written by: Balachandar Radhakrishnan•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/20/2010
The iHome iP9 clock radio is the latest offering from the iHome stable of iPod accessories. Is this the best value iPod clock radio unit? We take a look at some of the most interesting features of the iP9 and what it brings to the game of iPod clock radios.
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Waking Up to Your Music
iPods have become the ubiquitous form of digital music media in today's world. Companies are constantly churning out accessories and add-ons to enhance your iPod experience and the clock radio is one the must haves among them. Of all the features present in the iPods the alarm is one of the most extensively used features by many. I know there are a lot of people who love to go to sleep listening to music, and honestly waking up to music is also as good. Typically you can have an alarm set on your iPod and have it docked with a speaker system and the music will wake you up to a feel good morning. The specially designed clock radio units add some more polish to this routine by throwing in a digital clock and far more flexible alarm routines to make it truly a worthy purchase.
The iHome iP9 is the latest clock radio offering from the iHome folks. The iP9 is designed to work with almost all of the iPod and iPhone generations as well as with other devices which can be connected to the unit through a line-in port. This unit differentiated itself from the previous offerings of iHome in that, the unit is shielded from interference from the iPhone. So if you are one of the users looking for a alarm radio system for your iPhone where you don't have to switch the phone to airplane mode and miss calls, this is the one you're looking for.
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The iHome iP9 has a considerable feature set that makes it one of the best iPod/iPhone alarm clocks around. Here are the set of features that impressed me the most, though I must underline the fact that this is not the complete feature set.
Weekday/weekend alarm settings - This is a nifty feature because I am late rise during the weekends and do not like to be disturbed by my weekday alarm routines. This feature is present in pricier clock radios for the iPod but at this price range, the iP9 seems to be the first!
Universal dock - Allows using most of the iPod models, now you can create a quick music system of one of older iPods that are lying around the place.
Gradual wake/Gradual sleep volume - I love this feature, its kind of a polished touch on the clock radios since they invariably blare in the morning or at time makes it hard to go to sleep. With the iP9 its just a pleasurable experience as the volume fades in and out.
Full function remote - Most clock radio units ship with a very crippled remote, in the case of the iP9 the remote lets you access all most all functions on the clock radio from a comfortable distance.
Dual alarms are most welcome, the FM presets are yet again a very thoughtful UI decision.
The most significant feature is the shielding that the iP9 provides while using the iPhone. Now you no longer need to switch your iPhone to airplane mode, yet enjoy undisturbed music listening.
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The audio quality on the iHome iP9 is surprisingly good for a product of this price range. Now, don't expect the iP9s to replace your Bose sound dock, since the primary function of the unit is to serve as a clock radio. Yet, the Reson8® speaker chambers provide appreciable audio quality to a clock radio. In fact, you would be hard pressed to notice the difference in audio quality between some of mid range iPod audio docks and the iP9. The provided equalizer settings and customisablity make this an outstandingly performing clock radio. So if you are looking for the next great iPod accessory or just for a good clock radio, you can never go wrong with the iP9 as a choice. Priced at around $85 this is a great buy for the music fan in you.