It’s almost that time of the year again when the sun is at its full peak, the air conditioning simply isn’t enough, and you’re ready to load up the car for a trip down to the beach. For most of us, the start of summer means exactly this and if you are a beach goer, enjoy picnics or events outdoors, you’ll want to continue reading our review of the iHome IDM12 portable Bluetooth speaker system.
Checking in at $69 and often available cheaper if you do your research online, the iHome IDM12 is definitely a compelling product for anyone who spends time outdoors or is looking for a lightweight, portable and wireless solution to enjoy music hassle free.
The IDM12 has a relatively small form factor measuring in at about seven inches long by about two and a quarter inches in height. Basically what this means is the device should have no problem fitting in a tote bag or even a larger purse. On the top of the unit you will find a minimalistic array of buttons consisting of a power button, volume rockers, and a play/pause button. Moving to the back side of the unit, there is a nifty pop out kickstand to hold the device up, a siding switch that toggles between auxiliary in and Bluetooth in, and finally a micro USB port which doubles for charging and contains the 3.5mm auxiliary connector for plugging in strictly wired devices with the headphone jacks. Lastly along the front if the speaker there is an LED indicator light for monitoring pairing and battery life status.
I did, however, save the most interesting part of the unit for last. The unit ships with an iPad stand that magnetically clamps to the front. At first I was a little surprised to see this and didn’t understand why it was necessary, but it wasn’t long until I fell in love with the stand and realized what a wonderful idea it was to include it because it makes it really easy to interact and change songs on your iPad.
The IDM12 offers Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming which for those who aren’t familiar, Bluetooth A2DP is a technology that lets you play audio from a wide ranges of Bluetooth supported devices such as phones, iPod Touches, computers, tablets and many more. iHome Specifically advertises the conjunction of the IDM12 with iPads and iPhones; however, other devices that support the A2DP Bluetooth streaming profile work great with the unit also
Lastly I can’t not mention the built in lithium ion battery which is definitely a huge plus. Those old days of searching throughout the store, trying to find those expensive D size batteries to power that large boom box are now over with the IDM12. Simply charge this up before you go to bed and you’re good to. One thing to note is that iHome doesn’t seem to state how long this device will last on a charge but based off my experience with the unit, I found that it lasted quite a while on charge, (couple of days) which is definitely very good.
Now for the part you’ve been waiting for—how does the unit sound? Sound quality was actually quite good for its compact size and had no problem filling a small room or outdoor space with sound. With this said, this is by no means the device you want to use to entertain a large group of people. One definite plus about the unit is its loudness and base which when compared just killed the internal iPhone and iPad speakers. Pairing was also a breeze and all that is required is you hold down the play/pause button for a few seconds and then select the IDM12 choice from the Bluetooth menu.
In all I recommend this unit for anyone who might be spending a great deal of time outside or who is looking for a lightweight portable solution with no wire mess. Everything seems to work as advertised in this product and the sound quality was much better than expected. With this said, some improvements we would like to see down the road would be a removable battery for easy swapping when the device battery dies and also a better function indicator system because the lights can be somewhat tricky to know if the product is charging, on or in the off position. With this, however, I rate this product very high since it lives up to what the company advertises and is very competitively priced considering the sound quality, wireless Bluetooth portion and great portability that this unit offers.
The iHome IDM12 is available from iHome’s website for $69.99 at and can also be found at other retailers nationwide.