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Review: iHome iBTW281 Color Changing Bluetooth Alarm Clock

Alarm clocks are an evergreen device. We all need to wake up in the morning and go to work or school. When other features can be combined in to save space on the nightstand, it becomes more convenient, and the iHome iBTW281 Qi Wireless Fast Charging Color Changing Bluetooth Alarm Clock is one of those alarm clocks of convenience.

The most important feature of any alarm clock is the alarm clock itself. The iHome iBTW281 has a big, bright readout display that shows the time and date. The numbers on the time are large enough to be easily seen from across the room, while the date is a bit smaller.

The iHome iBTW281 conveniently has two alarms that can be set simultaneously, allowing for back to back alarms or different weekday and weekday alarms. When the alarms are set, the set times replace the date on the bottom of the display, showing which of the alarms are active and when they are set for. The alarms can be set to one of four preset tones, play from a bluetooth source, or wake to just light.

The sides of the iHome iBTW281 are large ambient lights. There are seven preset light patterns that can be selected to illuminate the alarm clock, including one that will pulse to the beat of the music that is playing through the onboard bluetooth speaker. While they are not bright enough to light a room – or even the bedside – it is pleasant to look at and gives off a nice atmospheric glow.

For a bedside speaker, the iHome iBTW281 has a built in bluetooth speaker and speakerphone. I connected my Amazon Echo Dot to it with ease by pressing the bluetooth button and telling the Dot to connect, and once connected it sounded very good. I was not only able to hear the Echo respond to my commands, but when streaming music, it sounded very good with a wide breadth of sound to fall asleep and wake up to.

As with any device that utilizes bluetooth to stream music – especially when falling asleep to the music – charging the devices is important. To take care of that need, the iHome iBTW281 has a built-in Qi charger. When placing any device that is compatible on top of the alarm clock, the clock lights up and the device on top begins to charge – which worked perfectly when I tested it with my iPhone X. And for those who need a faster charge than a Qi charger delivers, or have a device that is not Qi compatible, there is a USB port in the back to plug into. By using this port, I was able to charge both my iPhone and my iPad overnight off the one base.

The iHome iBTW281 Qi Wireless Fast Charging Color Changing Bluetooth Alarm Clock is a solid choice. A spiritual successor of the clock radios of yore, but with all the improvements of the modern age. I highly recommend it for any looking for a solid alarm clock that can also minimize the need for additional cords to take care of their phone.

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