By Luke Anderson
If you haven’t noticed, I probably couldn’t survive without my iPhone anymore. It keeps me in touch with the world, has a ton of cool apps, and provides music just about anywhere for me. The only downside is that despite the sheer number of awesome accessories for iPods, there are still only a few that it works with. Thanks to Scosche and their passPORT line, a lot more options have been opened up. However, I’ve finally gotten my hands on the iLuv Double Play, which is fully compatible with the iPhone straight out of the box. I’ve had a bit of time to put it through the works, so read on for my full review.
The Double Play is one of the few iPhone docks that I have seen out there, which is surprising since the phone has been out for nearly two years. iLuv took things a step further by adding an extra iPod dock to the device, so that you can recharge two devices at once. Of course only one will work properly with the iPhone. This is especially nice for couples that have a pair of iPods, or an iPhone and iPod. In the box you will find six dock adapters which should work with most iPods and iPhones, along with a remote for controlling the radio’s functions.
The convenience of being able to charge my iPhone on a dock at night, and be able to wake up to my music in the morning is enough to make me love the Double Play. I played around with the FM tuner for a bit (there’s no AM tuner, but I can’t recall the last time I listened to an AM station anyway) and it worked as well as I expected. Features like autoscanning and 8 presets were definitely useful. Of course most of the time I simply listened to the music on my iPhone.
Since this is an alarm clock, you’ll probably end up putting this in your bedroom, and the most important function will be that of an alarm. You have two separate alarms that can be set, both of which can be independently programmed to use your iPod, aux input, radio or a buzzer to wake you up. One of then nice features about the alarm is that when it goes off to wake you, it will do it gently. The sound start off soft, and gradually gets louder until you shut it off. When you do want it to stop, there’s a giant snooze button (the snooze is set for 7 minutes, you can’t change it) which is easy to hit. Or if you prefer, the remote actually has a snooze button if you’re into that sort of thing. If you have a call come in while you’re still asleep, there’s little chance of sleeping through it. Your ringer will come through loud and clear over the speakers, which is a nice touch.
The clock face itself is nice and large, making it easy to read in the middle of the night when everything is still fuzzy, or without putting on your glasses. What is nice is that you can adjust the brightness of the backlight with 10 different settings. I personally preferred the dimmest setting, which was just enough to clearly see the numbers without being bothered by the light. You can easily adjust the setting by tapping on the giant snooze button. It doesn’t adjust automatically for DST, but at least there is a handy switch on the back that will add or subtract an hour, so it’s not too difficult to make the change.
The Double Play has one other feature worth mentioning. Yes, it’s probably the most obvious feature, but it plays the music from your iPhone (or iPod). So just how well does the music sound? I’m not an audiophile by any means, but I grew up around performing musicians, so I can appreciate good sound. The Double Play isn’t anything to write home about when it comes to audio quality. I think the best word to describe it would be tinny. The bass isn’t great, and the highs aren’t the clearest. Honestly though, I don’t generally expect too much out of my alarm clock, and would only use it to playback music a little bit before going to sleep (and when it first wakes me up). It’s not horrible by any means, and since this isn’t something that is going to be your primary source of music in the house, it’s acceptable.
Overall, I liked the Double Play. It’s convenient for recharging your iPhone, along with another iPod while you’re sleeping. The sound isn’t too bad, and it has several convenient features that make it worth your while. The retail price of $149 is a little more than you might pay for a regular iPod alarm clock, but I think that the ability of charging an iPhone and an additional iPod is worth the extra cash. Not to mention you can find it a bit cheaper if you look around. If you’ve got an iPhone and are in the market for a new alarm clock, or just want a better way to charge it at night, the iLuv Double Play is definitely worth a look.
[ iLuv ]