Does the iHome iP1 sounds as good as it looks?

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.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
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 reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read

We don't associate the iHome brand with "premium" audio and cutting-edge design, but the folks there are giving it their best shot with the 100-watt iP1, which has a new look for the company known for its budget iPod audio systems.

The first thing you notice about the iP1 is that it has a very distinct, industrial look. It's all black with translucent, dark tinted plastic on the front supporting two rather deep cylindrical speakers (they extend a little more than 6 inches out the back). Weighing 8 pounds, the system has some heft to it, but you can easily move it around the room, though it's a little awkward to carry.

The iP1 has a set of "custom-designed" 4-inch woofers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters that are powered by Bongiovi Acoustics' proprietary Digital Power Station processor. In terms of connectivity, there's a standard audio input to connect other audio sources along with a component AV output and a remote control. It also works with iPhones; it's GSM shielded, so you can dock the iPhone without having to toggle it to airplane mode.

We could lament the lack of a built-in alarm clock or radio on the iP1. However, all iPods have built-in clocks with alarms that will rouse you out of bed in the morning--just be sure to leave the iP1's speakers turned on. Likewise, the iPod Touch and the iPhone have plenty of live streaming audio options available, and the fifth-generation iPod Nano has a built-in FM radio--so the dearth of a radio on the iP1 isn't such a big deal.

So, does the iP1 sound as good as it looks?

Read the full review of the iHome iP1 to find out.