This is our second boombox in the last three reviews we’ve done and what can we say, we love throwbacks to the devices of yesteryear. But what makes iHome’s take on the classic design different? Well, how about making the whole thing out of plastic that ends up giving it a look that is all their own.
- Fully equipped with FM Stereo radio
- Available in only 2 colors (Gray / Pink)
- Comes packed with a remote
- Portable with 6 D-Cell batteries (not included)
What defined the 80’s generations in movies were the house party scenes and kids decked out in clothing styles that would make even today’s kids blush. But one big staple that would consistently return were those JVC boomboxes fixed atop that one guy’s shoulder as he walked around the shot. The iP4 by iHome plays to its nostalgic roots and designed their own version of the classic boombox by leaving out any mention to tapes or cds and replacing those outdated formats by adding an iPhone / iPod dock. Everyone’s got a iPod nowadays right? Well, even if you don’t they’ve made adjustments for you too.
For what it is and what it does it’s pretty great seeing iHome build such a portable music player into such a small body. At 17 inches long, only 9 inches wide, and a hair shy of 5 inches tall, the only thing that really hinders its build is that it weighs nearly 8lbs. Beneath the rubbery exterior is your typical plastic, but if you don’t beat it up too much by being careless with it then you’ll appreciate the rubber really does a good job at masking scratches and keeping itself safe.
Design and Specs
But what makes up the guts inside this beast? Well, besides being powered by a D-Class amplifier, how about twin-4 inch carbon composite woofers aside the centered iPod dock, and then matched with twin-1 inch ferro fluid cooled tweeters located at each of the top corners. On the inside of those top tweeters are your volume and tuning knobs — but hold up, did someone say “tuning”? Just wondering, but are the youth of today even aware that there’s a free radio waves just hoping to be listened to? Nah, I don’t think so. Not with Spotify, Last.FM, Pandora, Youtube, and Rdio doing all the music discovery for them.
The iP4 also offers a 5 band equalizer that can be monitored through an LCD display fixed right above the “sliders” which are really nothing but buttons. And if you’re jamming during the night hours then you’ll appreciate that those buttons are also backlit. Yeah, we’re getting fancy here and for $200 bones it might as well give you bang for your buck. On the unit itself you’ll also find a cut-out spot for situating the magnetic, wireless remote that will handle switching tracks, volume control, and turning the boombox on and off.
In terms of portability, the iP4 is designed with a handle for carrying around but it also has an optional strap you can fix onto its sides that comes at no additional charge. And if you really feel like you want to live 30 years ago, the bottom of iP4 has housing for 6, yep that’s right, six D-cell batteries if you want to take it out in the wild and have no access to a power outlet. And on a side note, whenever your iPod / iPhone is sitting on the dock and the iP4 is turned on you won’t have to worry about your media player losing power since the boombox automatically juices up your iDevice.
Oh, and like I mentioned on the outset. If you’re a classic 80’s rebel and / or are a hipster and are styling a Zune or even a Sony Walkman then the rear of the iP4 offers you a AUX jack to connect to such devices.
Now let’s talk audio quality. If you’re new to adjusting an equalizer then getting the proper sweet spot for most of your jams will probably be a matter of leveling everything out to the same degree and turning on the SRS TruBass feature on. But for everyone else, if you’re looking for that perfect sound then the iP4 has got you covered. It may take some time to fine tune everything up, especially with the included SRS processing, but once you got things up and running the iP4 has definitely got the advantage against other retro throwbacks. But speaking of tuning… would you believe that even though iHome threw in an FM radio antenna they didn’t give users the option to preset stations. Yeah, it’s a bit of a drag having to physically turn the knob on all your favorite stations by hand each time you want to listen in on them.
If you jumped into your personal time machine and set the dial to 1987 and brought along an iP4 boombox then you’d be the talk of the town. It offers all the classic novelties; portability, great sound performance, and even a look that would fit you in to any hipster household. iHome continues to build better products with each iteration, even if it does take them a couple of tries to get it right. The iP4 is a perfect device for anyone looking to host their next social outing, indoors or out, provided you don’t mind stocking up on D-cell batteries.
- Unique yet familiar retro design
- Equalizer offers great, custom sound performance
- Built in FM stereo and packed with a remote, carrying strap, and AUX out line
- Takes 6 D-Cell batteries for portable use
- No FM radio station presets
Where to buy