MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2010

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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COMPANY PROFILE IHOME > LOOKING AHEAD FOR TODAY’S SOUND SYSTEMS WORDS BY MATT MARQUEZ It’s easy to confuse iHome speakers with a science fiction film – the iH22SV is an alarm clock speaker system for the iPod, not a George Lucas movie – and it doesn’t help that the sleek curves and metallic accents on nearly every product from the home audio company resemble a crazy genius’s vision of the future. Take the iH15W. Calling it a stereo system doesn’t do it justice; the speaker is a literal cube in the Mac Mini mold and it turns a candy-colored range of hues to illuminate your tunes. At $59, the candy cube speakers are on the lower end of iHome’s price spectrum, but iHome’s entire cadre of audio systems are wallet-friendly machines from the future. Mixing a lightshow with an iPod speaker system seems like an odd combination, but it’s the same principle that helped iHome evolve from a company that produced clock radios for Timex into an award-winning designer and manufacturer of Apple-inspired Swiss Army speakers that do a little bit of everything. “We recognized early on the potential of the iPod series in terms of popularity and had this vision of integrating it into a multi-functional speaker system,” says Ezra Ashkenazi, president of iHome. “The result was our very first product, the iH5, the world’s first alarm clock speaker system for the iPod.” By current iHome standards, the iH5 had a boxy, conservative design that was matched by a simple black or white color scheme. Contrast that with the iA5 ($99) and you can see just how much bolder iHome’s vision has become. Released in March, the iA5 updates the clock-speaker concept with a sleek 10-inch long speaker design that appears to be growing an iPhone out of the center. But what pushes the new clock-radio into the realm of Web 2.5 (we’re at least that far along, right?) is its integration with a free iHome iPhone app that can inform bleary eyes of the day’s weather and even update Facebook and Twitter feeds with exactly how long you’ve snoozed in bed. Despite its name, iHome isn’t content to let its products happily laze about your house. Its iP49 ($149.99) is the latest in the company’s lineup of portable speaker systems and it’s also the first that uses Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station technology to ensure that you get big system sound from a package that travels in a protective case the size of a large hoagie. From iPod-docking keyboards to headsets to mice, iHome carries a wide range of award-winning gadgets for the Mac user on a budget. In the past few years, iHome products have won high marks in design and use from the likes of MacAddict, CNET, MacWorld and iLounge. “iHome’s design and development philosophy has been in place since day one, and that is to encourage innovation in both design and function,” says Ashkenazi. And no conversation about innovative products can be complete without mention of Apple’s iPad. iHome expects big things from the tablet computer and has already updated its universal charger to be compatible with it and Ashkenazi says that a spate of iPad audio products are in the works. “We believe there will be an even greater and more seamless integration of audio systems into the everyday lives of consumers,” Ashkenazi predicts. “Possibly even a convergence of devices into a single speaker solution.” Such a universal system could even be thought of as the audio equivalent of the iPad. Although such a device won’t be released tomorrow (or even the day after that), iHome says that it’s committed to testing the boundaries of what sound systems can do – both at home and on the road. In the meantime, iHome says it will continue to deliver “app-enhanced” products such as the iA5, more audio choices for the iPad and higher quality sound in smaller packages. And that’s a futuristic vision we can all look forward to hearing. Visit for more information. 122 MacDirectory

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