iHome iH12 review: iHome iH12

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The Good Affordable, attractive cube clock radio with dual alarms and integrated iPod dock; alarm clock functionality lets you wake to iPod songs, AM/FM radio, or buzzer; iPod charges while in dock; line-in/line out; remote included.

The Bad Only four presets for radio stations; can't navigate your iPod's menu system using the included remote.

The Bottom Line While its sound isn't so impressive, the iHome iH12's simple and attractive design gives it an appeal as a budget iPod clock radio.

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6.3 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 6

SDI Technologies makes several affordable iPod-compatible clock radio/speaker systems with a variety of designs, which it sells under the iHome (and Timex) brand. The iHome iH12 happens to look more like a traditional clock radio than many of the company's other models. While it has a couple of rounded edges, the iH12 is your basic cube with an iPod dock integrated into the top of the unit. It's hard to get too excited about the style, but there's something enticing about its simplicity and relatively compact size. It retails for $80 or less.

Measuring 5.25 inches tall by 5.25 inches wide by 5.25 inches deep, the iH12 comes in a glossy black (iH12BR) or pink (iH12PR) finish to appeal to a range of buyers. The button array on top of the unit is completely rubberized and feels nice to the touch, but it has a couple of downsides. The snooze/dimmer button is fairly small, which may irk those who prefer large snooze bars that you can easily find when you're half asleep. Also, dust particles and little fibers adhere to the rubber and make it harder to keep clean (you can't just wipe it clean like you can with smooth plastic).

As for features, the iH12BR isn't loaded, but at least it has most of the key stuff covered, including dual alarms, an AM/FM radio, and a line input in case you want to attach any other portable AV devices. The product ships with dock adapters that make all iPods fit snugly and securely in the cradle. When your iPod is in the dock and the iH12BR is plugged in, your iPod will draw power from the system and recharge. You choose songs, playlists, or podcasts with the iPod's scroll wheel as usual, but hear the audio through the iH12BR's speakers.

An auxiliary input lets the iH12 act as a speaker for non-iPod audio sources.

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