CNET First Look
iHome iA5 alarm clockThe iHome iPhone app converts the otherwise basic iA5 into a feature-loaded alarm clock.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, I'm David Carnoy, and I'm going to give you a quick tour of the iHome IA5. This is an alarm clock speaker dock for the iPhone or iPod touch, and the key thing about it is that it's actually a very basic alarm speaker, but once you dock your iPhone or your iPod touch, this is an app-enhanced alarm clock from iHome. You have to download the iHome app free of charge from the App Store, but once you have it installed, you then have a lot of alarm clock features at your disposal. At the core of the app is something called sleep cards. This allows you to set multiple alarms. You essentially set your alarm, slid the sleep card into a virtual slot. That alarm is activated. You can set what music you want to listen to when the alarm goes off. You can also set a timer for when you go to sleep. There's also some social networking features in this. You could have the app Tweet when you wake up. You could have it post a message on Facebook, too. I don't know if you really need that, but it's something you can do. It can also Tweet when you go to sleep. There are some news and weather features built into the app, and there's also some statistics. It'll keep track of when you went to sleep, when you got up, and that's all within the app. As I said, the speaker itself is really pretty basic. You do get an auxiliary input for connecting other audio devices, but there really isn't that much else in the way of features, so you probably don't want to get this unless you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch. One of the missing features is an AM/FM radio, so you cannot say this is a clock radio per say, but it does sound better than your typical clock radio. If you had this in a dorm room or a bedroom, it could kind of serve as your primary audio system; however, it's really more meant to be more of a background music. It plays fairly loud, but not that loud, and it does probably distort a little bit at higher volumes. We had a little trouble rating this system because it is a basic system without the iPhone, but when you add that iPhone app, it does become a lot more interesting and feature rich. It's probably a little expensive at $100.00. We'd like to see it at more like $70.00 to $80.00, but it's not a bad value, and it's certainly recommendable to those people who have an iPhone or an iPod Touch and want a feature-rich alarm clock speaker. And this does charge your iPhone and iPod Touch when it is docked. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the iHome IA5. ^M00:02:38 [ Music ]