The Good: They work flawlessly with iPod products, Comparatively inexpensive, Decent sound
The Bad: Looks ridiculous, No volume control on speaker
The Basics: Despite the somewhat silly nature of the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker, SDI Technologies produces a pretty decent portable speaker for MP3 players!
My mother-in-law does not know me very well; my wife and I got together and when she moved out to be with me, my mother-in-law was left back in Michigan raising the rest of the children she had. Ironically, once my wife and I moved to Michigan, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law moved further West. But for every major holiday, my mother-in-law includes me and she tries to find gifts I’ll like for me. This last year, she picked me up a Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker. While I usually abhor the stylized collectible characters that this represents – it is much like the Mighty Muggs figures from Hasbro (check out my review of the Han Solo Mighty Muggs here!) – the Hulk mini speaker was too cute not to open up and use. My wife and I have been watching a lot of programs on her laptop computer and using the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker for about a month now and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it works.
The Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker is a 5” wide by 2 1/2” thick by 3” tall green and purple speaker. The 2” tall by 2 1/2" wide flat speaker face of the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker has a drawing of the Incredible Hulk with the recognizable eyes, nose and teeth of the character. Atop the speaker is a soft, rubbery head of hair for the Hulk and on the sides are two closed fists (with knuckles and nails molded onto the fists). The feet and green and purple with silkscreened toes on the feet, instead of being molded on. The feet cause the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker to sit perfectly stable on whatever surface upon which the speaker system is placed.
This speaker system is exceptionally easy to use. The Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker comes with a single mini-USB cord (male end) that connects to the back of the speaker. The cord splits and ends in a traditional portable music headphone jack and a full-sized USB jack. The male end of the iHome speaker is a thin metal jack which fits into the “female” port on computers, MP3 players, portable stereos, portable c.d. players and anything else that used to accept small jack headphones (not like the big-60s and 70s headsets). The male USB end is used to connect the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker to the computer or other product with a USB port and it allows the unit to be recharged. The cord is 31” long and that is more than enough for the functions my wife and I use the speaker for.
Connecting the audio jack to the computer or whatever system one wants to get sound from is simple. Activating the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker is equally easy; there is a sliding power button on the back of the unit that turns it on. When the unit is on and there is power, there is a bright white light at the front of the Hulk speaker that is fairly conspicuous. When it is recharging, the light turns red, even if the unit is turned to the “off” position. When the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker is not connected via the USB power supply to a power source, the mini speaker remains powered and functional for about two and a half hours.
The Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker provides surprisingly good sound for such a small speaker. There is no distortion from the mono-speaker (except when the power is in the process of dying). Usually for such a small speaker, the sound is tinny, but the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker has remarkably good sound quality. It is not metallic at all and it carries the full range of tones low and high for music, television, and computer games.
The Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker does not have any form of volume control on the unit itself or the cords that connect it to the device from which one is getting the sound. While this is not a huge issue, it does usually deplete the battery on my MP3 player faster to have to turn the screen back on to adjust the volume there, as opposed to being able to do it through the speaker.
That said, the Marvel Hulk iHome Rechargeable Mini Speaker is a fun speaker system for those who want to be able to listen to music and computer-driven programs clearly, but with a clear indication that one is a proud geek. The Hulk is cute and this is a wonderful basic speaker system.
For other i-products, please check out my reviews of:
Apple M9126GA connector
Apple iBud Earphones
iPod Shuffle (4th Generation)
For other electronics products, please visit my Electronics Product Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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