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    Sunday, December 17, 2006

    Smart design + attention to detail = iHooked

    The iHome series of products, created by Sound Design Inc., really are marvelous inventions. Given the tasteless onslaught of iPod accessories and add-ons this year, the ability to cut through the glut of junk on store shelves and offer something of real value is impressive. Which brings me to the point of this post: I love the iHome iH7R.

    Sound Design promotes it as a "home system for your iPod" but it's basically an alarm clock on steroids. What I'm really loving about the iH7R is its fine attention to detail, like:

    The packaging is quite nice a la Apple products
    The ability to both play an iPod as well as charge a Shuffle at the same time using a second dock
    An expansion speaker to put on the other side of the room (or bed) to get a fuller stereo sound
    A handy remote control whose snooze button doubles as a dimmer button to incrementally dim the display at night
    A dual alarm so you can set each alarm time with your choice of buzzer, radio or iPod
    Date and time already set properly out of the box
    Line out and line in for various uses
    Auto-adjust to daylight savings

    And you're wondering about the sound quality, I know. It's surprisingly bright and clear. It has a built in EQ to adjust your highs, mids and lows. Of course it can't compete with the crystal quality of the Bose Sounddock, but it holds its own as an impressive little device.

    Computer and music stores have been riddled with iPod gadgets for a while now. Often the stuff takes up whole wall displays. Now we're finding that every kind of shop is jumping on the iPod bandwagon - I got my iH7R at Linens 'n Things with a 20% discount coupon (an early Christmas present to myself).

    If you're looking to expand the possibilities of your iPod but don't know how to wade through the iCrap, let me steer you in the direction of the iHome products. The combination of smart design and attention to detail has me hooked.