looking for a bedside alarm/iphone dock - iHome?
July 24, 2010 4:26 PM   Subscribe

I want an iPhone dock to put by my bedside - I've seen cool ones that turn the iphone into a clock display when you plug it in, but I want one that works as an alarm clock with time even without the iphone plugged in (though sync/synergy functions are cool and appreciated). What do people recommend? Looking at iHome IA5BV - do people like this item?
posted by lrodman to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have an iHome I77D and I like it quite a bit, though the FM radio isn't terribly good (or at least mine isn't - even with the included antenna wire I have trouble getting several local stations). As an alarm clock, though, it's fantastic. The only other gripe is that you can't use music from the iPod source as an alarm for both alarms - both can use the buzzer, or one can use the buzzer and one can use the iPod.
posted by BZArcher at 4:36 PM on July 24, 2010

I use the iHome iP41 and it rocks! I love the sleep setting (your music will get quieter and quieter and eventually turn off). You can use your own music for the alarm, and you can watch videos by tilting the alarm clock on its "other" side. Neato! The sound quality is fairly decent too, and I love love love the big clock with adjustable light settings. That way it can be PITCH BLACK when you hit the hay. Definitely check out the info I linked. Best gift I got from my folks in 5 years. :D

Oh, and it DOES have a separate alarm setting on the alarm itself, so you don't need the iPhone.
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:44 PM on July 24, 2010

Googleing "iHome 177D" comes up with zilch.
posted by WhiteWhale at 4:45 PM on July 24, 2010

Also, I have the 3GS and it works perfectly with the iP41.
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:48 PM on July 24, 2010

Question for iP41 owners- if you don't have your iPhone plugged in, can you still use an alarm on the unit?
posted by WhiteWhale at 4:52 PM on July 24, 2010

I have this one. Works great. Has 2 alarms. Also - it has a dst switch, so to change the clocks in the spring/fall you just flip the switch.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:25 PM on July 24, 2010

I have the iHome iA5 and I hate it. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to make the alarm loud enough to wake my boyfriend out of a cold sleep, and it barely nudges me awake -- and that's only because I'm a light sleeper with a good internal clock. The documentation is useless, and I have yet to find anything helpful on the website, either.

I had one of the older models when I had an iPod 4g, and it worked great -- it seems to be something with this particular model that sucks. (And, uh, if anyone else has managed to figure out how to work that piece of engineering that is apparently smarter than me, please let me know!)
posted by Maya Cecile at 5:57 PM on July 24, 2010

I have the iHome iH51 (with an iPhone 3GS)—bought it during Circuit City's liquidation sale—and I've been perfectly happy with it. The cords for the three speakers make for a bit of a snake's nest, but they're tucked away behind the headboard where I don't have to look at them.

This model was designed for the iPod, not the iPhone, but it works just fine with my 3GS. A little popup appears on the phone when I dock it, saying something like "this device is not designed to work with iPhone, do you want to turn on Airplane Mode to reduce audio interference?" I usually say "yes", but I've never noticed any actual audio interference when I've forgotten.

I like to listen to music while I sleep, so it's nice to be able to play whatever MP3s I like through the compact stereo speakers, which I've placed on either end of my headboard.

You probably want something designed specifically for iPhone, but take this as a vote for the iHome brand in general.
posted by ixohoxi at 7:41 PM on July 24, 2010

One caution about the iPod docks / alarm clocks in general - take a look at them in person, powered on, before buying. Might be just me, but a large number of the iHome docks from a couple years ago had displays that had two brightness settings, "sear your retinas", and "light up the entire room enough that I can't sleep" (which was the "dim" setting). Further, the color of their displays used to be uniformly bluish, which I don't like in an alarm clock (I prefer dimmable red LED displays).

I know they've changed things up lately, but still haven't seen one with a display I want next to my bed when I'm trying to sleep.
posted by DaveP at 7:25 AM on July 25, 2010

Also, if they aren't specifically made for the iPhone, they aren't usually shielded and that interference buzz is often unbearable.
posted by CwgrlUp at 8:40 AM on July 25, 2010

Contrary to Maya Cecile, I have an older iHome (no idea of the model number), and can't use it as an alarm because it's so damn loud, even set to the lowest volume. Also agree that FM reception is awful.
posted by supramarginal at 9:41 AM on July 25, 2010

We have a Memorex iphone clock radio and I think it meets all your needs.

The FM is great, the lighting is right and the alarm is both loud enough and usable independent of the phone. You can stream from the phone or listen to radio (or have no audio) when the phone is plugged in. I've never noticed any interference.

It has a battery slot as well, so you can unplug it and keep the settings if you put a 9 volt in.
posted by soelo at 7:37 PM on July 25, 2010

Response by poster: The memorex looks great! Would have never found that on my own.
I went to the apple store and the (thankfully honest) salesman told me that the ihomes are crap, they fall apart and are terrible quality sound. I don't really need high quality sound (I have an old bose/nakamichi system in the living room and an (also old) altec lansing ada885 set in my bedroom, but I don't want low build quality.

Comments on iHome/philips/boston acoustics/memorex build quality? my dad has a bose soundstage, but it lacks the independent alarm functionality I desire - also, I'd prefer to stay under $100 if possible.

Do any have audio out? I could then plug this into my bedroom stereo obviating the need for high quality speakers in the clock. I'm half-tempted to buy a tiny alarm clock and to glue an iphone dock to the top of it, plugging in power and stereo out.
posted by lrodman at 8:19 AM on July 26, 2010

Response by poster: Other than the memorex, what do people think of this one?
Philips DC190

much less space (lower profile) - definitely lower quality sound it appears, but the lower profile is good, and i could use a mirror anyway
posted by lrodman at 9:17 AM on August 6, 2010

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