It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for robots, especially our adorable little Bugdroid. That’s why I had to get my hands on the ROBO iHome Ri-26 from eKids. I’ve never owned a desktop/portable speaker (I use two Mackie SRM450 speakers I have leftover from my DJ days – wowzers) so I was extremely curious to see what kind of sound could come out of a speaker so tiny.
eKids has a reputation for bringing cute and colorful iHome products that appeal to our inner child and ROBO is no different. It’s small, portable, adorable, rechargeable, and comes in an assortment of colors. The important question is how does it sound? Well, we’ll get into that and other things in the review so read on and see if ROBO should have a place alongside all your other Android accessories.
- Works with smartphones, MP3 Players, and tablets
- Combination cable included for music listening & USB charging
- Includes travel pouch for easy portability
- Eyes turn from blue to red when battery needs recharging
First off, it’s modeled after our beloved Android mascot Bugdroid, so yea, we love it. It’s small, not too heavy, includes a travel pouch for easy transport and comes in an assortment of colors (my daughter ordered the pink one as soon as she saw it). Not to mention this portable party in your pocket sounds fantastic. You won’t mistake it for a bustling box of 12-inch subwoofers but it more than exceeded my expectations.
The ROBO has a convenient little good/evil battery indicator built into the eyes. The eyes will glow blue when the battery is good and red when it needs charging. This makes it extremely easy to identify when your little guy needs a charge. Speaking of charge, since the USB plug is built into the two-in-one provided cable, you can simply plug it into any USB charger and continue listening to your music while it’s replenishing its power supply.
The ROBO iHome Ri-26 is also extremely easy to use thanks to only having one simple switch for On/Off and that’s it. You control the volume from your device so once it’s pumping out tunes you can just set it down and forget it.
Oh yea, I almost forgot. The ROBO may be modeled after the Android mascot but that doesn’t mean you have to use an Android device. It works just fine with any other smartphone, tablet or audio source equipped with a 3.5mm audio plug.
It’s also nice to know this accessory won’t break the bank with its $25 price tag.
Nothing is perfect, right? While the ROBO’s build quality is as sturdy as a $25 product could be, its arms seem a little flimsy and easy to break.
Why, oh why, does this guy have to have wires? I realize this is the design but this thing would totally rock if it were wireless. Being tethered to your audio source with a somewhat bulky and bright white wire really takes away from the aesthetics of this accessory. He ends up looking more like a bundled mess of wires than a cool, kick-ass desktop speaker. The wires also limit portability to a couple feet away from the audio source.
My biggest complaint? The moniker iHome emblazoned across Bugdroid’s belly. I understand the fact that companies such as iHome made terrible decisions when naming their company but having the mark of the beast enscribed in large font on an accessory clearly designed for Android fans, is, well… disheartening. I’ll get over it, but I know many die-hards that won’t.
Overall, the ROBO iHome Ri-26 is a fantastic portable speaker with an Android flare. With its long lasting battery life, easy charging, and colorful design, it’s a great addition to any Android fans collection. At $25, it’s affordable and great sounding. You also won’t be crying too hard if you accidentally break the thing. I’m more than happy with it and my kids absolutely love it.
With the holidays right around the corner, the ROBO could make a great stocking stuffer for the Android fan in your life. For more information on the ROBO iHome Ri-26, be sure to check out the links to both the eKids site and Amazon.
Overall, I give the ROBO iHome Ri-26 a deserved 4 stars out of 5.
Quick Sound Test