iHome Bluetooth Speaker brings powerful sound and colorful light show.
I have been a fan of Bluetooth speakers for a long time. I recently tried getting my parents to grasp onto the ‘coolness’ of what they can provide you, but it wasn’t until I brought the iHome Color Changing Wireless Stereo Speaker to their house did my mom finally get it. The speaker is a standard Bluetooth speaker, but it changes colors in a variety of modes and creates a veritable light show while you listen to your favorite music.
The set-up is very easy as many iHome products are. You simply turn the speaker on and it automatically enters Bluetooth pairing mode. Then, you open the Bluetooth setting on your phone. For me, I tested the speaker out with my iPhone 7 and the speaker appeared as iHome iBT84_ble in my Bluetooth device menu. My phone only took a few seconds to connect to the speaker and I was able to start listening to holiday music with no problem.
As I was unpacking the speaker, I noticed the labels on the box that stated ‘App Enhanced’. I knew that meant that there was an app available for it to control some aspect of its features. I was surprised to find that there wasn’t a QR code included to download the app directly to your mobile device. Instead, I had to hunt for the app name within the user guide that was included. That too, was a bit of a feat as it was buried under ‘Using Color Modes’. I even tried searching the App Store and found that iHome has several different apps available for their various devices. I would love to see the app for this speaker be a little easier to find (click here to download iHome Enhance). That said, after I downloaded it, I found that it was a very simple app. It might have different control features available depending on the device you are connecting to, but for this speaker, it only has the ability to change the lighting mode and brightness level.
As for controls on the device itself, the power button is on the top of the speaker. You depress it gently (you can feel a very small click) and the speaker turns on. If you press and hold, it will turn off. The other controls are on the back of the speaker. There is a color changing mode button, answer/hang up button and volume control. Then, beneath the ‘trap door’ are the Micro USB input port, standard USB output port, and aux port. The flap prevents any fluid from seeping into the speaker thus maintaining the splash proof nature of the device. This flap is a little tough to get open and closed again, but that makes a certain amount of sense. I was surprised to find that the volume control only increases/decreases the standard volume of the device it’s connected to – it doesn’t have it’s only internal volume. This is not a deal breaker for me — I just found it interesting.
I’ve used other color-changing wireless speakers before and one of the real redeeming qualities of this one is that you can charge your phone from its internal battery. My iPhone 7 was at a level of 33% when I plugged it into the speaker and I gained approximately 20% before unplugging it from the iHome. It is recommended that you don’t charge from the speaker unless it’s fully charged and mine was not so it discharged really quickly.
I do like the iHome Color Changing speaker with built-in power bank and think it’s a great piece for a desktop. It’s portable even though it’s a little bigger than some wireless speakers and it puts out a great sound.
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