With digital voice assistants, especially Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, becoming commonplace, companies are finding more ways to embed them in everyday products that we use. We previously reviewed iHome’s Alexa alarm clock and now our iHome iGV1 review takes a look at their Google
The iHome iGV1 Google Assistant Built-In Bedside Speaker System has the following features and specifications:
- Features Google Assistant that can play music, control your smart devices, hear the news, check the weather, and more
- Streams thousands of music stations instantly via Wi-Fi audio
Easy-to-readdisplay provides at-a-glance information including time and next alarm preview
- Includes a 1 amp USB port to keep your mobile devices charged and ready to go
- Works great with iHome Smart Plugs to turn off your home’s lights, turn on a fan, or start the coffee maker from anywhere in the house
- Ports: Power port, USB Input (for charging smartphone)
- Dimensions: 3.39 x 5.31 x 6.46 in
- Weight: 2.93 lbs
What’s in the box
- iHome iGV1 Google Assistant Built-In Bedside Speaker System
- Power adapter
- Quick Start Guide
The iHome iGV1 bedside speaker has a pretty modern look. Roughly 6 1/2 inches wide and just over 5 inches in height and 3 inches in depth, the bottom two-thirds of the front is covered with a grey fabric mesh. The top third is a clear plastic with an off-white finish underneath it. The iHome logo is centered on the top with the time and other display functions sitting underneath it.
The top of the speaker is ovalish in shape and is where you’ll find all your physical button controls. In the middle is a circular button array around a central Google Assistant button. Around this central button are your volume up and down controls (top and bottom) and next and previous track buttons. Underneath this button array is the snooze/display dimmer button while a mute button is above. On either side of the mute button is a microphone pinhole for the far field microphones. On the left side is a small play/pause button and on the right is a Bluetooth pairing button. When the display is on brightness level 2 or higher, these buttons are backlit as well.
The back of the speaker is pretty basic as well. Instead of the fabric finish on the bottom, it is a matching grey plastic. The circular DC 12V/2A power port and a USB-A port are located centered near the bottom.
Finally, the bottom of the speaker has a pair of rubber strips which wrap around the left and right edges to provide some grip while the speaker is sitting on your nightstand or bedside table.
The one thing to note, unlike traditional alarm clocks, there is no battery backup with this unit so if you’re power goes out, the clock goes off as well.
Overall, the iGV1 has a pretty decent looking design that’ll fit right in to most bedroom decors.
The display itself is pretty simple. Centered in the middle, roughly 3/4 of an inch by two inches wide, is a dot matrix time display. There are four LED dots on the lower left under the dot matrix time display. When you say “Hey Google,” these light up in white so you know it’s listening. When you mute the speaker, these light up in orange so you know the speaker is muted. Just to the right of these dots, the display will show the next alarm you have set.
By default, the display is mighty bright. Fortunately, you can dim the display. The display has an off setting as well as 1-4 and high. When set to 2-4 or high, as mentioned above, the physical buttons on the top are backlit as well. For the most part, I found the 2 setting was just fine as I still liked having the backlit buttons on top. At any rate, it’s easy to reach over and press the dimmer button to toggle the display brightness.
Ease of Use/Setup
As with any Google Home device, setup isn’t all that hard. Simply download and open the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device and follow the setup instructions to locate and add the iGV1 to your device list.
Once set up, the iHome iGV1 Google Assistant Built-In Bedside Speaker System can be used to set alarms, play music, control your smart devices, hear the news, check the weather, and more. If you’ve used Google Assistant on your phone or another device before, this speaker will be a no-brainer to use.
If you’re new to Google Assistant, it’ll still be a pretty easy learning process as you can just ask it pretty much whatever you want. Simply invoke it by saying “Hey, Google” or pressing the Google Assistant button. Once you see the four LED lights in white appear, you can ask the speaker to do various things. Ask it “what’s the weather?” and it will reply with the current weather. If you have Spotify connected, you can ask it to “play my Faves playlist on Spotify” and the speaker will start playing that playlist.
As far as software is concerned, the iHome iGV1 uses Google Home for connection purposes. Once set up, there’s no real need to open the software after that.
Being a voice activated speaker, you’d expect the iGV1 to be quick and responsive — and it is. Saying “Hey, Google” and waiting a second or two for the indicator lights to come on worked from any spot in the bedroom. The Google Assistant interaction was just as quick and responsive from checking the weather to playing Spotify or setting an alarm.
On that note, when the alarm goes off you can either say “Hey, Google… stop” and the alarm will stop. Of course, being groggy when that alarm goes off, you can also snooze it with the snooze/dimmer button or turn it off with the play/pause button.
The one thing that I disliked about the alarm is that you can’t adjust the alarm volume independently. If you have the speaker volume set to 30, that’s the volume your alarm will be. It’s something I just got used to (a louder alarm) but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. If you like to listen to your music louder and would rather have a softer alarm, you’ll have to get in the habit of turning the volume on the speaker down before you hit the sack every night.
Even though the display also shows what time the next alarm you have set, it didn’t always show up even though I had it set for 6:50 a.m. Monday to Friday. Most of the time it wouldn’t show up unless I unplugged the clock and set it back in or told the Google Assistant to set the alarm for that time again. That being said, I never had any issues with the alarm going off on time regardless if the alarm time was being shown on the clock or not. Still, it’s something that should show up consistently if the alarm is set for later that day or the next morning.
The iGV1 Google Assistant Built-In Bedside Speaker has pretty decent sound when dealing with the Google Asstant. The voice response is clear and crisp and easy to hear and understand.
To be perfectly honest, I was pretty impressed with the sound quality of the speaker when streaming Spotify as well. The audio is pretty balanced with just enough bass to notice but nothing overpowering or distorted.
The iGV1 has an MSRP of US$139.99. While the build quality, design, and sound quality are decent enough, there are other bedside speakers out there that are more affordable. On that note, I’d suspect this speaker would sell much better at the sub-$100 price point. It is currently on sale for $129.99 on Amazon and 20% off on iHome’s website for Father’s Day, but as I said, $99 would be a much better price point for this bedside speaker.
While a bit on the high side price wise, the iHome iGV1 Google Assistant Built-in Bedside Speaker System offers a decent design and sound quality. It’s responsive and is easy to use for interacting with Google Assistant for getting information or interacting with your Google Home connected devices.
*We were sent a sample of the iHome iGV1 Google Assistant Built-In Bedside Speaker System for the purposes of this review.
iHome iGV1 Google Assistant Built-In Bedside Speaker SystemUS$139.99
Ease of Use/Setup9.5/10
- Modern design
- Quick and responsive
- Decent sound
- Dimmable display
- Mic mute button
- Ease to set up with Google Home app
- Alarm time doesn't always display
- No battery backup