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Old 09-20-07, 08:49 PM   #1
synergy
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Reviewed: iHome IH85b Bicycle Mounted iPod Speaker w/ wireless remote

iHome IH85B Portable iPod Bicycle Speaker with wireless remote and mount

Price: $80.00
Pros: Portable sound w/o earphones, excellent sound quality, solid build, easy to use, wireless remote can be mounted on handlebar, wide volume range.
Cons: Requires 4 AA batteries for portability, can't see what song you are playing.

Immediately removed it from the package and plugged my Nano in. I got a huge smile on my face because THIS THING ROCKS. Fantastic sound quality considering the size of the speaker, and you can turn it up incredibly loud but it also sounds great at low levels while riding. The unit is slightly larger than a water bottle and weighs slightly more than a full water bottle.

The wireless handlebar mount works perfectly allowing you to change songs or adjust volume. It has a nice rubberized coating on it that seems like it would be moisture resistant/proof. The bottle is made of sturdy plastic and the speaker has a thick metal grille protecting it. The ipod is well secured with included adapters for regular iPods down to the Nano (a shuffle won't fit). To access the pod, you must first twist the bottom section of the bottle then slide it out. The holder that attaches to your bike is made of metal and plastic and features a nice clamp mechanism to further secure the unit to your bike. It takes 4 AA batteries for portability and also features an AC input which charges your iPod when plugged in. The power button on the bottle allows you to easily turn it on and off at your convenience.

The Verdict:
A safer alternative to riding with earphones in your ears. Excellent value for the money. I am extremely happy with this purchase!

http://www.ihomeaudio.com/products.asp?product_id=10186

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Old 09-21-07, 08:37 AM   #2
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I ride a recumbent and my bottle cages are behind my meshback seat whereas my handlebars are quite a distance away. What's the effective range of the remote? Will it work with things (like a meshback seat) in the way?
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Old 09-21-07, 09:38 AM   #3
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why is it safer?

You still have music covering up sounds?
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Old 09-21-07, 12:16 PM   #4
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I would like something similar to this, but just an amplifier/speaker with a 1/8" TRS input jack and a volume control.

Perhaps I'll have to make one.

Al
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Old 09-21-07, 06:15 PM   #5
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I believe it is safer because the sound is not directly in your ears. In addition, with typical water bottle cage setups, the speaker is facing forward, away from being directly pointed at you and your ears. You can adjust the volume, sure if you blast it you won't hear a car coming but what sane adult wants to blast this thing?. I play it loud enough to hear over the wind. It makes the fitness ride (and soon commute) oh so much better.

As far as the remote, I'm not sure what type of signal it uses for transmission but I am certain it does not require a direct line of sight for it to work. I was able to use the control over 5 feet away when I first started playing with it, didn't actually test the signal range (but it definitely suits a bike setup).
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Old 11-19-07, 12:11 AM   #6
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Hi Synergy - the iHome cycler you reviewed looks pretty sweet. I see the bracket is like a bottle cage and attaches to the downtube. I'm wondering whether I'll still have room to fit a cage on the uptube for a water bottle. It might look like there is space but then when you go to put on a cage it's too much of a squeeze - have you tried (or could you
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Old 11-19-07, 05:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
why is it safer?

You still have music covering up sounds?
I agree. This has no place on a bicycle. Can't anyone just ride/exercise anymore? What is this need for constant entertainment?
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Old 11-19-07, 10:06 AM   #8
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quote - dekindy (sig) "What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?"

Ummm, doing it while TOTALLY ROCKING OUT TO SOME ZEPPELIN!!!
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Old 11-19-07, 10:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
why is it safer?

You still have music covering up sounds?
As opposed to driving an enclosed, air-conditioned car, blasting the tunes over the 500 watt, 8 speaker and subwoofer custom installed car stereo?
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Old 11-19-07, 11:08 AM   #10
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I was out on the Silver Comet trail a couple weeks ago and saw someone with one of these. Jerk had it cranked way the h@ll up too. Why do people think that everyone around them wants to hear their music? I did not care to hear his music, and from the way other reacted when he was gone, they did not care for it either.
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Old 11-19-07, 11:14 AM   #11
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My thinking with this is listening to podcasts, not music. But dekindy has a good point, how plugged in do I need to be?
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Old 11-19-07, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
I agree. This has no place on a bicycle. Can't anyone just ride/exercise anymore? What is this need for constant entertainment?
I actually agree about the 'why the need for constant [music/sound] entertainment?' There is much to be enjoyed in life without an 'artificial' sound track.

However I do think there are times/places when having an open air (vs. headphone) sound/music system on a bicycle is a nice option. Volume does not have to be set to drown out important sounds.

Al
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Old 11-19-07, 01:49 PM   #13
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I have used the device shown below inside a meshed pocket on top of my trunk bag with a connector up to the iPod mounted on the handlebars. It is a perfect size for that. BUT I agree it is rude and dangerous to blast it around other riders. I've trained myself to fire it up only on those long trips where I find myself alone and dragging a bit. Some favorite music can really be a boost. And since it is not jammed into your ears, you can still hear noises around you (like cars and trucks and horns and such).

But I've been looking for something easier to attach near the front of the bike (handlebars a full with GPS and iPod and brake extensions, etc)
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Old 11-19-07, 03:31 PM   #14
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I rode by a guy with one of these just the other day. Music sounded like crap, tinny and lacking in bass. About what you'd expect from a itty bitty speaker. Plus, it was annoying to have to listen to his music. I'd have preferred he wore headphones.
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Old 11-20-07, 09:50 AM   #15
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I rode by a guy with one of these just the other day. Music sounded like crap, tinny and lacking in bass. About what you'd expect from a itty bitty speaker. Plus, it was annoying to have to listen to his music. I'd have preferred he wore headphones.
Was it the iHome that sounded like crap or the JBLs that I referenced? (I've actually been mildly impressed with the JBL's.)
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Old 11-20-07, 06:09 PM   #16
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Was it the iHome that sounded like crap or the JBLs that I referenced? (I've actually been mildly impressed with the JBL's.)
Sorry, it was the iHome.
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Old 11-20-07, 08:35 PM   #17
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Personally, I don't see much of a problem with listening to music, podcasts, or whatever. The bicycle or scooter will increasingly substitute for the automobile. During these longer trips, some work can be accomplished even at the potential risk of increased accidents. With a PDA mount on the bars, watching video is even possible. Commuting time sometimes can't be wasted. Just like talking on a cellular telephone while driving a car, people sometimes make mistakes. I see nothing wrong with an external speaker if used with moderation and for a constructive purpose. However, a person using such a device must now charge even MORE batteries. Solar is the answer. Rider beware is always a good motto to follow.

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Old 11-21-07, 03:50 AM   #18
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I agree. This has no place on a bicycle. Can't anyone just ride/exercise anymore? What is this need for constant entertainment?
My commute is over an hour each way. A little music would be nice.
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Old 06-19-08, 07:45 PM   #19
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Waking up this old thread...

I recently purchased the iHome IPod speaker system, which I like very much and use on back road portions of my long commute. (I caught it for $39 at Amazon, but I see it's now up to $49)

I want to use it to listen to podcasts, but the controls only allow you to "shuffle" songs. That's not good since I've got about 800 songs on my IPod and I obviously can't keep clicking "Next" until I happen to find the one podcast I downloaded the night before.

Is there a way to configure the IPod, maybe via iTunes, to have the iHome Shuffle start with a particular song (a podcast in this case)?

All I want to really do is to download a news podcast at night and then use the iHome system to listen to it during my morning commute, using an iPod that has hundreds of other songs.
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Old 06-19-08, 10:12 PM   #20
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When I was a feckless youth, I had an orange AM bike radio installed on my handlebars for a while. It was pretty cool. There was still some music on AM then. I can remember blasting down a big hill with Gary Numan's Cars playing. I also listened to baseball on it.

I listen to music many hours a day but not on the bike. However, it would be nice to turn some on when low on energy and slogging through a long ride, and I felt very unsafe the times I tried riding with headphones. Annoying others with it is a problem though.

Many runners play music when they train and race.
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Old 06-21-08, 09:36 PM   #21
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I got every one of you pwnd as of this morning. Creative Zen Micro and Traveldock perfectly fitted into cut up fanny pack strapped to my aero bars. Shock absorbed with a super thick wrap of gel tape, runs for 24h on 4AAs, and sound quality is terrific; surprisingly bright and loud given the size. What bass there is I can feel through the handlebars.

I am of course a proudly insolent young whippersnapper with constant need for stimuli, and have been biking with headphones attached to increasingly resourceful devices for more than a decade. That won't go away; this is for next month's multi-day tour with buddy, for tomorrow's street closing shindig in Portland, and for general attention whoring along the waterfront. It's good to have options.

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Old 06-21-08, 11:42 PM   #22
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Has anybody tried a decent pair of super-aural headphones with a portable amp? I've been thinking of ordering a pair of sennheiser hd580s (not for biking) for a year or two now, but have yet to pull the trigger. I was curious if the open back design would make them OK for touring and long rides?

Guess it's something to try...
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