Type in the phrase iPod docking stations in Google and you will have over 1.5 million hits. In fact, the market is so saturated with docking stations right now that you can go and purchase one for as low as $50. If you want something out of the ordinary and you are willing to spend for it, may we suggest something fresh and unique for your desk?

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We are constantly on the lookout for great iPod docking stations, and a product that we came across that may be a great addition to your home or office is iHome’s iHL31. Sure, it functions just like any other iPod docking station, but just how many companies have thought of combining a docking station and a lamp in a single device?

The iHL31 has a docking base similar to the JBL On Stage: the base is surrounded by speakers, with the control buttons (volume up and down, light, speaker, and bass buttons) and docking port located above the speakers. The unit’s line-in and line-out ports (3.5mm), as well as the AC-in port are located on the rear.

It uses a halogen bulb (GY) 6.35 with a maximum wattage of 35W (included in the package). The light can be turned on by either pressing the Light button at the base of the lamp or by using the remote control by pressing the button with the bulb icon.


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Besides the light button, the remote has seven other buttons (play/pause, power, previous, next, volume up, volume down, and bass). These buttons would make it easy for users to control the iPod from afar.

Setting up the unit does not take long and only requires a user to plug the unit into a wall socket, select the correct iPod dock insert, insert an iPod into the dock (Apple’s iPhone is not compatible with this unit) or use the 3.5mm jack for other MP3 players, and turn on the unit.

The iHL31 sounds alright just so long as you don’t push it – distorted music is probably the last thing you would want to listen to while you are reading or working. Those looking for a speaker system that can go loud should definitely look elsewhere.

The unit’s lamp is bright but gets hot in a matter of seconds, so users must take utmost care in moving the lamp around while it is turned on. Replacing the halogen bulb entails loosening all the screws of the clear casing, replacing the bulb, and securing back the circular disc.

If you need a lamp for your bedside table or office desk that has an iPod docking station built-in, then the iHome iHL31 may just be that perfect device for you. Unfortunately, this product will set users back $239.95, which costs a lot considering what it can do.

iHome iHL31 | $239.95 |  | www.conexus.com.au

For: Clever integration of lamp and iPod docking station; Remote is included; Line-in and line out; Good for desks
Against: Sound quality not as good as the others; Can only go up to a certain angle; Pricey
Conclusion: Set the ambience with this lamp speakers from iHome.

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