iPhone Life magazine

iHome gets all Bluetooth'ed up at CES!

iHome had great products on display this year at CES. Too many to cover in one shot really, but will do my level best to round up the ones that shine. Many won't be released until later this year (some maybe not at all). I skipped most of the AirPlay capable models, as we have covered several on our blogs already. They were showing a new wireless speaker that is basically the iW3 (see my review here), but with Bluetooth, which is the better option in my opinion, unless you really must rely on AirPlay. Another interesting product is a speaker accessory that turns any analog audio player into a bluetooth-capable stereo, and an on-ear BT headphone that folds up and fits in your pocket (almost). Much more iHome CES gear coverage follows...

Docks

Docks are still very much alive, and I have to start out with the iDL models (iDL95, 100, etc.), which are going to be featuring USB charge and play this year. With many of these new docks, not only can you charge multiple devices and play from them, they will even support older device types as well. Now featuring the new Lightning connector for your latest iOS device as well.

Speakers

iBT26 BT wireless speaker...

iHome is adding iBT Bluetooth capable dock models to the lineup and a few wireless speaker systems, and most of the prices will fall between $75-$100 MSRP (though a few items will be in the $100-$200 range) and released products should be available in Q1 of 2013.

...iBT26 features USB Charging W/ BT (basically the iW3 with BT instead of AirPlay) for $149 MSRP...

Headphones

The booth rep walked me through some of iHome's headphone tech, which also featured a lot of Bluetooth. The latest and greatest of which included the new iB75 in-ear. Includes remote+mic for call handling and volume control, these are the perfect headphones for active people who hate wires (which includes me). The wire between each bud simply wraps around your neck... $79.99 MSRP

Love to be able to travel with a decently wearable set of on-ear phones for the plane, but almost never do due to the bulk. The iB85 resolves this problem ($99 MSRP). See below... Comfy Bluetooth headphones with mic+remote.

The Cadillac version below called the IB90 is an over-ear model with a price tag north of $129 smackers (MSRP estimate)...

 

Other Gear

There was an actual vinyl record playing device in the booth, though not part of the iHome line, I guess. The system little more than a prototype product at this point, so not sure if it will ever make it to market... Rep was a little cagey on the details.

The iBT52 can turn any stereo device with a 3.5mm output jack into a BT system. Simply mount the main unit on the device, and you can carry the small speaker within a radius of 30 feet. Should be available around May timeframe and be at a $50 price point. Also a few new portable speakers dubbed Neon were on display.

I confess to not being able to do much live testing at the iHome booth (located in the LVH iLounge Pavilion). I barely had to time to get through many of the product details much less try them all out (due to another engagement). In general, iHome is a vendor that makes decent quality audio gear for what I consider a good price, in my opinion. Their IP 76 tower speaker won a CES Innovation award this year, and I like their aesthetically pleasing, functional and flexible design philosophy. You can check out more of their products at the links in the teaser...

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Nate Adcock's picture

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.drupalgardens.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.