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J&L iWall IMS27 2.1 Channel Music Center review:

J&L iWall IMS27 2.1 Channel Music Center

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Typical Price: $299.00
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The Good Doesn't distort at higher volumes. It's certainly eye catching.

The Bad Poor FM reception. No DAB+. Limited input/output options.

The Bottom Line The iWall is both big and bold, with big sound and a bold and heavy physical design.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.7 Overall

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There's a single word to describe the iWall IMS27, and that word is BIG. All in capitals, because for a 2.1-only iPod speaker dock, this thing is huge; larger even than the Parrot Zikmu or any of a raft of ordinary units. OK, it's perhaps not quite as big as Jean Michel Jarre's AeroDream One, but still impressive, especially as the AeroDream is still at prototype stage. Our review unit had a slightly similar early status, as it wasn't yet branded as the iWall; simply the J&L IMS27. We're told new units coming into the country will bear the iWall branding, however.

As with many larger iPod docks, there's a slight visual problem with the iWall; putting any iPod into it makes the iPod look almost comically tiny. The dock mount is on the top, just above a very bright LCD display.


For such a big unit, the actual output power of the IMS27 isn't all that great, with single L/R 12W output speakers and a rear-mounted 26W subwoofer; this equates to a PMP output rating claimed by the distributor of 600W. That's a somewhat debatable figure, but regardless the iWall is still capable of some pretty solid sound output.

Plug options are S-Video output and RCA inputs, which is a touch limiting; this is a unit that's large enough that many users might seek to use it for general household audio inputs, but that's simply not possible. Your only input sources are from any iPod/iPhone, the auxiliary input on the back or FM radio. The IMS27's remote control is quite busy, but it's at least of a reasonable size; just as with the main unit itself there's little risk of losing it behind the sofa.

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