iHome iBT77 review: Stylish, IP65-rated, with decent sound & battery

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews
iHome-iBT77-review

Even though the iHome iBT77 is IP65 rated, the style and design make this a great sounding, long lasting, Bluetooth speaker for any room.

TA-ratings-95iHome, like other companies, have many different versions of Bluetooth speakers to suit various needs. Our iHome iBT77 review takes a look at a more subtle Bluetooth speaker from the company which should easily match most decor.

Specifications

The iHome iBT77 has the following features and specifications:

  • Wirelessly stream audio from Bluetooth-enabled devices or Aux-in jack
  • iP65-rated water resistant and dustproof
  • Slip-resistant fabric offers superior grip in wet conditions
  • Internal rechargeable lithium ion battery (USB charging cable included)
  • Control the iBT77 with your voice using the Melody personal voice powered music assistant app. Streams music from iHeartRadio, Spotify and more.
  • Speakerphone with digital echo canceling and talk/end button
  • Audio Caller ID (Apple devices running iOS 10 or later)
  • Dimensions: 3.27 x 5.75 x 3.27″
  • Weight: .95 lbs

What’s in the box

  • iHome iBT77 Bluetooth Speaker
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Carry Strap
  • Quick Start Guide
iHome-iBT77-review-01

What’s in the box…

Design

The first thing you’ll notice about the iHome iBT77 is its fabric covered design. Our review sample came with grey fabric and black grip accents which actually looks quite stylish and would look fine in most living rooms. Cylindrical in shape, the fabric covers most of the main area of the speaker with the exception of a thin region on the back which includes a couple of holes for attaching the included carrying strap and the bottom area on the back for the controls.

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The iHome iBT77 has a fabric finish with a grippy design.

The button controls include a Bluetooth/play/pause/phone, battery level indicator, and volume down or up buttons. Centered between the four buttons (two on each side) is a water-resistant rubber cover under which you’ll find the Micro-USB charging port and a 3.5mm audio jack. Strangely enough, the power button and reset pinhole are located on the bottom of the speaker which has a rubberized ring around.

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The power button is located on the bottom of the speaker.

The speaker portion itself is on the top of the speaker and is angled slightly towards the front. The iHome logo plate is centered in this speaker area.

While the design does seem more suited for indoors, the speaker is IP65 water-resistant and dustproof rated as well so you’ll have no worries taking it with you outside to listen to. As mentioned, our review unit was the gray/black colour scheme but it is also available in a gray/light blue or purple/white colour scheme.

Ease of Use

Again, like most Bluetooth speakers that come through Techaeris, the iHome iBT77 is pretty simple to use. The first time you turn it on, you’ll enter Bluetooth pairing mode. You can also press and hold the Bluetooth button for 2 seconds at any time to enter pairing mode as well. Once you have paired your device you can use the play/pause button to control music playback and raise or lower the volume of the current track. Answering a call is just as easy, and pressing the Battery button will let you know how much battery life you have left by way of a voice notification. As with some of the other recent iHome speakers we tested, you can’t skip tracks from the speaker itself.

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Playback controls are located on the back of the speaker.

As I previously mentioned in our recent iBT91 and iBT372 reviews, 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

For a small portable Bluetooth Speaker, the iHome iBT77 sounds pretty decent. The range across tones is not bad, although, as is the case with most smaller speakers, there is a lack of bass. Fortunately, that can be rectified pretty easily using an equalizer on the device you’re streaming from (if so equipped) to give the passive subwoofer an extra boost. Bass levels aside, the iBT77 does manage to get quite loud but still remains crisp and clear at any volume.

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The top firing speaker is surprisingly decent for its size.

Reception/Call Quality

Call quality is usually only as good as the speaker quality and the same holds true here. Being able to hear the caller was fine, but again, as is the case with most speakers with this functionality, the closer you are to the speaker, the easier it is for the other party to hear you.

Battery Life

iHome boasts up to 16 hours of battery life on the iBT77 and for such a small speaker, it definitely delivers. During multiple tests, we were able to get just under 16 hours while listening on medium or slightly above volume levels. As with anything, the louder you listen the shorter the battery life. In the case of this speaker though, medium volume levels are more than enough to fill most rooms in your house.

With more than decent battery life, the speaker does take about 7 hours to fully recharge when it is drained, but that’s a small trade off for being able to go nearly 16 hours between charges.

Price/Value

Priced at $49.99USD, the iHome iBT77 Bluetooth Speaker is more than reasonably priced considering the sound quality, battery life, and stylish design.

Wrap-up

Even though the iHome iBT77 is IP65 rated, the style and design make this a great sounding, long lasting, Bluetooth speaker for any room.

*We were sent a sample of the iHome iBT77 for the purposes of this review.

iHome iBT77

$49.99 USD
iHome iBT77
9.5

Design

10/10

    Ease of Use

    10/10

      Sound

      9/10

        Reception/Call Quality

        9/10

          Battery Life

          10/10

            Price/Value

            10/10

              Nailed it

              • Stylish design
              • Decent sound for a small speaker
              • Long battery life
              • Can use Melody app to control music from specific services
              • Great price

              Needs work

              • Could use more bass
              • Takes a long time to recharge
              • Power button located on the bottom
              • Can't skip tracks from the speaker
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