Apple's iHome iHM77 Stereo Mini Speakers

When bigger always seems to be better, especially when it comes to sound, the iHome speakers could be easily passed over on store shelves. Someone remarked the twin black domes looked like cat toys -- and it's not an unfair assessment.

But Apple's iHome iHM77 Stereo Mini Speakers put out a decent amount of sound for their size without sounding tinny. Still, the $49.99 speakers just can't compete with a more substantial sound system that's much larger and costs more.

The bass quality is fairly poor, making Kanye West sound like he's in the next room. The speakers pick up vocals better than anything else, leaving instrumental sound quality a little off-kilter, like a piano in need of tuning.

While not always a great match with contemporary music, the speakers perform much better when matched with less complex sounds, found in music from the 1980s or earlier.

The iHome's size makes it convenient for travel where sound outside headphones or earbuds is desired -- each speaker is semi-collapsible with magnets that hold the domes together by the bottom. A carrying case is included.

The iHome is advertised to be compatible with other devices, including cell phones and computers with a 3.5 mm audio jack, and comes with built-in rechargeable batteries in each speaker.

The iHome is a good choice for young music listeners who want something to dance to in their rooms without (this is for you, Mom and Dad) the ability to turn the sound up unbearably loud.

But for anything more, splurging on a larger sound system is a better choice. Sometimes bigger is just better.

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