iHome iBT372 review: A rugged, decent sounding, outdoor Bluetooth speaker

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iHome-iBT372-review

The iHome iBT372 Bluetooth speaker is an affordably priced, rugged, decent sounding speaker that will easily survive drops, spills, and other outdoor activities.

TA-ratings-94Another day and another Bluetooth speaker review here at Techaeris! It’s definitely good to have choices, and our iHome iBT372 review takes a look at a compact, rugged, and “Weather Tough” Bluetooth speaker which features voice command integration and accent lighting.

Specifications

The iHome iBT372 has the following features and specifications:

  • Wirelessly stream audio from Bluetooth-enabled devices
  • Speakerphone with digital echo canceling an talk/end button, Audio Caller ID (Apple devices running iOS 10 or later)
  • Control the iBT372 with your voice using the Melody personal voice powered music assistant app. Streams music from iHeartRadio, Spotify and more.
  • Weather Tough™ IP67-rated water and dust proof rugged shockproof cabinet built to military spec standard 810
  • Accent lighting with five color changing modes to set the mood: slow fade, fast fade, one color, pulse to music, and preset pulse mode
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 6.54 x 4.81″
  • Weight: 1.58lbs

What’s in the box

  • iHome iBT372 Bluetooth speaker
  • Micro-USB to USB-A charging cable
  • Carrying strap
  • Quick Start Guide
iHome-iBT372-review-01

What’s in the box…

Design

The iHome iBT372 Waterproof + Shockproof Wireless Stereo Speaker definitely has a rugged outdoor look to it and sports the company’s “Weather Tough” branding. Rectangular in shape, this Bluetooth speaker features a rubberized coating around the top, bottom, and two sides with hard plastic pieces angled in each corner. These plastic pieces extend into the corners of the front speaker grille which also sports the iHome logo in the middle. When turned on, a thin LED light glows around the outer edge of the front.

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The iHome iBT372 Waterproof + Shockproof Wireless Stereo Speaker definitely has a rugged look.

The back of the speaker has a slightly different design with a smaller grille which exposes the passive subwoofer. Surrounding this is a black dimpled plastic design with glossy black accents.

The left side of the speaker contains a slot where you can attach the included carrying strap. The right side of the speaker houses a waterproof cover under which you’ll find the Micro-USB charging port, 3.5mm AUX jack, and reset pinhole.

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The ports are housed under a thick, tight, waterproof cover.

Finally, the top of the speaker is where the control panel is located and features power, Bluetooth/phone, light/battery level, play/pause, volume up, and volume down buttons. Below the control panel is the iHome “Weather Tough” logo stamped into the rubberized finish.

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Controls are conveniently located on the top of the speaker.

The packaging for the speaker indicates that it is MIL-STD 810G military spec rated, and the design definitely leaves no doubt to the durability of the speaker. During testing we dropped it on grass, a wood deck, and even in a swimming pool to test the IP67 waterproof and shockproof rating. The speaker had no issues standing up to these drops and dunks and continued playing without interruption.

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Drops, dunks… the iBT372 Bluetooth speaker survived it all.

Ease of Use

If you’ve used a Bluetooth speaker before, you shouldn’t have any issues figuring out the iHome iBT372. The first time you turn it on, it will automatically enter pairing mode and you can then easily pair it to your smartphone or other Bluetooth streaming device. Once connected, you can control the volume, play or pause the current track, answer or end a call, and change the colour mode of the accent lighting. There are five colour modes in total: slow, fast, freeze color, pulse to music, and a preset pulse as well as disabling it altogether. While you can play or pause a track, unfortunately you can’t skip to the next or previous track from the speaker — which is a bit of an oversight considering it is waterproof rated.

You can also install the Melody app, connect your iHeartRadio or Spotify Premium account to it, and control your music using voice commands. It’s not 100% that seamless as you need to press and hold the play/pause button and wait for a beep. However, once you hear the beep you can say things like “Play Coldplay” or “Play some Rap” or “Play next track” and numerous other commands. As mentioned above, you can’t use the buttons to directly skip to the next or previous track, but you can definitely use the Melody app to do so if you wish. While I did find it a bit gimmicky, it does work pretty well and let me quickly access my Spotify playlists, skip tracks, or play a particular song without having to pull out my phone. You can also access “OK, Google” on Android devices and Siri on iOS devices in the same manner.

Sound

While iHome products have been hit and miss in the sound department in our previous reviews (which is unfortunate), the iHome iBT372 sounds surprisingly good. Not only does it go quite loud, it is still clear and crisp at maximum volume and does have a nice balance from bass to mids and highs. By default, the bass levels are o.k. and just slightly below decent but utilizing the equalizer on your phone fixes that quite well.

Reception/Call Quality

As with most Bluetooth speakers, the closer you are to the speaker, the clearer the other party can hear you when using it as a speakerphone. That being said, the iBT372 is acceptable when used as such for those that use their speakers in this way.

Battery Life

iHome claims a battery life of up to 8 hours of playtime when fully charged. During our testing, we used the speaker between 50-75% volume and saw battery life between 7 and 8 hours. While it would be nice to have longer battery life, it definitely lives up to the battery life claims and should get you through most of a day outside in the fun and the sun depending on your volume levels.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of $69.99 USD, the iBT372 Bluetooth speaker is more than fairly priced for the features, sound quality, and battery life. Even better, at the time of this review it can be found on Amazon for $59.99 USD.

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It even floats!

Wrap-up

The iHome iBT372 Bluetooth speaker is an affordably priced rugged, decent sounding speaker that will easily survive drops, spills, and other outdoor activities with ease.

*We were sent a sample of the iHome iBT372 for the purposes of this review.

iHome iBT372

$69.99 USD
iHome iBT372
9.4

Design

10/10

    Ease of Use

    10/10

      Sound

      9/10

        Reception/Call Quality

        9/10

          Battery Life

          9/10

            Price/Value

            10/10

              Nailed it

              • Rugged design
              • IP67 waterproof and shockproof rating
              • Great sound for the price
              • Floats
              • Various accent lighting modes
              • Decent battery life
              • Affordably priced

              Needs work

              • Can't skip tracks from speaker
              • Accent lighting not always visible, especially on sunny days
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