iHome iD55 Review

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This speaker dock doesn't have a lot of extra features, but it strikes just the right balance of affordability and sound quality. It's also light enough to be a portable system but big enough to hold an iPad. The 30-pin connector accommodates most iPhones and iPods, as well, although not the latest generation of Apple devices with the Lightning connector.

The iHome iD55 is one of the best budget speaker docks we came across for iPods, iPhones, and even iPads, yet it's also one of the cheapest. At Gadget Mac, an iHome iD55 review points to the sliding faux-leather cover, which gives the speaker a high-quality feel and classy look. The reviewer is less impressed with the performance, noting pretty good bass but jumbled mids and highs. Other iHome iD55 reviews praise the sound, however. An expert from iLounge says the dock produces good midrange detail and the bass is deeper than you'll hear on most cheap, small speakers. One gripe in this iHome iD55 review: The speaker isn't very loud. A reviewer from The Gadgeteer seconds that quibble with the volume but lauds the speaker for playing clean, clear audio with no distortion.

The iHome iD55 (starting at $76, Amazon) has a 30-pin connector, so it supports a large number of previous-generation iPods, iPhones, and iPads. However, the dock can't accommodate the newest Apple devices, such as the iPhone 5 and iPad 4, which have Lightning connectors. Still, the iHome iD55 has an auxiliary-in jack, so you can connect it via cable to the latest devices, as well as other MP3 players. This dock is light and compact enough to be portable, at 2.64 pounds, and can run on four AA batteries. It also comes with an AC adapter for plugging into the wall and will charge any device on the dock.

Don't expect the iHome iD55 to knock you out of your chair with its volume -- most small iPod speaker systems aren't designed for that. However, this dock does sound good considering its size and cost, reviewers say. The unit is substantial yet portable, with a sliding cover that not only protects but adds style. Overall, this is a winning product.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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