iHome iW3 AirPlay Speaker

28 October 2013

Earlier this year, in May, I purchased the iHome iW3 AirPlay Rechargeable Wireless Audio System - Black and now I am regretting the money spent.

From the moment I opened it and attempted to connect it to WiFi it had problems. It took me a while to get it to connect and stay connected to my WiFi, an Apple AirPort Express Base Station (MC414LL/A). Once it was connected, it stayed that way for a while and seemed to work most of the time. I only used this AirPlay speaker mainly in the mornings as I prepared for work and maybe once in a while on the weekends. Needless to say it was used sparingly.

Sometimes, it wouldn't connect to my iPad via AirPlay and I'd have to turn it off and on a few times before it would connect. Other times while playing music it would drop the signal and come back on it's own after a few seconds or sometimes not at all. The iPad would still be playing and sending its signal over AirPlay but the speaker wasn't playing anything.

When it would that I would sometimes plug the iPad or iPhone into it directly using the USB interface and that would work.

From the beginning the battery life wasn't very good. It wouldn't last six hours off the charger in standby mode. Playing music on it while not on the charger would obviously work for less time.

Last week, the speaker quit working altogether. It wouldn't connect via AirPlay at all, and it wouldn't switch to USB mode to play music directly from a connected device. Then a day later it wouldn't even turn on despite having a full charge.

This product has been nothing but a pain since day one. I will say though that when it would work the sound was very good. For its size it had good bass response, mids and highs.

I looked it up on the iHome website and it's now a discontinued model. If you're looking for something like this, keep looking and don't buy this model. I doubt I'll buy anything from iHome again. Their stuff is expensive and my experience with this device was sub-par.

Download the pdf version with pictures here.