For many years, saying “iPhone dock” would most likely bring to mind the name iHome. They are in fact the ones who brought these phone docks to the masses. iHome was back this year at CES to show off it’s current product line as well as some new items that they are excited to bring to the market. iHome will be bringing multiple docks to the market as well as standalone bluetooth speakers. The massive lineup includes the colorful iBT28B, NFC enabled iBN180, space saving iPL22 portable alarm clock dock, dual alarm iDL46 alarm clock dock, ultra-rugged iBN6 bluetooth speaker, portable bluetooth speakerphone iBN48, and docking IBT30 speaker.
The IBT28B is the fun-version of of bluetooth alarm clocks. With it’s translucent cabinet and color changing LED’s, you can select up to 5 different colors and 4 color modes also including 4 wake up modes to get up to exactly the color or party of colors that you want. Streaming audio occurs over bluetooth from whatever device you have and the dock even includes a rear USB port for charging off of. A trend in iHome gear, you can set 2 alarms each of which can be either bluetooth audio, FM radio (6 station presets on that radio as well), or the traditional buzzer. It also features a backup battery for the alarm so you don’t miss out on whatever you have going on that day. It has sound covered with iHome’s Reson8 speaker chamber technology which combined with the Dawn, Flash, or Glowing Sequence alarm color modes should be sure to wake you up just how you want.
If something colorful but not as “flashy” is your style, you may want to check out the iBN180. These are soft touch rubberized alarm clock speakers that come in a variety of colors including grey, blue, green, purple, and white (subject to specific naming schemes). While this can also wake you up or put you to sleep with bluetooth audio, it gives the advantage of NFC capability for instant bluetooth setup. Just like the IBT28B it offers dual alarms and 6 station presets with a USB connection on the rear for charging your devices. If you prefer, you can also use the AUX-in jack (3.5mm) on the rear.
Getting a bit more serious about docks and alarm clocks, iHome has the iPL22. This dock is the smaller of the iPL22/iDL46 combo. It features a lightning port for docking your iPhone 5/5s/5c as well as alarm functionality. Using the lightning connection it can charge your phone at 1 amp It also has EXB Expanded Bass as well as the Reson8 technology. Auto sync sets the time automatically based on your iPhone’s time, and the dock is compatible with iHome apps available in the App Store. The dock also features an AUX-in in case you want to connect a non-lightning device.
Just like the iPL22, the iDL46 is also an FM alarm clock/dock combo. It’s larger than the iPL22 and features 2.1 amp charging vs the 1 amp of it’s smaller brother. It also features a USB port on the rear for attaching/charging other devices. It has the same auto-sync of time as well as dual alarms, 6 station memory presets. Controls offered are bass, treble, and 3d sound controls. Featuring the Reson8 speaker chambers, it definitely boasts a beefier sound than it’s siblings.
Finally, if you’re just in the market for a rugged bluetooth portable speaker, you should check out the iBN6. The iBN6 is a rugged portable bluetooth speaker with speakerphone, NFC for instant bluetooth setup, and USB charging. This thing meets the IPX-7 waterproof rating. The IP codes are nothing new to the engineering world, however just saying IPX-7 might not mean much to you. IPX-7 means that the device can withstand being submerged under water at 1 meter for over 30 minutes. It comes with a 4400 mAH battery that can charge your device (like a battery bank would), aux-in jack, and a carabiner clip with built in bottle opener. The buttons and lights on the devices allow you to see power and connection status as well as make calls/end calls with the built in mic. Add in an indoor/outdoor EQ switch which offers a “slight high end boost for outdoor use” and you have a fun traveling speaker.
If you don’t need the outdoor ruggedness, check out the iBN48. This speaker is larger than the iBN6 but offers all of the same features plus things like ATI SoundClear voice echo cancellation for clearer calls through it’s speakerphone.