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Portable Wireless Speakers: iHome iBT4 Bluetooth Rechargeable Boombox

8/11/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Resurrecting the iconic ’80s consumer electronics device – the portable boombox – iHome updated it with 21st century technology in a retro-style chassis.

Like the boomboxes of yore, the iBT4 features a radio (FM tuner) with telescoping antenna, runs on batteries (although now a rechargeable lithium-ion battery), and comes with movable carrying handle and battery, but don’t look for a built-in CD player or cassette deck. This boombox uses any Bluetooth-connected mobile device as its music source, appealing equally to a broad base of consumers who own Apple, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone mobile devices.

The boombox’s retro styling features the squared-off edges and big knobs that went with the big hair of the ’80s, but the look has been updated with a rubberized soft-touch finish and a choice of bright colors.

Top-panel buttons control the play/pause and forward/reverse functions of the Bluetooth-connected device. Large knobs control the boombox’s on/off, source selection and volume functions.

The mono boombox and its larger stereo cousin, the iBT44, stand almost alone in the market for boombox-styled portable Bluetooth speakers, an iHome spokesperson said.

Other key features include internal battery delivering seven hours of playback time, SRS TruBass low-frequency enhancement, digital signal processing for extra bass and clarity, and an auxiliary output to add a second speaker that plays the same material as the boombox’s embedded speaker.

An auxiliary input lets users connect music devices that lack Bluetooth.

The unit’s handle can be placed in two positions: upright for carrying and back for tilt-back play.

It comes with a universal 100-240-volt AC adapter.