Monday, December 31, 2007

iHome 2Go Review

My wife got an 8 gigabyte iPod Nano for Christmas. Of course I added a $50 iTunes gift card, a belt-clip case, and an alarm clock/dock for it. She seems to enjoy waking up to music. I was so enamored of the dock/clock that I picked up an iHome 2Go for myself and my iPod Touch.

iHome 2Go
$79.99 at Target and comes with a nice padded vinyl case, an AC power adapter, an 1/8" stereo patch cord, and a few dock adapters for various ipod models. There was no adapter for my Touch, but the adapter that came with my Touch does work. Other adapters are available through an 800 number included in the literature. I am extremely dissappointed that the 2Go didn't come with a remote control. The box contained a "special" offer for the optional remote for "only" $19.99. I can get a great universal remote with learning ability for less. The markup on the remote for the 2Go is extortion. The 2Go itself only has simple controls for the ipod on it. You can play or pause and control the volume up or down. The remote would add mute, next and previous song, scan forward and back, and control over the snooze function and alarm reset of the 2Go itself. Speakers fold up to face forward and fold down flat to let the 2Go fit in it's portable case. The 2Go will run on 4 AA batteries, with an additional small watch cell to maintain the clock setting. Sound is pretty good, although the small speakers don't do bass frequencies at all. Packaging advertises an SRS sound feature. It can be activated with the remote control or by pressing a button on the right side of the unit. SRS adds a little depth to the sound, but the effect is more a gimic than a useful feature. Small speakers are small speakers. You get only what they are capable of. There is an audio/video output and an auxiliary audio input jack on the back. The A/V jack can be used for just audio output using the included patch cable, but a special cable will be required for outputting a Video iPod's video and audio to a TV. It also appears this iHome 2Go doesn't support my Touch's video output.

As an alarm clock the 2G0 has a seperate play/wake-up volume setting. You can have the music at a louder or softer level when waking up than you do when the 2Go is in sleep mode. It's not hard to set, although the buttons have more functions than they are labelled for. The user manual does provide fairly clear instructions. There is no radio or other option. If no iPod is attached the iHome 2Go will buzz like any ordinary alarm clock. Other media sources can be played through the auxiliary input, but not if an ipod is attached as the ipod uses the same amplifier channel.

I'll give the iHome 2Go a 7 out of 10 points. It loses 2 points for not including a remote control, and another point for not having onboard buttons for the functions available on the remote. The 2Go appears to come with the remote if you buy it from Of course it will be $20 more expensive. I suspect Target negotiated for a lower price and iHome responded by removing the remote control from the boxes Target sells.

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