iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker – Video Review


Not long ago I did a post on the "State of AirPlay" speakers and at the time I couldn't get my hands on the long awaited iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker. While this speaker is stil in short supply I was able to snag one at my local Apple Store. Rather than write a review I decided to record a short video on why this speaker rocks!

As of the writing of this post, most places are still out of stock. However, you can check this link for availability. List price is $299.99

18 Replies to “iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker – Video Review”

  1. Gee thanks, Terry! Just when I thought it was safe to close my pocketbook, you tell me about this….So let me get this straight. You can just place one of these in various rooms and it will play or do you actually have to be near it? How do you get, say, Two Speakers to work together?

    1. Once the iW1 is on your WiFi network it doesn’t matter where you are as long as the source playing the music is also on your WiFi Network. Yes, you can use more than one, but keep in mind that while your computer (iTunes, AirFoil, etc.) can stream to multiple AirPlay speakers at once, your iDevice can only play to ONE at a time.

  2. Thanks for review, Terry !

    Q1) If you have multiple speakers, are they in sync ? Meaning, if I have 2 speakers (#1 ON / #2 OFF), if I turn #2 ON while #1 is already ‘streaming’, will #2 be in sync with #1 ?

    Q2) Are there different options out there that are less than $300 ?

    Thanks !

    1. 1) yes, always in sync.
      2) I’ve not seen any all in ones for less. You could always go with an AirPort Express Base Station and plug in any speaker you want. ($65-$99).

  3. Dear Terry

    Many thanks for the review and for the reply above which answers one of my questions.

    I know you have a Mac Mini Server at home. Is this the machine that you run iTunes from? Do you have iTunes configured to run from startup and does this cause any problems with memory management etc? I have never had the need to have iTunes running permanently and so would like to know from someone who is running a system. I presume that the machine must be running all the time and can’t hibernate and wake on use?

    I apologise for asking so many questions and thank you in advance.


    1. The Mac mini server is for my file server and backups only. I run a separate iMac that serves as my “media” server. It has iTunes on it running 24/7 and is connected to a separate Drobo for the storage of all audio and video files. Since it’s dedicated to this task I never shut it down unless I’m doing some kind of maintenance. No one uses it for anything else, therefore no memory issues or other problems. Been doing this for years and it’s worked out well.

  4. Terry, I want to play all my Music from itunes through my Apple TV. Therefore I will have music playing on my TV and the Surround Sound speakers. My question is I was going to put speakers outside on the Patio but I thought having this portable speaker would be better but does it work with Apple TV?? I’m assuming it has to sync with the Computer and since the Apple TV is Synced to the Computer then I guess the Speakers can’t sync also right??

      1. So you can you select both at the same time? As I would like to play itunes on my Apple TV to get the surround sound in the house and then also have it playing on the iW1 Speakers so I could take them outside…. This would save me having to put speakers outside…. I didn’t think you could select both…. I spoke to Apple and they said you couldn’t…. Just want to make sure before I purchase this. Thanks again for the speedy response….

        1. iTunes allows the selection of MULTIPLE AirPlay speakers. So yes from iTunes you can select your Apple TV and iW1 to stream to at the same time. I’m currently streaming music from iTunes on an iMac to my B&W Zeppelin Air, iW1 and Apple TV 2.

  5. Hi Terry,

    Thanks, two areas of clarification or me please.
    1. Sound quality, what was your feeling (low and high volumes compared to a sound dock or something similar), I image the battery takes up some speaker space.
    2. Why would you need proprietary software on the phone? Or is it only used to set it up to the wifi network as an airplay device…e.g a once off use.



    1. 1. Sound quality is great for me (my ears) at all volumes and yes comparable to my Sounddocks.
      2. The App is only needed to get it on WiFi. After that you can remove it if you like.

  6. I have a wired home theater system with surround sound. I will be moving and will not be able to install cables to my five speakers.

    Do you have a suggestion for a wireless system that will connect to my receiver?

    My inputs will be DVD cd radio and hd tv.


  7. Great review and recommendation Terry.
    I bought one, have used it for a week, and am VERY happy with it.

  8. Hi Terry,

    A quick question if you have multiple of these speakers can you play different music list to each? I was thinking of the Sonos system since it will let you do it through their software but if this could work in the long run would be less expensive.


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