iLuv i398 full review

The iLuv i398 is a full-scale iPod hi-fi with enough power to wake up the neighbours. It’s fairly hefty, and while it can run off batteries there’s no handle to carry it round with you. It also needs no less than eight ‘D’ batteries to power it _ better stick to the mains.

However, the size of the unit does allow iLuv to cram in quite a few useful features. There’s an iPod dock, of course, along with adaptors for most recent iPod models. We had no trouble using it with an assortment of relatively recent iPod models, although we did notice that it wouldn’t charge our ageing third-generation (black and white) iPod. There’s a secondary audio input conveniently positioned on the upper panel of the i398, along with a headphone socket so you could plug any audio source into it.

The i398 is a full 2.1 speaker system that contains two stereo speakers and a separate subwoofer. The sound quality is very good indeed _ clear and warm, and with solid bass thanks to that subwoofer. The subwoofer provides 25W output when the unit is plugged into the mains, with a further 10W from each of the stereo speakers (45W total), and the sheer volume they produce is impressive. The volume indicator on the LCD display goes up to 50, but we could only take it up to about 35 before we started to worry about upsetting the neighbours, so it has plenty of power for a houseparty.

However, we did notice that the sound quality starts to fray a bit as you approach maximum volume, so there’s still room for improvement there.

NEXT: Battery power

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