iHome iH5 Clock Radio for iPod Review

December 31, 2005

Among the booty Santa left this year was the iHome iH5 Clock Radio.

Okay, so Santa didn’t leave it — I got one for each of my kids (both in college, and not the swiftest to get up in the mornings), and had to get one for myself as well.

I love it.

I’ve got several sets of iPod speakers scattered around — one of the Altec Lansing inMotion speakers, a Tivoli iPal in the kitchen, etc.

This thing frankly sounds better than all of them. Plus it’s cheaper than all of them. Plus it’s a clock radio. What else could you ask for?

Well, it could be a tad bit smaller. It’s a bit on the big side for a clock radio (9.2″ wide x 5.5″ deep x 2.7″ high (without the iPod)), but I suspect that part of that allows for enough resonance to make it sound good.

Frankly, it’s worth buying as a set of speakers if for no other reason.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do other stuff well.

The radio in this thing is excellent. It comes with external antennas for both AM and FM, and it’s the only damn radio in the house that actually gets a good signal on our local FM NPR station.

The clock radio works well too. For starters, it’s self setting — set your time zone, and it will automatically get the proper time and date, and display them on a big, bright LCD display.

Of course, it wouldn’t be much good if you couldn’t use the clock radio with the iPod, would it? Well, you can. You can select from Radio, Buzzer and iPod for the alarm, and you can also use any of them with a sleep feature that is settable from 15 to 120 minutes. A soft-on / soft-off feature gradually brings the volume up from zero on the alarm, and down to zero on sleep.

If you’ve set the alarm to use the iPod, and forget to put the iPod on the dock, it will default over to buzzer.

The iHome comes with a whole raft of inserts that can be set in the dock to accommodate any dock-compatible iPod — from shuffles and nanos, to the fat-boy 60 gig photo iPods. If you have a non-iPod (or an older pre-dock iPod), you can use the supplied cable to attach it to the line in, but you won’t get the automatic on and off, or the charging feature.

There’s even a black version of the iH5 to go with black iPod Nanos.

Did I mention the nifty little remote? There’s also a nifty little remote.

Seriously, at well under $100, I can’t think of a single iPod accessory that offers as much for as little.

iHome iH5 Clock Radio for iPod

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