Bluetooth headphones range from the affordable to expensive and everything in between. While basic functionality is the same, there are more than a few pairs and styles that offer features that other headphones don’t. We’ve reviewed a number of iHome products here at Techaeris, and they usually offer interesting and unique features. Our iHome iB88 review takes a look at a pair of splashproof, rugged, foldable, rechargeable Bluetooth headphones that are IP65 dustproof and water-resistant for active users.
The iHome iB88 Splashproof Rugged Foldable Bluetooth Rechargeable Headphones have the following features and specifications:
- Provides detailed, dynamic sound with enhanced bass response
- Includes a travel pouch for added portability
- Convenient on-ear touch controls
- Rechargeable battery
- IP65 dustproof and water-resistant rated
- Melody Music Assistant support
- Bluetooth: V4.0+ EDR
- Bluetooth range: approx 33′ (10m)
- Battery: 360mAh
- Battery Life: up to 18 hours
- Dimensions: 7.37 x 2.76 x 7.68″ (WxHxD)
- Weight: .44 lbs
What’s in the box
- iHome iB88 Bluetooth headphones
- Washable travel pouch
- USB charging cable
- Instruction guide
The iHome iB88 Bluetooth headphones definitely have a solid and slightly rugged look to them. The headband is wrapped in a thick rubber and has a thick squarish look to it. The underside of the headband has an indented crosshatch pattern. Unfortunately, a slight tradeoff of having such a rugged headband is that it isn’t as comfortable as other headphones I’ve used. It’s definitely bearable, but I certainly noticed a slight discomfort from time to time.
Each end of the headband has a plastic cap with the iHome logo on it. Just below this is where the sturdy plastic earcup holders connect by way of an adjustable band on either side. The top portion of this piece is stamped with the blue Weather Tough logo. The earcups also fold in towards the headband at this point for more compact storage.
At the bottom portion, a round accent piece with the iHome icon in blue sits in the middle of each circle. On the right-hand side, however, the iHome icon doubles as the headphone’s multi-function button (MFB). In addition, a + icon sits at the 12 o’clock position, followed by >> at 3 o’clock, – at 6 o’clock, and << at 9 o’clock. These four buttons allow you to adjust volume and track playback without having to reach for your phone.
On the underside of the right earcup frame is a water resistant cover which protects both the Micro-USB charging port and the 3.5mm AUX jack. Just behind this cover, towards the back of the headphones, is the power/charging/pairing LED indicator light. Just in front of this cover is a small pinhole which is where the microphone resides.
The earcups themselves are attached to the earcup frame by way of a slightly movable connector. The movement isn’t much but it is enough that the earcups self-adjust for your head shape when wearing the headphones. The ear pads themselves are constructed from soft, breathable fabric. When worn, the ear pads are fairly soft and comfortable. The ear pads are also easily removable should you wish to wash them and snap back into place just as easily.
Ease of Use
When you first turn on the iHome iB88 headphones by pressing the iHome MFB, they go into pairing mode. Simply find iB88 in your phone’s Bluetooth settings and you’ll be good to go. Controlling volume and playback with the controls on the right earcup is easy and works well. The icons are raised just enough so that you can feel where they are and being able to just reach up and adjust volume, skip to the next track, pause a track, or answer a phone call is definitely a welcome feature.
As I previously mentioned in some of our recent iHome 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 the iHome MFB 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 with other supported devices, the Melody app 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 by holding the << button for 3-4 seconds.
Besides comfort, sound quality is definitely an important aspect of wireless Bluetooth headphones. Fortunately, the iHome iB88 headphones are pretty decent out of the box in the sound department. They aren’t perfectly balanced across lows, mids, and highs, but unlike most other headphones that are lacking in one area, these are a bit more low heavy. While I do like my bass, these tended to be a bit flat and not punchy but with some quick equalization tweaks, the sound was more than acceptable.
These headphones also go very loud, I found that 50-65% volume was more than adequate for pleasurable listening. When cranked to 100%, the sound did start to get muddied around the 85% mark but unless you’re really hard of hearing, you’re not going to be listening to these at anywhere near that volume.
While the iHome iB88 Bluetooth Headphones aren’t going to appease audiophiles, with a bit of equalization they’re definitely acceptable in the sound department for the average user.
Bluetooth reception on the iHome iB88 is rated at roughly 33′ (10m). During our testing, we were close to 30′ away before the music started cutting out once in a while and that was with a clear line of sight. Call quality was pretty decent as well. As usual, the other party was easy enough to hear and I only had to speak up slightly for them to hear me over the microphone located near the bottom of the right ear cup.
iHome claims a battery life of up to 18 hours with the iB88 Bluetooth Headphones, and when used at medium and slightly higher volumes, that time was easily hit. Recharging takes a bit of time, roughly two to three hours to fully recharge.
With an MSRP of $69.99USD, the iHome iB88 Bluetooth Headphones definitely fall under the affordable category. Given the rugged, IP65-rated construction, decent sound quality, and excellent battery life, iHome once again offers great value for the price point.
The iHome iB88 Splashproof Rugged Foldable Bluetooth Rechargeable Headphones are a great choice for active, outdoor users looking for a dustproof and water-resistant pair of on-ear wireless headphones.