The iHome iP49 makes a good impression right from the start, as it folds flat to the size of a fat paperback book when you’re not using it, making it easy to slip into a backpack or suitcase when you’re travelling.
However, the compact design belies the expansive sound that the speakers produce. The iHome iP49 uses the same 'Bongiovi' sound system as its big brother, the stylish iP1, which was developed by Tony Bongiovi – cousin of Jon Bon Jovi himself. Pressing the glowing blue 'B' button on the control panel enables the iP49 to analyse the audio signal from your iPod or iPhone and to enhance frequencies that might have been affected by the digital compression process. You can hear the improvement immediately, as the music sounds much richer and fuller.
The iHome iP49 also produces pretty good volume for a speaker system of this size – more than enough for a hotel room or a small holiday apartment – and although there’s no built-in subwoofer there are separate controls for bass and treble so that you can get the sound just right for you.
It's got a built-in FM tuner too, and you can run it off mains or use the rechargeable internal battery, which lasts for about 15 hours. There’s a full set of controls on the base of the iHome iP49 unit, but iHome also include a separate remote control with a full set of playback controls, as well as options for navigating through the iPod's music menu.
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