iLive IT209B 3.1 Channel Soundbar with iPod Dock Reviewed

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iLive IT209B 3.1 Channel Soundbar with iPod Dock Reviewed

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iLive_IT209B_soundbar_review.jpgDuring a recent trip to my local Target, I stumbled across a soundbar from a company I'd never seen before - iLive. What made the iLive 3.1 Soundbar stand out from the rest wasn't its sound (it wasn't plugged in as you will often find in big box and warehouse stores); it was the included, or should I say attached, iPod/iPhone dock jutting out from its face. I looked over the iLive soundbar and thought it looked to be a pretty full-featured, cool piece of kit so I got one for review.

Additional Resources
• Read more soundbar reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore LED HDTVs and Plasma HDTVs to pair with the iLive IT209B.

The iLive Soundbar retails for $149.99 and is sold in many retail outlets such as Target and Wal-Mart. It measures 37-inches wide and comes only in black though the end caps are dressed up a bit with some high-gloss accents. The iLive Soundbar can be table or wall mounted and comes with the appropriate hardware for both applications. As I said earlier, the iLive Soundbar has a motorized iPod/iPhone dock; it also has a backlit LCD display that doubles as a digital clock complete with alarm function - making the iLive Soundbar a truly versatile, lifestyle product.

The iLive Soundbar features a built-in subwoofer, hence the 3.1. Surprisingly enough the iLive Soundbar also has a subwoofer output, meaning you can mate an additional subwoofer to it for better, smoother bass response. As for the iLive Soundbar's other connection options, there's a composite video out, S-video out, two analog audio inputs, a mini line in input (3.5mm) and auxiliary input.

Behind the scenes the iLive Soundbar is Apple certified for iPod use and its motorized dock will charge your connected iPod or iPhone while you listen. The iLive Soundbar features SRS TruSurround XT sound technology, which simulates a full 5.1 surround sound effect. It has both treble and bass controls as well as preset EQ, all of which is controlled via the iLive Soundbar's rather comprehensive remote. The iLive Soundbar also has a built-in radio tuner with station memory (10 stations) and last channel memory.

As far as the iLive Soundbar's sound quality is concerned, it gets a little boxy and colored at above moderate volumes and becomes flat and forward too, which leads me to believe the ideal environment for the iLive Soundbar isn't in a living room but instead a bedroom or den. Of course if you live in a small studio apartment or one bedroom, then perhaps the iLive Soundbar can serve as your main virtual surround sound system but it really does seem perfect for a bedroom system. When played at moderate to late night levels the iLive Soundbar's sound is okay, possessing solid bass from its narrow cabinet, with tame though not airy highs and a somewhat middle of the road midrange. The iLive Soundbar's ability to convey a surround sound performance from its three small speakers isn't bad either, though because you can't turn it up it's not exactly engaging. The iLive Soundbar's iPod dock is a nice feature and is great if you wish to play back your favorite music in the background while getting ready or working out in the morning. I also like the iLive Soundbar's LCD clock. If there's one thing that could be said about the iLive Soundbar's performance it's that it's versatile.

Read about the high points and low points of the iLive IT209B soundbar on Page 2.

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HTR Product Rating for iLive IT209B 3.1 Channel Soundbar with iPod Dock

Criteria Rating

Performance

3

Value

4

Overall

3.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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