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iLuv iMM747 review: iLuv iMM747

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iLuv iMM747
6.0

iLuv iMM747

The Good

The iLuv iMM747 is designed specifically for use with the Apple iPad, but it also supports most iPods, as well as the iPhone.

The Bad

The speaker sounds mediocre for the price; construction materials feel cheap; there's no radio, no remote, no clock; and any protective case you have on your iPad will probably need to be removed.

The Bottom Line

Beyond its iPad compatibility, the iLuv iMM747 doesn't offer much in the face of similarly priced wired and wireless systems.

A good speaker dock provides an attractive place to recharge your portable device and crank out some tunes, and it may even act as an alarm clock. They're a common fixture for most modern living rooms and bedrooms, keeping us entertained and ensuring that our iPods and iPhones stay charged.

With the iPad, Apple introduced a new portable product into our vernacular, and several companies, including iLuv, have responded with new lines of iPad-specific speakers and charging stations. The iLuv iMM747 ($149) is one such product, adapting a traditional, basic speaker dock design to the wider form of the iPad.

Arguably, the iPad's size and its tendency to be wrapped in third-party cases make it an awkward match for any type of docking product. As a consumer, it's certainly worth exploring other audio solutions that don't rely on a dock connection. Already, we're seeing companies such as Logitech and Aliph approach iPad owners with wireless speaker solutions, taking advantage of the iPad's Bluetooth audio capabilities.

That said, if you have your heart set on a speaker dock for your iPad, the iLuv iMM747 is one of only a few options out there. Its major competitor is the iHome iA100, which offers more features, but comes at a higher price of $199.

Design
The iLuv iMM747measures 5 inches tall, 14.5 inches wide, and 5 inches deep, putting it in the same ballpark as most iPhone and iPod speaker docks. By comparison, the Editors' Choice Award-winning Logitech S715i speaker has nearly the same footprint.

The first thing we noticed when we picked up the iLuv iMM747 is its lightweight, flimsy-feeling design. The construction is plastic through and through, with a low-budget fit and finish that's a stark contrast to the iPad's glass and aluminum. There are some highlights, such as the self-adjusting dock stand that accommodates iPods, iPhones, and iPads alike. The dock connection itself also has a little back-and-forth give to compensate for devices that are different sizes.

In front of the dock you'll find a row of five glossy buttons, offering basic control over play/pause, skip, and volume. The controls behave as expected, but they're a bit redundant next to the iPad's own generously sized touch-screen controls. The front right corner of the dock includes a simple power button, activating the dock's speakers and illuminating the blue LED on the front of the system. It's worth noting that the iLuv iMM747 will charge any docked device, regardless of whether the speakers are powered on.

The back of the iLuv iMM747 includes ports for pass-through USB, aux input, and a power adapter. An iLuv-branded black plastic kickstand also protrudes an inch from the back, helping to prevent the unit from toppling over when you're jabbing your finger at the iPad's touch screen.

Features
The iLuv iMM747 has no significant features or extras to speak of. It works with your iPad--that's its bedrock feature. Anything else you might expect, such as a remote control, radio, alarm clock, Bluetooth, EQ, or battery power, just isn't here. You can spin it as simplicity, but at $149, we think of it more as an oversight.

Performance
The iLuv iMM747 has a nice, crisp sound, balanced out on the low end with two downward-firing passive radiator woofers beneath the enclosure for each speaker. It's not a stand-out performer, though, and not terribly loud compared with its cousins in the iPhone speaker world.

Another practical hurdle faced by the iLuv iMM747 is its locked portrait orientation, which isn't ideal for watching video content on the iPad. If you really want a flexible speaker for gaming and videos, you're better off with a Bluetooth speaker, such as the Creative D100. If charging is your main priority and your audio demands don't go beyond light background music and slideshow audio, the iLuv iMM747 isn't a bad way to go if you can nab one closer to $100.

iLuv iMM747
6.0

iLuv iMM747

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 6