iHome iDM8 review: iHome iDM8

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The Good The iHome iDM8 is a distinctly designed, affordably priced, compact Bluetooth speaker that sounds decent enough and plays reasonably loud. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery and an audio input cable for non-Bluetooth devices.

The Bad A little short on bass and detail; no protective carrying case included; a proprietary combo cable is needed for wired audio playback.

The Bottom Line The iHome iDM8 is a good portable Bluetooth speaker for the money; we just like its step-up brother, the DM11, a little better.

6.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6

After the success of the Jawbone Jambox, portable Bluetooth speakers are proliferating and iHome has two affordably priced compact models out for 2012, the iDM11 and iDM8.

Available in black or red, the iDM8 ($60 list, $50 online) reviewed here has a bulbous design and seems to be modeled after the top of a microphone (it's a little bigger than your typical singing microphone). It certainly is distinct-looking, feels substantial in your hand, and can be easily placed just about anywhere.

We had no problem pairing an iPhone 4S with the iDM8, which is compatible with all smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices that are Bluetooth-enabled (A2DP). Like other Bluetooth speakers, you can get about 30 feet away from the speaker before you start to lose your wireless audio connection. There's a volume control on the speaker, but most people will chose to set that at the highest level--or near it--and control volume from your phone or other portable device.

Sound quality is decent for a small speaker of this size, though not great. Like its step-up brother, the iDM11, it doesn't have as much bass as the Jambox and its sound isn't terribly detailed. However, most people should be impressed with what it can output and that it can play fairly loud. It'll fill a small room or office with sound, but you won't want to crank your tunes to the max because you'll get some distortion at high volumes, especially with bass-heavy music.

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