Portable Bluetooth speakers come in varied shapes and sizes and all purport to have special features that overshadow their sound. So okay, iHome’s iKN150B Kineta Portable Rechargeable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker System is indeed a portable speaker functioning off a rechargeable battery. But its features do more than just add to the basics of playing music, they enhance that music as well as providing for “out of the box” uses.
The iKN150B uses Bluetooth to power a pair of speakers — so yes we’re talking stereo here and not dull mono. Those with NFC (Android and otherwise) can do a tap and set it up for pairing, otherwise a little more effort is needed to set it up. iHome uses their Reson8 sound chambers to provide for a distinctly loud and clear sound — it works in conjunction with a Texas Instrument DSP (digital sound processor) to enact better audio quality in a portable device (it also helps that the iKN150B isn’t tiny so the speaker chambers aren’t either). This also applies to the quality of audio when using the AUX in (analog versus digital and working through an audio cable physically connected to the phone or tablet or audio device that doesn’t have Bluetooth such as an early model iPod or other MP3 player). Also, as is the case today with most Bluetooth devices, there is a microphone built in for taking calls from the phone that is supplying the streaming audio, with actual buttons to make using it more of a tactile sensation.
iHome is also aware that battery power drains quicker when the phone (or tablet) is providing streaming content. Rather than try and get you to buy an iHome accessory charger, the company builds it directly into the iKN150B. This is called a K-Cell and consists of a vertical tube that rests inside until needed. Pulling it out reveals the fact that it’s a fully charged (courtesy of the connection to the iKN150B) and functional battery charger that is ready to supply power to whatever mobile device should need it. The K-Cell has a wattage of 2600 mAh which makes it suitable for charging smartphones at a fairly rapid rate, although in use with a table the charging will go much slower. When the charging is done, reinserting the K-Cell into its compartment takes care of where to place it, as well as initiating a charging sequence to return its storage capacity to full. A nice touch is the addition of dual battery meters — one for the battery powering the iKN150B and the other specially designed to provide readings from the K-Cell.
iHome’s iKN150B Kineta Portable Rechargeable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker System retails for $149.99 and provides a quality sound that is loud and vibrant as well as adding charging capabilities for mobile devices. This makes it an overall success as a portable device whose purpose is to play music whether inside or outside.