"ROCK SOLID sound and construction. Amazing volume and sound quality and defintion from 1 speaker."4.5 starson by Big_Jake77
Pros: Awesome sound, solid construction, convienant controls, works perfect for bikes, safe sound option. Left on car bumper w/ iPOD inside. It fell off&onto road ~45MPH=>iPOD and Speakers perfect still!
Cons: iPOD only: it would be a great product for some smaller XM recievers I've seen. Heavy: maybe 2.5 pounds. No 2 speakers stereo-but sound is amazing anyway. Needs Batteries for sound amplification
Summary: This is for outdoor (or indoor) usage on bikes and beaches or for use in liquid container holders like ones that may be found in hiking backpacks, bike cages, and such. It is only for iPODs (except shuffles). It is perfect for conditions when you want to share music out-loud with others. It is perfect for use at tailgates, while hiking, during group bike rides, or 100 other times when you don't want to use headphones for safety or social reasons.
1) Sound is unexpectedly clear, loud, deep, full, and stereo like.
2) Rock solid water tight construction...The only reason I joined this forum is to relay the following story. After my experience recently, this product deserves it's due credit and this story had to be published somewhere. OK, so imagine you just bought a $400 160 GB iPOD, and thought you'd listen to every song you own through this this new iH85B mounted in your mountian bike water bottle cage. Later that week you load up the bike on back of your truck and take off. Well, what you realize 3 hours later in middle of a torrential rainstorm is that while loading your bike, you set your iH85B unit with the formentioned $400 iPOD on your back bumper and proceded to drive away. Which, of course, means that somewhere between your driveway and 20 miles of road it fell off and you noew have $500s of your electronics laying in a torrential rain storm...are you feeling a gut-wrenching sick feeling yet? So there I was...It's getting dark so I do the only thing I can. I take the bike and ride along the road that I had drove down earlier. About half mile away from my house, along the side of curve that I took at about 45MPH, laying in a ditch is my combined $500 worth of iPOD and iH85B. Think it was busted up and drenched? Nope, the case was lightly scrathed and fully intact and still completely sealed. I pushed the power button and my iPOD immediatly started playing in middle of the very same song that I been listening to when I turned the unit off about 3 hours earlier...and it sounded perfect. I opened the case when I got home and the iPOD was 100% intact, new looking, screen unscathed, and fully functional. Do you feel the relief and amazement and apprecation for the iH85B, I sure did? I had to brag about that story somewhere. The hard palstic case can take a beating and still protect (through ingenious iPOD specific, provided inserts) an expensive iPOD from shock, dirt, water, and extreme abuse. In fact, I can say that while taking higher speed aggressive bumps on my mountian bike it plays flawleslly. Nothing short of amazing. In fact, despite it's weight (~2 Lbs), if it had a line-out, I'd carry my iPOD in this thing all the time.
4) Brillaint construction and smart mounting and carrying options. Fits in bike water cages or any otehr like recepticle. Comes with a padded over the shoulder carrying case too.
5) Very smart and conveniant remote fits on bike handles (where it is easily removable for storage on the built in cubby hole on the unit) or pockets and works perfectly and at least 30 foot.
6) Affordable: Per my research, this is the best quality for the dollar, I decided to buy this ~$80 unit before buying a $300+ under seat unit...figured I'd take the smaller gamble, be disappointed, and buy the other one...not the case though. This is great value for the dollar, heck, the money I saved buying this instead almost pays for the iPOD. Not to mention, this desing looks a lot sleaker on the bike than the under seat model I looked at anyway.
OK now, lets address the very limited negatives.
1)It needs batteries (4 AAs) for sound amplification (not charging iPOD) and it is not rechargable. The sealable power-in port is apparently meant to charge your iPOD or run the iH85 without batteries. I've used mine for 5 hours with no problem but if you were to ride a lot you'd want to bring extra AAs with you.
2) No audio-out connection. So what? It's portable.
3) No audio-in connection. OK though, becasue it would be combersome and defeat the sleak portbale quality anyway. Could be nice for watching iPOD movies on a camping trip or soemthing thouhg. can't do this otherwise because the iPOD is stuck inside the unit.
4) Only 1 speaker. This is not really as negative as you may think. I've seen a more expensive under seat stereo model by another company but this was about a quarter of the price of that one...so I bought it. The sound is amazing with 1 speaker. Great fidelity, deep, full, low lows, high highs, and not tinny. Clear sound and more volume than you'll ever want. If you don't look at the unit you'd swear you were listening to a much larger two speaker stereo and others will be looking for the second speaker on the unit. Plenty loud; Just 2 to 4 clicks of volume on the remote will be enough for almost any siuation. I haven't even wanted to try to max he volume out even when it is as loud as I can stand, the sound is still rock solid with no vibration or distortion. My girlfriend rides with me and she enjoys listening to it while we ride even if she's 20 to 30 feet away.
5) iPOD only (but not shuffle). The design of this product is just so brilliant that I wish could use a portable XM radio or something else with it. But, with some commercial software you can turn XM programs into iPOD files anyway. Also, my older 40GB black&white iPOD needed a software upgrade to work properly in this unit. That was free from iTUNES so no biggy.
6) Kind of heavy: weight savy riders may not like this unit. It's about 2 pounds by my guess. But I personally don't care because the overall experince is worth it for me. If you want to listen to good music, safely, this is still the lightest and cheapest way to go.
7) It's black: This is only a bad thing if you are looking for it in a ditch in a rainstorm at dusk. I put some reflective tape on mine in case my SNAFU happens again...let's hope not, I think I learned my lesson. Besides, if it does lay in a ditch overnight, your IPOD and iH85B will be just fine in the morning.