This pint-sized cutie has impressive sound but disappointing FM performance.


Complete with legs, eyes, and a mouth, the iWoofer will brighten your day with its cheerful, animal-like visage. It features two small front speakers and a woofer on its cute little bottom, encircled by four blue LEDs that light up when powered via AC or 4 AA batteries - the lights can be toggled by a button on the iWoofer's side. Three sound sources are supported: your iPod, a built-in FM radio, or an auxiliary input. With a set of supplied holders, the iWoofer handles and charges (over AC or USB) any iPod from the second generation forward except the nano - a separate iWoofer nano is also available.


We were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the sound produced by this pint-sized (6.7 inches tall, 4.6 inches in diameter) system. At a reasonable volume level, iWoofer's adjustable bass is strong and impressive considering the system's size. The treble is crisp and the volume can go up fairly high before distorting. When the iWoofter is running on batteries, maximum volume is lowered and yields about 3.5 hours of playing time before the quality of sound diminishes. The iWoofer also features a USB port on the back that can be used to sync your iPod to your Mac.


While the iWoofer's sound is impressive, its FM tuner isn't. Stations are located using forward and back buttons, but the so-called auto tuner falls short as it selects many frequencies that are merely static instead of the music you're looking for. The reception leaves something to be desired, and there's no display to show what station you're tuned to. One favorite station can be saved into memory, but we wish we could store more.


The bottom line. Overall, the iWoofer is a solid iPod speaker system that produces better-than-average sound, but its FM tuner is a disappointing afterthought.


COMPANY: Rain Design
CONTACT: 800-797-7321, www.raindesigninc.com
PRICE: $129
REQUIREMENTS: iPod or other audio source
Fun design. Small form factor. High-quality sound. USB dock. Auxiliary input.
A little pricey. Poor FM reception. Difficult FM tuning method.





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