iDM15 a cleverly designed, portable, stereo Bluetooth speaker system
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iDM15 a cleverly designed, portable, stereo Bluetooth speaker system

If you're looking for a pair of compact, wireless speakers for your iPhone, iPod or iPad that have adequate sound look no further than iHome's ( US$99.99 iDM15. It's a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker system.

In addition to iOS devices, the iDM15 also works with a computer, handheld game system and just about any gadget that supports wireless streaming of music via Bluetooth. What's more, the iDM15 sports a speakerphone with built-in mic and answer/end buttons to take calls using the iPhone or other Bluetooth-enable cell phones.

There's a built-in internal rechargeable lithium ion battery. You charge it by connecting the iDM15 to your Mac (or PC, if you must) via a USB connector. The first charge takes about eight hours, and the iHome device will run about five hours on a charge.

Pairing the iDM15 to your device is easy. I won't go into details here, but the process is explained in the short, but thorough, manual that comes with the iHome product. You can also use a line-in jack to listen to a non-Bluetooth device.

The iDM15 comes with a flexible travel case, which is convenient as its compact form makes it a natural for taking it on the road. When you're traveling with the speaker system, move the Travel Lock switch on the back of the right speaker to the lock position to temporarily disable the unit; this prevents the iDM15 from being accidentally powered up and draining the battery. Once you've arrived at your destination, move the Travel Lock switch to the Bluetooth or Aux position to use it as you normally would.

What's more, the case can morph into a stand for the iPad, iPhone or iPod. To use it as a stand, press in the center of the case where indicated to release the lid on the case.

Place the base of the case upside down on a flat, stable surface with the tab facing forward. Slide the top -- you can tell it's the top because the iHome brand badge will face upwards -- onto the tab at the bottom/stand. Place the iOS device into the groove. When it comes to iPads, keep 'em in landscape mode for the most stability.

The right speaker contains most of the gadget's electronics, including iDM15’s battery and Bluetooth hardware. There's a cord that attaches to the left speaker to provide stereo audio. So I guess you could argue that the iDM15 isn't truly wireless, but why quibble?

The speaker-into-stand and ability to stow the speakers in the stand for transport shows the thought the folks at iHome put into the design of the iDM15. As for audio quality, it's good, not great. The use of SRS TruBass offers respectable volume and quality, but lacks depth and expanse. For a desktop or bedside speaker system, however, it works well enough.

Rating: 7 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers

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