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iLuv iSP110 review: iLuv iSP110

iLuv iSP110

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
2 min read

Being able to take and play music on-the-go isn't as practical as we all hope it would be. There are plenty of portable music systems out there, but most require power or some sort of extravagant rechargeable battery system.


iLuv iSP110

The Good

The <b>iLuv iSP110</b> is a small, inexpensive, discreet, and decent-sounding ultraportable speaker case. Its built-in 1/8-inch jack can play any device with a headphone jack, and the soft inner pouch can protect it during playback.

The Bad

The small speakers won't play clearly at a loud volume, and we wish the 1/8-inch jack was a bit longer than just 6.5 inches. A built-in stand would have been nice, too.

The Bottom Line

Because it's so cheap and provides a better-than-expected sound, the $15 iLuv iSP110 is great for ultraportable music scenarios where anything powered or heavy just isn't practical.

Without having to revert to using a smartphone's speaker (gasp!), iLuv has provided a practical, discreet, and ultraportable way to play music on the go. The iSP110 won't wake up the neighbors, but for scenarios that won't allow for any other bulky or powered alternatives, it does the trick.

Not too much bigger than a sunglasses case, the iSP110 comes in a variety of colors. On its outside lays a clip for attaching to anything from a belt buckle to a golf bag, and a tethered zipper keeps the case shut and your music player protected from the elements.

Inside is a compartment for two AA batteries (not included) and an on/off power switch. In the adjacent pouch is a fishnet sleeve that can hold most small media player devices. We were able to cram our hefty HTC Evo 4G along with an extended battery snugly into the pouch. That's about the biggest item that can fit, so be sure to take note before a purchase.

Some more wire slack would have been a nice touch.

A 6.5-inch 1/8-inch headphone wire protrudes from the speaker side of the case. While it's enough slack for an item tucked inside the speaker case, it might be tough attaching it to a larger device. Of course the iSP110 is focused on mobility, so that probably won't be much of an issue, but having more slack is never a bad thing.

Also, we really wish iLuv implemented some sort of stand for the outside of the speaker case. Sure, we had no problem wedging something under it to project sound on an angle, but something built-in here would have really been nice.

We propped the speaker case up ourselves here.

Performance-wise the iSP110 packs in a better-than-expected oomph, delivering a clear if slightly tinny sound. Of course with traits like this, don't expect bass to be very noticeable, but nevertheless the speaker case gives you a much larger sound than, say, playing music right off your smartphone.

In our week of testing we didn't once require new batteries, so it's safe to say they'll last you for a while. That said, carrying a spare pair of AAs won't take up much space, so best to have them handy.

We appreciate how the iLuv iSP110 tries to address a very specific demographic who needs a bare-bones way to play music for unique scenarios. The speaker case is great for the beach, a round of golf, or a picnic. And because it's priced at $15 (and even cheaper online), picking it up seems like a no-brainer. If you lower your expectations to what a $15 portable speaker case should sound like then the iSP110 will certainly impress.


iLuv iSP110

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 6