Review: iLuv portable / personal audio speaker
I find myself in hotel rooms more often than the average person and it never fails that the music I want to listen to, the music on my computer or iPhone, is available if I want to use headphones or the cheesy little speakers on the devices, but if I want to have it sound good and fill the room? I'm outta luck.
If you work in an office - especially after hours - you might well have a similar desire for a nice little speaker system that you can keep neatly tucked in your desk drawer when everyone's around but pull out and enjoy when the coast is clear.
That's why I was glad to receive a review iLuv iSP100 portable speaker device. I've looked at others in this category, but the iLuv is advertised as having a different speaker technology that gives it better bass response and volume.
First off, let me say that the little gizmo sounds great. Really, considering the size of the unit, when I hooked it up to my Apple iPhone, it was quite impressive the quality and volume of the audio.
It's also a very nicely designed unit, includes a little carrying bag, and is easily slipped into a sock or spare shoe in your luggage: Unless you are the world's tightest packer, I can't imagine that you couldn't slip an iSP100 into your luggage before a trip.
The speaker takes three AAA batteries -- oddly not included -- and the wire is attached to the bottom of the unit, so there's no worry about losing any pieces or parts. I like that feature and don't at all like speakers where the wire's a separate piece.
Pretty cool looking device, eh? For $34.99 it's a reasonable price for a portable speaker too, especially one that sounds this good.
Except there's a fundamental design flaw in the device, one that'll drive you crazy.
The problem? The on-off power switch is on the top edge of the device and there's no defeat switch, so it's far too easy to accidentally turn the device on while it's in the bag. Do that as you put it in your luggage and the batteries'll be dead by the time you land.
Not good. The workaround isn't too horrible (pop out a battery before you pack it) but it's unacceptable that you should have to do this to compensate for a design error.
If you can live with that, then I recommend the iSP100 in any of its many colors, but if that sounds like a pain, well, maybe they'll have a second generation of the unit available in the next few months.
Learn more here: iLuv iSP100 Ultra-Portable Stereo Speaker.
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