Status Symbol: The iHC5 is more than a dock

And you thought a phone was for calling people! A new docking system for cell phones turns that idea on its head.

The iHC5 clock radio speaker system combines a dock with wireless Bluetooth capabilities, stereo speakers and more in a sleek, trendy unit.

It looks good, with its curved grille speaker cover and LCD screen; it functions well, with inputs for connecting external devices like CD players or, yes, MP3 devices. The iHome unit lets you wake up to music streamed from your Bluetooth-equipped cell phone or computer.

The device touts a 30-foot range and can play any type of audio file or Internet radio station. The system lets you dial and receive calls through its speakerphone function. The LCD screen shows caller ID.

A dual alarm mode allows separate wake up times (if you and a partner can so arrange), with Bluetooth enabled music, radio or buzzer. A snooze function is, of course, also available.

The system’s high quality speakers (four in total; two active and two passive) deliver a full and rich sound through the integrated trademark-protected Reson8 audio technology. The sound is so good that some will use the unit mostly as a quality stereo system, connected to their cellphone-based music library.

Music can be streamed via Bluetooth. The iHome is compatible with devices supporting the AVRCP and A2DP profiles, so hands-free headsets are compatible.

If that’s not enough access to music, the unit has a bult-in AM/FM radio, with 12 presents, and as mentioned, it does have a line in connection for hooking up outboard MP3 or CD players4 speaker stereo (2 active, 2 passive) Reson8 technology for full, rich sound. The system will soon be available online for around $150.

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