While you’d think that the competition for AirPlay speakers would be fierce, you’d be mistaken. For some reason, there are massive numbers of docks and wireless speakers, but very few AirPlay speakers come to mind.
For some time now, those of us who live in the tech world have been waiting for the iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker to arrive. Even though it has taken awhile for this speaker to hit the market, you’re bound to be happy with what this AirPlay device has to offer.
If you want to hook up your iOS device to a portable speaker without any problems, you’ll find that the iHome iW1 is easily one of the best options available.
I will make a quick note that Sony (and some other manufacturers) are working on AirPlay speakers to rival iHome’s offering, but these speakers were not on the market at the time of this writing.
The AirPlay vs. Bluetooth Debate
Some people will strongly argue that AirPlay just makes everything sound better. Bluetooth had its moment in the sun, but (dare I say?) Bluetooth may be on its way out as far as audio is concerned. Bluetooth devices come with dongles, and dongles can get in the way. If you’re used to Bluetooth speakers, you know what I mean. On the other hand, AirPlay isn’t perfect either.
The main problem with AirPlay is that any AirPlay device must run on your home wireless network. So, if you have a few AirPlay devices in your home, and a number of people using these devices, you can bet that connectivity may be dropped at some point or another. This can be a real pain for obvious reasons. The choice is really yours, but it’s looking like AirPlay devices are a lot more promising these days than Bluetooth offerings.
Sound Quality and Portability
No speaker is worth its weight (and this one weighs around 6 pounds) without decent sound quality. So, how does the iHome iW1 measure up? This speaker comes with two 1-inch tweeters and three 2-inch woofers. As such, this speaker does a good job of broadcasting your favorite tunes. But, this is not a speaker for you if you’re looking to fill a whole house or large room with sound.
Reportedly, this speaker works magic when playing rock music. Some reviewers have noted that the iHome iW1 isn’t the speaker to choose if you want to listen to folk, acoustic, or other silent genres. If you aim to crank up the volume on your favorite head-banging album, then this is the speaker to choose.
However, I will warn you that this is not a speaker to end all speakers. It’s a battery-powered (rechargeable), portable speaker that serves a direct purpose: to make listening to your iTunes song list easier.
The iHome iW1 is now available through a number of retailers. If you want to check out this speaker before you buy anything (always recommended), you will have to head to a speaker-specialty store. I recommend that you listen to this speaker side-by-side a Bluetooth offering to see which one appeals to you.