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iHome Crystal Tunes Portable Speaker - Review

iHome Crystal Tunes Portable Speaker – Review

by Mary Chong
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iHome-portable-speakerI’ve been on the hunt for mini portable speakers for my travels for quite a while now. Music is important to me, and although I love listening to local music/artists in whichever country that I’m visiting, there is nothing like kicking back on a beach or cruise ship balcony and listening to your favourite tunes from home on your mp3 player.

iHome Speaker — What I didn’t like

I researched a few brands/models, purchased them, ended up not liking them for various reasons and then returned them. The portable speakers I checked into were Go-rock mini, Aluratek Bump, X-mini II.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the other brands:

  • sound was tinny and didn’t sound full (no bass response)
  • cords and cables were cheap and flimsy or were retractible (which you know over time is just not going to last)
  • size was too large and not suitable for mobile travellers
  • the ones that sounded good were too expensive – again this is for portable travel and I don’t want to worry about theft etc.

Then I stumbled onto the iHome Speaker.

iHome Crystal Tunes Mini Portable Speaker – They totally fit the bill

Here’s why I like this brand:

  • closed it measures 1.75 inches tall x 2.5 inches wide
  • opened and expanded (for deeper sound) it measures 2.5 inches tall
  • small size fits in the palm of your hand
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • can be pluged into a power source — can be charged and played at the same time
  • battery life is approx. 6 hours when fully charged
  • took about 1.5 hours to charge via usb
  • durable well built cables (usb/mini usb/3.5mm audio jack)
  • can be used as a single unit or you can daisy chain connect them all together for more sound
  • simulated stereo sound with a quality relative to the size of the unit…
    the volume is surprisingly loud and easily fills an average size room with clear sound
  • very affordable
  • PLUS it’s so darn cute!

You can see the top of the speaker compared to a Canadian quarter so you can visualise the actual size.

One thing to note, be careful when opening and closing the portable iHome speaker. The little clip mechanism that holds the speaker shut is made of plastic and isn’t the best, but I figure it can’t be perfect.

Looking for a Bluetooth cordless speaker option? Check out our iClever IC-BTS02 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker Review

Watch out when you travel with it — the package does say “explosive sound” so I hope they make it past security without any issues! LOL

Do you travel with portable mini speakers? I’d love to hear which ones you like.

Looking for earphones? Check out
Sudio Vasa Bla Bluetooth Earphone Review
The Travel Sounds of ZealSound HDE-100 Headphones

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9 comments

Vanessa (@Turnipseeds) July 14, 2013 - 9:22 pm

Good call posing it with the quarter – you really get an idea of how tiny (and hence travel friendly) these speakers are.

Reply
Bret @ Green Global Travel July 14, 2013 - 3:21 pm

We need to get some speakers like these. We’ve got a pontoon boat we keep on a lake near our house, and the speakers are blown. These would be perfect!

Reply
Jeff @ Go Travelzing July 13, 2013 - 5:09 pm

I have also tried a bunch of different portable speakers with varied results. I will have to check this one out.

Reply
Anna July 13, 2013 - 10:22 am

I was wondering about that speaker. Very cool that you can daisy chain them! I really love the Wowee One speaker, it is also re-chargable and uses whatever surface you put it on to create bass!

Reply
Bennett - The Further Adventures of Bennett July 13, 2013 - 1:58 am

Thanks for sharing this, Mary! I’ve been through 2 sets of speakers in a year (a lot of rough and tumble in the classroom!) so maybe I’ll think about getting some more soon.

Reply
Anita Mac July 12, 2013 - 7:27 pm

Great review. My old iPod speakers were huge. Good thing – they came with international adaptors. Used to take them to Europe all the time. Now, I just play the music straight from the iPad. It is rare when I am traveling that I am concerned enough about sound quality to justify a speaker!

Reply
zof July 12, 2013 - 5:56 pm

Nice, I’ll keep that in mind. If I ever need one….:-)

Reply
noel July 12, 2013 - 4:25 pm

Looks great, I’m in the market for one also for future trips and if its very portable even better, thanks for sharing

Reply
Mary Chong July 13, 2013 - 10:45 am

Check them out – for the price I think they are excellent.

We actually bought a second one so that hubby and I didn’t have to fight over them and we could daisy chain them together BUT the 2nd one came with a little carrying bag and mine didn’t!

So be aware of that. Not sure if it’s the release date or if it was a bonus of some sort because the speakers are identical. Just one came with a bag and one didn’t .

Reply

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