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First Look: iHome iP1

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First Look: iHome iP1

3:05 /

The iHome iP1 may not sound great with all types of music, but this striking iPod/iPhone speaker system will appeal to listeners who gravitate toward pop, hip-hop, rock, and electronica.

[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:03 >> [David Carnoy:] Hi, I'm David Carnoy, executive editor for CNET.com, and I'm going to give you a quick tour of the iHome IP1. This is one of the more stylish iPod speaker systems out there. It's also fairly pricey, around 300 dollars. But the first thing you'll notice about it is that it is very distinct looking. It's got this translucent plexiglass on the front, and you can either choose to leave the speakers exposed or put a speaker grill on top of them to protect them in case you have little kids around that might poke their fingers into them. The cylindrical woofers do go back quite a bit, so it isn't as compact as you might think. It's also a pretty heavy system. You've got two four-inch woofers and these little one-inch tweeters on top. While the tweeters do look like they're just sort of hanging there, there is a wire that goes to them. In terms of features, there really isn't a whole lot here. There's no FM radio on board. You do get a line input, if you want to listen to other MP3 players. You also get component video outputs, and that's important because you can show iPod video on your TV and use this as the speaker. This will sound a lot better than the speakers on your TV. This is made for both iPods and iPhones. It is shielded, GSM-shielded, so you don't have to put it in airplane mode. And it does come with a remote that allows you to control the basic functions of your iPod or iPhone. That means skipping tracks forward and back, also accessing the menu system. Unfortunately, Apple does not allow the menus to be displayed on a video screen if you do have the iPod hooked up to a video connection. In terms of buttons there really are very few. This is a minimalistic-looking system. And really all you can control on the system itself is the volume and then there's also a special B button, and that engages the special circuitry that kind of balances out the sound and also boosts the volume a bit. It's definitely a good idea to engage, because this is a pretty aggressive system. Really it tends to accentuate both the treble and the bass. The midrange isn't so hot, but when you engage the B button it kind of evens everything out a little bit more. You can adjust the bass and treble levels from the remote. One thing that's a little bit difficult to discern, however, is what level you do have the bass and treble at, because there's no digital display. At first we weren't in love with the sound. However, we did move it from one room to another, and we did place it closer to a wall. But once we did get it properly placed, it does sound really good. It is rather expensive at around 300 dollars. So we tend to judge those systems a little bit more harshly. But compared to other 300-dollar iPod systems, it is good. The one thing we will say about it is it probably is not as good for finer material like classical music and acoustic because it is a, it's not a laid-back system, it's more aggressive. But this does offer decent clarity and it is a more stylish system. It has this nice modern look and it also has those component video outputs. I'm David Carnoy and that's the iHome IP1 iPod music system. ^M00:03:02 [ MUSIC ]

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