iHome iP1 Studio Series iPod Dock Looks Nice, Sounds Nice

For an iPod dock anyway. Most impressive is the woofer and tweeter pushing through a transparent pane of lucite-like plastic in the front. There's also some kind of active EQ that iHome's pretty proud of.

Tony Bongiovi, producer of lots of great rock albums and founder of the legendary Power Station recording studio here in NYC and second cousin to Jon Bon helped iHome develop said processing profile, called DPS. Basically, it's like the "loudness" switch on your dad's stereo—it boosts high- and low-end frequency, but the claim to newness here is that the software actively evaluates the frequency profile of whatever MP3s you feed into it and provides boost where it's needed. Dubious? Maybe. And does it sound more amazing than any iPod dock ever? Of course not.

I heard it next to some Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors (playing 160kbps Apple Store MP3s) and yeah, the monitors sounded better. Of course. But the iHome doesn't sound bad.

Keep in mind you can get a great (and probably superior, soundwise) 2.1 setup for half the cost of the $US300 iP1, but if you need an actual dock input, love the speakers-through-lucite look and have $US300 to burn, sure, why not.

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