The iHome iD9 Portable Rechargeable Speaker for iPad/iPhone/iPod is a very nice portable speaker system to take on the road or in the boat along with your iOS device.
iHome makes a ton of really nice products that are geared for your iOS device. They were the first company out of the gate with their iPod clock radio in 2005, and they’ve never looked back.
Combining a slim design with styling that compliments the iPad, in particular, the iD9 provides users with a fun way to access the music stored on their iPad without the wires.
The iD9 comes with a Lithium battery that holds a charge that’s rated at up to 4.5 hours of playback time. My test lasted a bit longer than 4.5 hours. I plugged a full charged iPad into the dock and turned the volume to a comfortable listening level and let it run until the battery ran dead. When the battery finally died after 18.5 hours of continuous play there was still a 90% charge left on the iPad. I realize that varies depending on how loud you play your music, and I expect it might be different for each iOS device, but my iPad lasted that long. To say I was impressed would be understating things somewhat.
The iD9 will work with the iPad and iPad 2, although for the latter you’ll need a separate insert, which is available for under $5 from iHome. All future models of the iD9 will ship with this insert in the box, so you’ll only need to worry about it if you buy it right now.
All iOS devices will charge from the dock, which provides a 2.1-Amp charge, so as long as the iD9 is plugged in your iOS device will charge. It won’t charge when unplugged and running on batter power.
The two speakers in the iD9 put out 5W per channel, with the folks at iHome saying that the iD9 uses the “SRS TruBass Digital sound processing to give your music extra bass and clarity” and the “Reson8® speaker chambers specially designed high-end drivers deliver astounding clarity, depth and power.”
It’s true that there’s plenty of volume to go around with the iD9. The treble and midrange sound is more than adequate, but the bass is a little lacking. The music is clear and well-defined with virtually no amp hiss unless you crank it up, and even then, although there’s some hiss, the sound doesn’t distort. This isn’t audiophile sound, but I’ll tell you that it sounds great at the cabin or on the deck.
Like many iHome products, the iD9 will work with the iHome + Sleep App, which turns the device into a fully functioning alarm clock. It might be a bit large for your bedside table, but if you have the space and think an iPad would make a great alarm clock then here’s the chance to fill your boots.
I have to say that, although the iD9 will work perfectly with the iPhone and iPods, they look kind of goofy sitting in the middle of this device. It’s 12.75” W x 4.1” D x 2.1” H and weighs 3.5 pounds, so it dwarfs iPhones and iPods and absolutely looks like it’s primarily designed for the iPad.
The downer with the iD9 is that it does not come with a remote. I think a remote is a necessity for this device. Although you can change the volume by selecting the + and – buttons on the iD9, it’s a lot more convenient to use a remote and in my book, the less you’re touching your iPad while it’s sitting in a dock the better. Although the iPad sits fairly securely in the dock, the bottom line is that not all of the iPad is supported on the back.
Available in Canada for under $100 the iD9 is certainly a worthy companion for your iPad or iPad 2 and most of your other iOS devices. Very good sound combined with wireless versatility and amazing batter life make this device a winner.