Product Review: iDeaHome Wi-Fi Speaker and Multi-room Music System

With Christmas just around the corner, and unless you’re one of those freak people that start planning Christmas presents in July, everyone needs a couple good suggestions.

Over the past week or so I’ve been testing the iDeaHome Wi-Fi speaker and I can certify that this is, indeed, and excellent choice for a last minute gift idea – particularly for the people in your life that have pretty much everything.

I own a gaggle of speakers. I even stuck one in a bathroom ceiling earlier this year (Product Review: Broan SPK110 Sensonic Speaker Fan with Bluetooth), but I’ve yet to test a speaker quite like this one from iDeaUSA. This speaker has all the amenities of your normal Bluetooth speaker, but in this case, for this particular product, iDeaUSA has also embedded Wi-Fi connection capability and DLNA support. What this means is that, while you can still use Bluetooth to pair with a single device, you can also sit the speaker directly on your local network so that any device can connect to it to deliver audio for music and video.

Additionally – and I think this is extra cool – because its Wi-Fi, you can daisy chain iDeaUSA speakers so that each speaker plays its own music, or every connected speaker can play the exact same music throughout the network.

There are a few caveats that come with this speaker. The instructions are not clear and the company's web site is not a lot of help and the speaker's Wi-Fi has difficulty with 5Ghz routers. Additionally, like a lot of gadgets these days, the speaker does not come with its own AC adapter. iDeaUSA assumes you have a zillion USB chargers lying around by now after years of smartphone upgrades, so the company doesn't include one. And, one more thing...while the speaker does support Mac and Windows, it only supports these over Bluetooth. For the true Wi-Fi value, you have to be using a smartphone running Android or iOS capable of running the company's mobile app. There's currently no app for Windows or Mac, and definitely not for Windows Mobile. The iDeaHome app is neat, but is also limited in that it offers specific app integrations to push over Wi-Fi to the speaker. Those include: Pandora, Spotify and an in-app Internet Radio Station.

Here’s the speaker specs:

  • Speaker Type: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker
  • Dimension: 4.8x5.2x2 in
  • Output: 2x3W
  • Wi-Fi: 2.4G (802.11b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth: V2.1
  • Battery: 4400mAh (8 hours play time. Takes 1-2 hours to charge completely)
  • Free App from Google Play or iTunes (search for ‘IdeaHome’), but support Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac

And, the sound? The sound is deep and rich. And, if you can get past the snooty, butler-type voice for the voice-prompts, you'll love this speaker.

You can snag this thing from Amazon for around $70: iDeaHome Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker

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