Like the best of us: Very Good but Imperfect!
I like this stereo alarm clock, iPhone charger a LOT. It does good service as an alarm clock that allows for using FM radio broadcasts or music from your own iDevice to wake up to. It charges your device whenever it is on the dock, so if you use it with an iPhone5, as I do, you get to wake up to the music you want as well as to a fully charged iPhone to start your day! With a footprint of 5" square, it fits easily on most limited-space surfaces ... Like the end table next to your bed or on an already busy and crowded desk at the office. The clock automatically syncs with your device so is always accurate. Other design features worth mentioning include 1) a USB port to connect other devices (including older iDevices using the 30-pin adapters and any other product that can be connected with a USB plug; 2) a full range of sleep/wake/snooze settings; and a built-in back-up L-Ion battery to continue to provide time and wake-up service when there is an interruption in AC power. It is simple black with brushed metal accents and will fit easily into any imaginable decor.
I was surprised to hear the good quality sound from this rather small device. It will not provide full-range concert volume stereo - nor should it be expected to. In an office or small guest room, in the kitchen or a contained dining area, it is entirely adequate. Moreover, when used as intended (as an alarm clock) at bedside, it provides better sound quality than any "clock radio" I have even encountered. I had been using a much larger Bluetooth speaker with my iPhone that was OK, but lacked stereo and while louder that this iHome iPL10. provides less sound quality.
The Most Common Complaint:
The most common complaints about this iPL10 moan on and on about the fact that an iPhone in a case will not fit on the Lightning plug. Of course not - No devices, that I know of, will! People have complained that it is a nuisance to remove their protective cases in order to use this device. My solution: Get a dockable case! My personal favorite is the Candy Shell Slip Dockable Case by SPECK. Problem is solved for this and all other Lightning docking devices. (The SPECK case currently retails here on OnlineShopDealer for under $26. Check it out!)
One Annoying Design Oversight:
There are no designated "Hour" or "Minute" buttons, so any change in setting must be accomplished by holding down "+" and "-" buttons as the minutes roll on in either direction. Although it only takes a couple of minutes to more the alarm setting 23 hours, it is annoying and point to a design oversight that would have made this device even better than it already is. If I could have taken off a half-a-star for this, I would have done so. Left with the choice of a 4 or a 5, I decided to leave the 5 for the overall design and function. After all, if "5" really meant "perfect", few (if any) products would ever receive it!
This is a well designed, functional and welcome device that while built for iDevices with Lightning connectors, can and does accommodate ANY other device connectable via a USB port. Give it a try - Give it a listen. OnlineShopDealer is great about returns if you do not like it, but I think you will - especially once you procure an appropriate (and ubiquitously necessary) "dockable" case.
I'm not sure what kind of cover the other reviewers are using saying that it doesn't work with the cover on, but mine fits on the charger quite well with the cover on. I like the size, shape and sound from the iHome PL10. I have waited quite a while to get a base clock/radio for my iPhone 5 that doesn't shut off all the notification sounds that the others (Sony) did while the phone was mounted on the base. That was a problem for me, and I'm sure others, that don't have a home phone and would like to hear it ring while it's charging.
I love this clock radio.
I read most of the reviews before I purchased. Here's what I discovered when I took it out of the box.
Ease of setup, 10.
Clock, 10. (Automatically syncs when you put the iPod on dock.)
Sound, 10. (It's a clock radio. Don't expect the sound you'd get out of a Bose.)
Radio, 10. (Though I doubt I'll use it with the new iTunes radio on the iPod.)
Lighted time panel, 10. (It dims when I hit the snooze bar so I don't know why people were complaining. I can sleep in dark or reach over and turn it up to use as a night light. WooHoo)
Design, 10+. (Simple black box. Picky Factor: I wish I could read buttons without squinting.)
Alarm, 8. (Wishing it would ring a bit louder. I might actually have to read the manual. LOL)
Docking, 10. (I own the original iHome clock radio. I really like the lightning dock.)
Charging, 10. (It charged my iPod, so again, I don't know why it didn't charge the other customers devices.)
Device Footprint: 10+. (How can you beat a 5" footprint. The old radio took up twice as much space.)
Bonus: USB port (To connect older devices or new iPhones/iPods with cases.)
I think that's it. If I find other features I like, or not, I'll amend my comments.
Excellent Alarm Clock!
When buying this, I kept reading reviews where people complained about not being able to use this with a case. This is really funny because the cases these people are talking about are those huge everything-proof cases. If you have a 'normal' case, this works well. If you have a huge case, typically not made by Apple, and big enough to defeat the whole purpose of having a small phone, it won't fit. Logically, if it fit the big cases, the alarm clock would be huge and thus defeat the purpose of selling a small-footprint clock. So, those of you still upset about the big case not fitting and refuse to use the USB option, buy something else.
For those more logical folks, this thing is great! I can have both my phone and my husband's phone charging at the same time...one on USB and the other on the dock. The biggest complaint I have about alarm clocks made in the last 5 years is that they are bright enough to land a plane. If i wanted a nightlight, i would buy a nightlight, right?! This one has a dimmer. You can have enough light to view it at night if you wake up but not so much that it reflects across the whole room--High, medium, and low. Nice! Plus, if you are a real insomniac, you can turn off the glow altogether! I know this seems like a silly feature to be so excited about, but it was a really hard thing to find. Even other models that say they dim, don't dim enough. Nothing was comparable to my 1989 clock....until now!
Another great feature is that all of your phone alerts are piped through the speakers. Other docs completely mute your phone; whereas this honors the settings on your phone including any do not disturb. The + / - buttons are fine and can move fast if you hold them down...those of you complaining that this is a negative are being silly. The coolest part was that I plugged in my iphone and the clock sync'd to it without any button pressing! Yeah!
Bottom line: this is a simple, easy-to-use clock that integrates nicely into your room replacing chargers and older clocks without overtaking your life with light, noise, or bulk. A Good buy!!!
Perfect little docking station / clock radio
I purchased this clock-radio docking station for my iPad mini. I was excited to find an ihome with a lightning adapter. I knew in advance that it would not connect to the ipad mini directly so I purchased a lightning extender cable. So far I am happy.
Connects and charges to two apple products at the same time (for me iphone 4 by USB cable and iPad mini by lightning extender)
Bright clock that dims for sleeping
Decent sound for a clock radio
beeps (quietly) when turning off the alarm. Sometimes I wake up before my spouse and want to turn off the alarm. She knows this with the beep.
No AM radio
no remote control
slight buzz when charging both apple products at the same time. Doesn't bother me though. Seems to go away after a bit.
All in all, I am very happy. Do keep in mind that you cannot directly connect the ipad mini. You need an extender cable.
Great iPhone Player and Charger for the Office
I purchased the iHome PL10 Clock Radio with Lightning Dock in September 2013 to use in my office both to play music on my iPhone 5 and for charging. This review has been written with that in mind and will be useful to anyone who wants to use it just for music and charging. I do not use it as an alarm clock, so I cannot comment on that functionality. I have now been using it for two months.
Features: For my limited needs, this device has everything I would want. The clock portion automatically syncs with your phone (so rollovers between daylight and standard time are automatic). I believe that you can turn off the auto-syncing feature, so if you wanted it to read a different time, then that can be done. The background is dimmable. If you plug in your phone and press the play button, it will automatically start playing music. Alternatively, you can select the song or playlist directly from your phone and it will automatically start up the device and play the music. My only complaint is that it can take a few seconds for the device to turn itself on to iPhone/iPod mode, so I sometimes skip back to the start of the track. Volume level can be controlled directly on the device (it changes your iPhone's actual volume, so if you turn it down really quiet, you may find that the next time you play a game or watch a video you'll have to turn it back on). You can jump forward and backward on the tracks by using the plus and minus buttons. The lightning port works as a charger, so it must be properly licensed with Apple. It seems like it has some shielding, so I don't get any interference when it is on wifi, however, if the phone is getting data through the cell tower, then sometimes I hear a faint disturbance (to be fair, I have computer speakers near the device, and some of the feedback could be from those speakers, which are unshielded).
The device also functions as a FM radio (I don't get good cell service in my office, but the radio function is very clear. It has a long antenna wire that you can lay out.
Design: The device has a small foot print of about 5 inches by 5 inches. It is about 3 inches tall (without the Phone on it) and is unobtrusive. It looks good sitting on a desk. My iPhone is black, so it everything matches. The buttons on top are marked. They aren't huge, but they have good spacing, so you don't need to worry about hitting the wrong button or multiple buttons. I like the look of it.
Ease of Use: Very easy to use and intuitive. Some people have reported difficulty changing the dimmer. The instructions are clear on how to do it. If you run through the setup with the instructions so that you know what defaults you can select, you can do that once and then throw away the instructions.
Performance: I listen to this in my office with the door open, so I keep the volume low. It meets all of my needs and then some in that regard. I'm no audiophile, but I think that the music sounds good on it (at least better than in my car). On some weekends, I have cranked it up around half way and have no problem hearing it from the hallway if I am a few doors down.
Value for the Money (at time of purchase) - At $59.99, this was the cheapest lightning-based speaker system. I would think that one could make a set for more like a $30 price point, but that could sacrifice the Apple licensing and shielding.
Overall - I gave this device 5 stars because it meets my needs and more than met my expectations. My only minor complaint is that I wish that it would turn itself on so that you could hear the music playing on your phone quicker, but I don't really mind it and out of habit I just hit the back button and start the song over.
Bought two and really enjoy
My wife and I were looking for a dock charger for our iPhone 5s. We had iHome lamp docks that we enjoyed for the iPhone 4's, but needed something for the 5s. The clock sets itself from iPhone. It easy to set alarm. The LCD brightness is adjustable. Also has USB dock for other devices. That has been great to simplify the nightstands next to our bed. The iPhone goes on the dock and the iPad mini is connected via usb. Alarm can be buzz, radio, or iPhone. I use the buzz. It starts quiet and gets louder. A bit weak, but it wakes you up. Sound is good coming from iPhone through the alarm clock speaker.
Fits my case beautifully and great sound!
I spent a lot of time reading these reviews and wondering if my case would fit. Not many reviews had a clear description of what kind of case they were using for their iPhone to not fit. However, I am glad I pulled the trigger on this one and have been very happy with this unit.
This is the case that I have on my iPhone 5s:
It works with absolutely no problem whatsoever. I am assuming that the cases that do not fit are the ones that completely encase the phone. I think it would be fine to say that if your phone's speakers are not covered or surrounded by your case, it will be safe to get this and enjoy the great sound.
It says it works with their free apps, but after downloading them, and the apps not recognizing the iHome, I decided not to use apps and just use the ones on the iPhone which were already sufficient as is. The apps make everything unnecessarily complicated and the iHome works just fine without the app. The only qualm I have about this unit is that the buttons are not lit, so when my room is dark at night, I cannot easily push the sleep button for the music I am playing or turn off my music without really looking close at the unit or using my phone to light up the buttons. After a couple nights of fiddling though, I think I have memorized the buttons so, problem solved?
the sound is great and there are many levels for sound which is great! the backlight for the time CAN be turned off, however I like mine on dim. And because it is always either connected to my iPhone 4 turned iPod, or my iPhone 5s, with one push of the button on the top of the unit, music will start playing! it is absolutely great! glad I pulled the trigger and I hope my thoughts about this unit helped!
Great for the money
For this price you're not going to get a Bose quality sound dock so for anyone complaining about the quality it's silly. For the price, it provides everything I need. I love that there is an extra USB port in the back so you can dock your iPhone and charge other devices at the same time. When you have a device plugged in your text tones, ring tones, etc. come out of the iHome speakers which is nice when you are awake, but if you're sleeping I guess it might be a little louder than you would like. For me, I am on call with work so it's nice because it's loud enough to wake me up, but you could always adjust the volume on the iHome to fit your needs. I also really like that it has 3 options for dimming, some people complained that even the lowest option was too bright, but they must like it COMPLETELY dark. For me, it's not bright or distracting at all while I'm trying to sleep (if it was any darker, you wouldn't be able to see the time so why buy a clock radio?). I never use a bulky case so I didn't have any issues with it not fitting, but I know they make extenders for anyone having that issue. Overall, great product, would definitely buy again.
Another winner from iHome products!
Video: An overview of the iHome iPL10. From top to bottom and side and back. This video showcases the docking connection, all the top buttons, front display, overall size, and back of unit.
This is the best clock radio with docking station for the iPhone 5/5c/5s. I has easy to use buttons on top with a large snooze button that also doubles as a backlight (varying brightness stages) for the display. It has a good speaker for how small it is. In the back of the unit it has a USB port for additional connections. One of my biggest concerns with these docking stations for iPhones is how they work with covers on the phones. I have a Puregear 02-001-01814 Slim shell for iPhone 5 case on my phone and I do not have any issues with the docking my phone. Overall great product!