First impressions are always important, and the first thing I noticed about the iHome IH20W Shower-to-Beach Portable Speaker System for iPod was its weight. It was surprisingly heavy, and the case is much larger than the photo to the right would lead you to believe. Despite the brick-like weight, however, the iHome IH20W has a sleek look (only available in white) and comes with a handy hanging rope and hook to suspend from just about anywhere.
Now let’s look at some specific pros and cons on the performance of the iHome IH20W Shower-to-Beach Portable Speaker System:
Pros and Cons: The Sound
If you want your music to drown out your own voice in the shower, you’ll be happy with the speaker sound coming from the iHome IH20W. Sound quality is very good for what is essentially a mono speaker. I have found, though, that if you like to play your music loud, it is best to set your iPod volume to its highest setting first, then set the volume controls on iHome IH20W to the volume you like, or need for the surroundings. Be aware, though, that the speakers in the iHome IH20W are small; you could easily blow out the speakers if you are not careful.
Pros and Cons: The Controls
The iHome IH20W Speaker System has a control wheel for navigation, but while you can move back and forth through a playlist, you cannot access another playlist in your iPod, nor can you navigate back to the menus, etc., while your iPod is in the case. But if you need to listen to more than one playlist while you are in the shower, you may want to rethink how much time you’re spending in there.
You also cannot scroll using the iHome IH20W's control wheel, nor can you use shuffle, but the key features you'd want in an iPod accessory are there, such as pause, rewind, and fast-forward.
Pros and Cons: The Case
Big caveat: This case is not waterproof – it is only water resistant. Thus far, I have managed to keep my iPod dry, but clearly, if it were to drop into water, it could spell the end of your iPod. There are iPod speaker cases for the shower that are waterproof, but you will spend more for them. Bottom line, if you purchase the iHome IH20W, you should still be careful using the case for your iPod anywhere near water.
Note: I have yet to make it to the beach with this product, but the same caveat likely applies; that is, dropping it in the sand would likely impact your iPod similarly to dropping it in water (in part this is because you cannot keep a protective case on your iPod and then insert the iPod into the iHome IH20W case – your iPod will not fit into the iHome IH20W with a protective case).
And speaking of dropping, the iHome IH20W case is quite sturdy. I have dropped it in the house and yard and no damage to the case. Just don’t mistake its durability in water!
Finally, it's worth noting that the iHome IH20W cannot easily be set on a table or the edge of the sink because the case has latches on the side to hold your iPod in place. It is really meant to be suspended from a hook or bar. There are other options for portable iPod speakers that you can set anywhere if that is what you are looking for.