iHome's new iP1: Minimalist style, maximum power


No, that's not a demo for in-wall or car speakers, that's a finished iPod speaker dock. It's the iHome iP1, the company's new flagship iPod speaker system. iHome showed it off last night at a press event on Manhattan's west side, where it capped the company's impressive selection of 22 iPod/iPhone speaker products.

Love it or hate it, iHome's iP1 iPod speaker system certainly makes an impression, with its transparent, smoke-colored chassis that does nothing to hide its components. The system's two 4-inch woofers and two 1-inch tweeters are in full view, bare grills/drivers mounted in large black cans, seemingly floating on a smokey acrylic plate. With 100 watts from a built-in class D amp driving it, the iP1 is iHome's most powerful audio device. It might not rattle any walls, but for an iPod dock it's pretty impressive.

The system features a Bongiovi Acoustics audio processor, enabled by the stylized, glowing blue button on the dock itself (one of the few flashy bits on the device). According to iHome, the processor can restore compressed audio files (like MP3s) to near original quality. It's a lofty statement, and I'll believe it when I hear it.

The iP1 ships later this August, and will retail for $300.

Will Greenwald