When it comes to Airplay-enabled speakers, this sleek, compact and portable entry from SDI Technologies’ iHome brand is one of the best I’ve tried.
As it supports Apple’s patented AirPlay wireless streaming, the iW3, which follows iHome’s previous iW1 and iW2, has the advantage of not falling into either the pre- or post-Lightning connector paradigm, although it does boast USB-based charging for pre-Lightning devices. And as its system is WiFi-based, it works from a larger range than mere Bluetooth-enabled speakers.
The iW3 can be controlled through an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, as well as from iTunes on a computer, provided all are connected to the same home Wi-Fi network.
The product looks good and sounds even better. The design is great to look at and the unit itself takes up little space. And the sound is bold and clear for a device so small, sporting SRS WOW HD sound capability. It comes with an attendant iOS app, but as usual with these things, it’s not particularly essential.
The iW3 was incredibly easy to set up. It charges off of a base which plugs into an outlet, and pairing it with an iPhone or iPad took only seconds. And even better, it still worked the next time I tried it- sometimes these things require setting up all over again.
I tested the iW3 speaker out for a couple of weeks, and it was mostly parked on an island table in my kitchen. This made it easy to play music while cooking- using my iPhone as a remote- and also entertain my kids with music while feeding them dinner. The only problem was the occasional streaming hiccup.
And while this is not a waterproof product, I even brought it outside while setting up for a kids birthday party- the iW3 is ideal for playing outdoor tunes on a nice day.
The product is available in black, silver and red; the price point is a very affordable $199.99. They iW3 is definitely recommended.
iHome iW3 AirPlay Speaker