• The iLive Soundbar's build quality isn't as cheap as I was expecting and the number of built-in features, like the subwoofer, is shocking at its price point.
• Speaking of subwoofers, if the iLive Soundbar's bass performance isn't to your liking you can easily connect an outboard subwoofer to round out its bottom-end.
• The iLive Soundbar can be wall mounted and comes with the requisite hardware to do so, which is a nice touch.
• The iLive Soundbar's motorized iPod dock is pretty trick and slides back into the cabinet when not in use. It worked perfectly with my Apple products and allowed me to play hours of music, albeit at reasonable volumes, while I worked out and got ready in the morning.
• The iLive Soundbar does a good job with movies provided they're not too bombastic or you turn things up too loud. For late night, bedroom viewing it fits the bill.
• The iLive Soundbar's lack of a digital audio input, be it optical or coaxial, is a bit of an oversight and somewhat limiting.
• I like that the iLive Soundbar has video inputs and outputs but composite or S-Video just doesn't cut it. I'm sure the iLive Soundbar's lack of digital video inputs and outputs is a cost saving measure but I'd rather not have any than a set I can't really use.
• The motorized iPod dock is cool but I'm curious how long it will take to break.
• I'm a little let down by just how poorly the iLive Soundbar performs when played back at higher levels. Many soundbars fall apart at higher volumes but the iLive Soundbar's threshold seems to be a lot lower than the competition.
Competition and Comparison
Soundbars are hotter than ever and the iLive Soundbar faces some stiff competition despite its seemingly low price. Another soundbar to consider is Polk Audio's SurroundBar 6000. While it may cost more than the iLive Soundbar at $499.95 its performance is leaps and bounds ahead of where the iLive is, not to mention its build quality is fantastic and it includes a wireless, standalone subwoofer. It lacks an iPod dock though.
Another soundbar to consider is Vizio's VHT-210 soundbar. At $269.99 it too is more expensive than the iLive but again its performance handily trumps the iLive in virtually every way.
For more information on soundbars including the latest news and reviews please visit Home Theater Review's Soundbar page.
If you're looking for an easy to use, affordable soundbar that will double as your iPod/iPhone charging station and alarm clock, then look no further than iLive's 3.1 Soundbar for it's tailor made for you. Install it in a small room, such as a bedroom or den, and keep the volume on the more rational side of loud and it should serve you just fine; however if you want a more cinematic sound experience you're going to want to look elsewhere.