iHome iW1 User Experience

Were you one of the first to get your hands on the long awaited iHome iW1? Please let us, and our visitors know, by posting your first impressions in the comments below.

Here’s a few comments from our visitors moved and reposted here. Thanks to Casey Britt, Dan and Bd 🙂

Casey Britt 02. Sep, 2011 at 8:23 pm
So I just got mine in. The “free gift” is a portable iPhone speaker in a zipper case. Pretty awesome!Anyway first impressions are that the speaker isn’t exactly the highest fidelity I’ve heard, but it sounds quite good. I got it up in and running in a couple minutes. The iHome Connect app on my iphone got hung up trying to change the name of the speaker though. Tried wandering around my apartment and it seems to get pretty good reception. Even got reception up on my roof which is part of the reason I wanted this speaker. Sup party speaker!
Dan 03. Sep, 2011 at 1:47 am

Got mine an hour ago. It’s beautiful and sounds pretty great. The way it just lifts off the charger makes it truly transportable from room to room. The volume is not independent of the iPhone as far as I can tell. The bass is pretty impressive. I haven’t used it with a direct connection, only AirPlay. I also haven’t used my iMac to send music, but so far it works really well. I’m excited. The free gift was a nice bonus. A battery operated or ac line zip up speaker with dock. I inadvertently got the paisley skull pattern, but I’ll take it. Any questions ?

Bd 03. Sep, 2011 at 1:50 am

I arrived home tonight to a nice box from iHome. The iW1 set up was a breeze with the iphone app — you find your wifi and enter a password just like you were joining a network on the iPhone.

The iW1 immediately appeared in my iTunes speakers menu, and we’ve been listening to great music all night on our porch. The porch was always the one place in the house that our wireless, full home, music network never reached. I’m very happy.

As noted above, the free gift is an iP37 portable system for the iPhone/iPod. Pretty nice free gift. (I actually thought the 10% off coupon I received with my order was the promised gift.)

The sound is very good, although in a naked-ear, side-by-side test, it is not as good as an Airport Express running Bose Companion powered speakers. But moving the Bose to the porch would be a two-plug, three-component, many wire affair — so that never happened!

I’m very impressed with the touch controls on the iW1′s top. You have to be sure to set your iTunes to accept control from remote speakers, however, to get the pause/forward/back buttons to do anything. There is also a nice remote control for the iW1 (which I don’t recall being included in the initial announcement nearly a year ago). It also enables pause/forward/back control of the iTunes feeding the iW1. It also can control volume (as can the touch control top), as well as base/treble/etc. So far, I like being able to use the iW1′s remote to control volume and skip undesirable songs, rather than having to pull out the iPhone, enter my lock code, launch Remote app, wait for it to connect, and make the change to the music.

Finally, the Airport Express in our kitchen (driving the Bose Companions) always drops the music when we run the microwave. I tested the iW1 in the same spot — no dropping.

It took iHome far to long to bring this to market, but in my first night with the iW1, I am very happy. Incidentally, I was told that the delay was caused by issues from Apple, so maybe the delay was not such an epic fail by iHome as it appears on its face.

P.S. I too encountered the “bad gateway” when trying to order. I found that by hitting the back button and re-clicking the “continue” (or whatever) button, it would eventually work.

I received a prompt e-mail from iHome confirming the order (2:20 on the 31st).

I received an email notice of the UPS shipment at 3:30 yesterday, and the box arrived today.

Very good service and one happy customer.

Did you get an iHome iW1? Are you happy with it? Was it worth the wait? How is the sound? How is the battery life? Leave answers to those questions and more in the comments below.

Thanks!

, ,

29 Responses to iHome iW1 User Experience

  1. Bd September 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    An update:

    The battery life is very good. We have used it for several hours with the battery charge only dropping about 20% (as estimated by the charge status lights, which double as the volume buttons; you push a button on the back to show the battery status).

    The music has dropped a few times when I was also moving a large file over our wifi. This is on par with our experience with Apple Airport Expresses, so I don’t see any issues unique to the iW1.

    The iW1 has two “off” modes and that is a bit confusing. There is a power button on the top touch pad. Selecting this button turns off the speaker and most lights; the power button remains illuminated and the speaker remains connected over wifi. Second, on the back, there is a power switch. When switched off, all the lights go out and the wifi connection is dropped (the speaker no longer appears in iTunes). It seems that the button on the top touch pad is best thought of as “standby” rather than power. I don’t yet have any indication of the effect of “standby” on battery usage and life. I will need to experiment.

    • Chad September 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

      According to the online User’s Manual PDF, the way to conserve battery is to turn off the main power switch in the back. I don’t know how fast the battery drains on Standby. I will say though that my battery was completely dead when I got home from work today. I’m hoping it’s user error and not a faulty battery.

  2. rfp September 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Any unboxing video?

  3. Casey Britt September 6, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    Hah, I loaded up the website today to see if anyone else had replied to the previous iW1 post only to see my name at the top of the page.

    Anyway, we’ve been using the iW1 for the past few days and we’re loving it. I have a really nice pair of Studio Monitors hooked up to my desktop so the sound can’t really compare to that, but I’ve been really impressed with the sound quality. We’ve yet to really try to kill the battery, but with several hours of listening we’ve yet to notice the fact that it runs on batteries so that’s a plus.

    We live on the top floor of our building and above us is a roof deck. Part of the reason we bought it was for a party speaker up there. Turns out the range on this speaker is pretty good. I get coverage on most of the roof.

    Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their iW1s. Its definitely going to be getting a lot of use around our house.

  4. Chad September 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Mine arrived on Friday, but I was away for the holiday weekend and didn’t unbox it until yesterday afternoon. The size of the iW1 is a little smaller than expected which is good for shelf space. I would say it’s a little smaller than a Bose speaker dock. Setup was very easy. Plug in the charging base and literally just place the unit on top of the base and it starts to charge. There is a built-in handle in the back or carrying the unit. This is a good thing, not only for convenience, but 2/3rds of the iW1 are covered with a nice, soft speaker cover which you don’t want to damage by handling directly.

    Wi-Fi setup was also pretty easy. Just connect your iDevice to the back of the iW1 an fire up the iHome Connect app. From there, you can rename the device and enter your wireless settings. After about 30 seconds, the network light on the back turns green and you are ready to go. Unplug your device and fire up your Music, iPod or Remote app, select your iW1 from the Airplay menu and play a song!

    Note: If you don’t see the set up screen when you launch the iHome app or your iDevice says it’s not compatible, just reboot the iW1. Once it’s back up, try the set up again.

    I sound quality seems pretty good. Toggling off the Bongiovi processor makes a big difference, so leave it on. The treble and bass controls are on the included remote, as well as many other functions like volume and track controls.

    I can’t speak to battery life yet as I’ve only used it for a few minutes. I did take a few hours (2-3?) to fully charge. I’m looking forward to testing it out during parties on our deck. This thing is going to be perfect for that. It will also be pod Tobias in tandem with the Airport Express that is hooked up to the basement stereo. Now both floors can run the same music!

    The only odd thing I’ve found so far is that when I use my Comcast cablebox remote, the green light on the iW1 picks up the signal and flashes. I’ve noticed it when I change the volume on the TV. Very odd…

    • Chad September 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      I got a reply from iHome Support about 3rd party remote issue. They said that the iW1 will pick up IR signals, but will not respond to the commands. There is no plan to fix this issue as they said it wont affect performance. However, if it anyone experiences this and it drains the battery of your unit, please let iHome know.

  5. gryphon95 September 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I ordered right at 2 pm and was lucky enough to get 3 speakers. They arrived yesterday. Set up was a snap. The sound quality is awesome. I would rate it 10 out of 10. I was expecting clear, crisp sound, but the bass blows me away. It beats my Bose hands down. The one area where I am disappointed is that the speakers are dropping 2-3 times per song, and that happens regardless of using iTunes to send to all 3 speakers at the same time or using my iPhone to send to one speaker. This is happening everywhere I place my speakers (even in the same room as my wireless router). Is anyone else having this frustrating level of dropping?

  6. douida September 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    damned ordered mine @ 2:32 pm on 8/31 .. still backordred 🙁 sep 26
    not cool

    • AlaskaDave September 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      ordered mine at about @ 2:20 due to issues with the ordering process. Indicates preorder… whatever that means. Douida, how did you get a date of sept. 26th?

      • douida September 8, 2011 at 1:32 am #

        i called them and had them check on that order…

  7. Sonata September 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    Guys – Someone finally decided to make a review/unboxing!
    Let’s have a look 🙂

    http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2011-09/the-ihome-iw1-airplay-speaker-system-review/

    • Duss September 12, 2011 at 12:59 am #

      How many watts does the iW1 generate and how many drivers are there and what are their sizes?

      Thx

  8. Andrei September 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Hello,

    I currently have an Apple iPod Hi-Fi with AirPort Express attached. I’ve been looking for a replacement and would like to know if someone knows how the iW1 sounds in comparison to the discontinued iPod Hi-Fi? I am very satisfied with the sound but would like to get rid of the AirPort Express and also be able to charge the speaker. Currently I have to buy big bulky batteries.

    Thanks!

  9. jorbodo September 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    I have both the Airport Extreme and Airport Express and use the Express as a wifi repeater as I live in an old house with seemingly impenetrable walls. In order to get the signal from one side of the house to another, I had to repeat my primary Airport Extreme signal.

    I’m having a problem that my iW1 unit picks up audio for a few seconds, then drops it. I don’t know if it has to do with the Extreme/Express repeat setup or not, but I’m suspecting that.

    Anyone else having this issue?

    I will try to unplug the Express and see if that normalizes the iW1.

  10. brand46 September 27, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    Anybody able to order a unit today? iHome website still says temporarily unavailable.

  11. Bonnie September 27, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    I am expecting delivery on Wednesday. I have a router that needs the Mac address of the device before it will recognize it on my network and I read that someone had a problem getting this. I assume I will need this in the setup. Can anyone tell me if it will be difficult to get this information?

  12. Bonnie September 27, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    Just asked a question another setup when router requires Mac address. No need to answer because I found instructions on how to do it. Thanks anyway.

  13. Matt September 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    I missed out on the initial order window, so I emailed iHome directly. They responded and let me place an order of the phone. Just arrived last night (and I got the free portable iPhone speaker gift). Set up took about 2 minutes (mostly to download the iPhone app), and I used it to listen to a couple podcasts, using the Remote app on my iPad to control iTunes on my Macbook. This morning I switched to music and tried to just play an album. Unfortunately, audio drops out after every song. iTunes continues to play, but no sound comes out of the iW1. Hitting back to start the song over corrects the problem. I sent an email to iHome and hope to hear back. Not sure if the issue is with my wireless network, iTunes, the iW1, or the Remote app.

  14. TonyB October 2, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Folks – I had lots of drop-outs across all my Airport devices until I followed these instructions and made the following adjustments: 1) picked a wifi channel no one else was using – 3 in my case; 2) defined static IP addresses for my Airplay streaming devices in the router; 3) made adjustments to the following performance settings in the router: Beacon Interval: 75 (some say 50 is best, but I used 75 and it works), Fragmentation Interval: 2304, RTS Interval: 2306 – additional guidance that was useful is posted here: http://www.waldrondigital.com/2010/11/03/apple-airport-express-disconnected-from-network-fixed/; and 4) and disabled all Super G modes. I was a rocket scientist – but I can’t tell you which particular setting made the difference – but finally – blissful uninterrupted music. Good luck – this is a nice speaker. TB

  15. Bonnie Rottstin October 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    The unit works really well, particularly in tandem with airfoil so that I can redirect Spotify. I had good experience with customer service (even on Sunday), when I complained that I was not getting the 10 hour charge that was mentioned in the specs. Ike told me that it should have been more like 6 hours for the full battery charge depending on the mode and volume. And he saw to it that this was changed on their website in the FAQs. I have had no dropouts and the website was very specific about how to find the mac address so I could input that to the router prior to setup, which took only a few minutes. I’m happy with the item.

  16. Rod T. Reed October 19, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Trying to set up this consumer electronic device was absolutely appalling! I have four Apple TV-2s running throughout my house. The set up and operation of these devices was an absolute breeze. I can have them running all at once or individually.
    After several hours of fiddling with the 1W1 I gave up and took a nice nap. Woke up, refreshed, and ready to give it another try. That try failed too. Into the box and back to the Apple store for a refund.
    I can probably recite the instruction manual’s syncing procedure by rote after having tried it so many times. Throughout the process I would return to my Apple-TVs to make sure they continued to operate. They did. Although after each unsuccessful sync I would have to reconnect my wireless system. It kept getting knocked off with the iHome sync attempt.
    I followed the syncing procedure to a “T”. Everything went as the manual said it should. But when it came time to select the device from my airplay icon in iTunes…I got the spinning beach ball and then an error message. Plus my home wi-fi network had to be reconnected.
    After reacquiring my home wi-fe, my next move was to try one of my Apple-TVs to make sure they were still working. Perfect. Operation normal!
    Next I reset the iHome iW1 as per instructions and tried the sync again. Nada.
    Sadly the damn thing still lists itself as being a device that can be played from my iTunes AirPlay icon. That’s even after I’ve returned it and it’s now residing back in the Apple Store 20 miles away. Kind of like Herpes…you’re stuck with some vestige of bringing this thing home and having a short fling with it.
    Wireless stuff can be so quirky. There probably is some element to AirPlay that is so Apple specific and patented that third-party manufactures like iHome have to make some compromise when trying to manufacture a product that can piggy-back with Apple’s stuff.
    I have tried to maintain my computing devices so that they reside within Apple’s Universe. The iHome purchase was a brief foray outside that gated-community and the experience was not a pleasant one.
    I’ve noticed that the manufacturers who produce AirPlay printers are very limited. So I’m guessing that AirPlay just don’t play nice with products that are not Apple specific.
    I followed the iHome iW1 product announcement last year and noticed that it took a long time to get it to market. That raised my antennae, especially after the announced release date of early summer 2011 came and went. I could have saved myself some time and frustration but on the surface the device looked ideal for what I wanted…have one upstairs in a bathroom, another downstairs in my garage. Lots of good music wherever I was in this house. Time for a re-think on how to do that.

  17. Brendan October 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I believe “Bd” works for iHome.

  18. BP October 24, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    Here are my impressions after using 2 of these speakers for a couple weeks now. Setup was a breeze with the iPhone app.

    I’m very satisfied with the sound quality. It seems to benefit from being in open-space rather than in a book-shelf. I think some of the speakers are may be directionally pointed sideways rather than forward, though I haven’t take the cover off to see.

    Stylistically its clean, simple. The buttons are clean and the remote intuitive. I find I have to press harder/longer on the remote than I’d like to get it to take my command, but that’s not a big deal.

    Portability is quite handy and the battery charging base works great. Battery life in standby is pretty abysmal (<1day) which is distressing.

    No drop-outs when I use my iPhone Remote to stream from my iMac which is plugged directly into my Airport with GigE to a single speaker.

    I wish I could say the same when streaming from my iPhone or streaming to two speakers. In both cases I get a lot of drop-outs. Two streams going over the airways appears to be too much. I'm hoping protocol/firmware updates in the future will prevent drop-outs.

    • Santi January 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Like BP said, the worst thing has been the low life of the battery in standby mode.
      I have written to IHOME to ask for help about that. I will inform.

      In my case hasn’t suffered any drops-outs, but only 3 days with it.

  19. m January 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    anyone who knows how to set up iw1 with static ip?
    thx

  20. Mark Bortz January 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I have an iW1 that won’t maintain a connection to the network? It will hold a connection for maybe 10-20 minutes and then the wifi light starts flashing. Have to cycle power to get it to see the network again. All other wireless devices work fine.

    Do I have a bad unit or are they just a piece of crap?

    • Jeff Shobar January 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      Mark- I’m having the same problem. I’m wondering if you have discovered anything? I’m thinking of returning mine.

    • fretn June 6, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      I think they are a piece of crap, I have the same issues, I tried contacting the support people multiple times, they respond but are not helpful at all

  21. Nancy April 28, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    I’ve had these speakers about 7 months. I love it WHEN it works. The remote app works inconsistently. It won’t connect at all and then when I try hours later, it suddenly works without me having changed anything. It’s a mystery.

Leave a Reply