I like this stereo alarm clock, iPhone charger a LOT. It does good service as an alarm clock that allows for using FM radio broadcasts or music from your own iDevice to wake up to. It charges your device whenever it is on the dock, so if you use it with an iPhone5, as I do, you get to wake up to the music you want as well as to a fully charged iPhone to start your day! With a footprint of 5″ square, it fits easily on most limited-space surfaces … Like the end table next to your bed or on an already busy and crowded desk at the office.
The clock automatically syncs with your device so is always accurate. Other design features worth mentioning include 1) a USB port to connect other devices (including older iDevices using the 30-pin adapters and any other product that can be connected with a USB plug; 2) a full range of sleep/wake/snooze settings; and a built-in back-up L-Ion battery to continue to provide time and wake-up service when there is an interruption in AC power. It is simple black with brushed metal accents and will fit easily into any imaginable decor.
I was surprised to hear the good quality sound from this rather small device. It will not provide full-range concert volume stereo – nor should it be expected to. In an office or small guest room, in the kitchen or a contained dining area, it is entirely adequate. Moreover, when used as intended (as an alarm clock) at bedside, it provides better sound quality than any “clock radio” I have ever encountered. I had been using a much larger Bluetooth speaker with my iPhone that was OK, but lacked stereo and while louder that this iHome iPL10, provided less rich sound quality.
The iPL10 offers the options of waking to preset FM stations (for some strange reason, it has no AM tuner,) to a built-in gentle buzzer or to the last played tune on your iDevice or other connected player.
The Most Common Complaint:
The most common complaints about this iPL10 moan on and on about the fact that an iPhone in a case will not fit on the Lightning plug. Of course not – No devices, that I know of, compensate for the width of the phone cover. This would be difficult to build for since each case is of different dimension! People have complained that it is a nuisance to remove their protective cases in order to use this device.
My solution: Get a dockable case! My personal favorite is the Candy Shell Slip Dockable Case by SPECK. Problem is solved for this and all other Lightning docking devices. (The SPECK case currently retails here on Amazon for under $26. Check it out!)
One Annoying Design Oversight:
There are no designated “Hour” set button, so any change in setting must be accomplished by holding down “+” and “-” buttons as the individual minutes roll (quickly but not immediately) on in either direction. Although it only takes a couple of minutes to more the alarm setting 23 hours and 59 minutes ahead or back, it is annoying and point to a design oversight that would have made this device even better than it already is. This is the primary reason for the less than perfect rating.
This is a nicely designed, functional and welcome device that while built for iDevices with Lightning connectors, can and does accommodate ANY other device connectable via a USB port. Give it a try – Give it a listen. Amazon is great about returns if you do not like it, but I think you will – especially once you procure an appropriate (and ubiquitously necessary) “dockable” case.