones into the speakers and everybody could hear the movie. Now the execution of the transformation is actually kind of cool. There's a connector in the middle and the headphones actually prop up into speakers. The only problem is they just don't sound all that good. As speakers, they're rather thin sounding as you might imagine, and they do really sound like headphones that are trying to act as speakers but not doing it terribly well. Now when you do hook the two ear cups together, these do become powered speakers because there are two triple A batteries in one of the ear cups to power them. And there's also a volume control in the cord, so you can control the volume so these really are speakers. Now if these were good as headphones there would be some redemption there, but they're only okay as headphones. They do sound better as headphones, but they're not incredibly comfortable. We're not talking about plush leather ear pads or anything. These are kind of budget headphones. They sound okay, but there just isn't a whole lot of clarity and the bass is kind of mushy, and that makes for only so-so sound. But again, they are better as headphones than as speakers. Now we hope that iHome tries to improve on this concept. It really just needs better sound quality all around, but as is, they're pretty hard to recommend. However, if you do see them at a discount, you might want to take a quick look. I'm David Carnoy, and those are the iHome 2-in-1 stereo speakers plus headphones. ^M00:01:52 [ MUSIC ]

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