- I’ve been using iHome’s Bluetooth Color-Changing Speaker ($53.34), which essentially creates a light show while you listen to music.
- It features five eye-catching color-changing modes, plus outdoor portability and built-in Alexa.
- Though I own a few different speakers for different uses, this speaker is by far the most fun, and it provides solid sound for its size and price.
Scattered around my home, you’ll find speakers of various sizes and for varying uses.
There’s the Sonos Play:1 ($149), which has a permanent spot in the living room to fill the whole apartment with rich, uninterrupted sound. For beach days where I need a rugged and powerful speaker that also happens to hold my phone and open beer bottles, I bring the Scosche BoomBottle ($89.99). Lately, I’ve been experimenting more with using voice commands to make everyday tasks easier by talking to my Google Home Mini ($49).
By far the most eye-catching speaker I have, however, is the iHome Bluetooth Color-Changing Speaker ($53.34).
The affordable speaker not only looks great in my room and at small outdoor parties, but it also has a strong sound for its size. I’ve been using the speaker virtually every day for a month to listen to music and enjoy color-changing light shows. You can learn more about the details of this iHome speaker below.
iHome Color-Changing Speaker specs
The speaker stands about 5.5-inches tall, which is not big, but also not as tiny as ones like the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini. Sometimes, I’ll forego bringing a speaker to gatherings because it adds too much weight to my already-heavy bag, but I really don’t mind carrying this one — it’s not too heavy.
The charging port in the back is protected by a cover, and the front is lined with buttons to control the power, volume, and light show. It has a built-in mic to let you make calls, and a 12-hour battery life. The entire exterior is covered in a smooth, waterproof, and dustproof silicone material that is IP67-certified.
Set-up and listening experience
Connecting the speaker to your phone through Bluetooth is quick and easy. Every time I turn the speaker on, it now automatically connects to my phone within a few seconds.
In my room, I usually like to immerse myself in my music, so I crank the volume up. Indoors within closed walls, it provides a full and balanced sound that keeps up with deep bass, light instrumentals, and the comforting voices of podcast hosts. I think its outdoor capabilities are weaker and the sound can get a little lost if you have an especially rambunctious party, but if you’re entertaining a few dozen people in your backyard, it’ll do the trick.
The big reason I love this speaker is that the sound is paired with a lovely light show that has five different color modes. It can continually change colors, pulse along to your music, glow as a single color, and more.
On too many occasions to count, I’ve found myself simply sitting on my bed watching the colors change or pulse as I listened to music or a podcast. My favorite thing to do at night is to turn off the lights in my room and settle into this meditative activity. It’s like watching a campfire burn — calming and visually interesting.
The other special feature of the speaker is that it has Alexa built in. To use it, you have to tap the speaker before giving a command, so it’s not as convenient as an Echo device or my Google Home Mini, but it’s a cool built-in feature to have in an already affordable speaker. If a call comes in through your phone, you can take it with the speaker, which also has caller ID for iOS 10-updated devices.
A complaint a few reviewers have had is that the true battery life is shorter than advertised, perhaps because the light show sucks up a lot of battery. I tend to listen to the speaker indoors and usually have it plugged in to the charger, so I can’t speak to that drawback too much. But I have used the speaker for six to eight hours at a time at outdoor parties and the battery held up.
The bottom line
If you want a cool visual experience to accompany your music, this color-changing speaker would be my first choice. The price is just right for the combination of all the features you get in this speaker: solid sound, built-in Alexa and ability to take calls, a light weight and small size, and a colorful light show.
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