I'm a fan of the iPod because I can pretty much listen to whatever I want, whenever I want to. Apparently there are 100 million of you that feel the same way. As I increasingly rely on the iPod for my audio entertainment I find myself even less tolerant of commercials and bad DJs than ever. The solution? An iPod in every room.
When my under cabinet FM radio/CD player in the kitchen recently died (something to do with a hot toaster under it) I thought that this wold be a wonderful place for an iPod setup. In addition to making breakfast while listening to Car Talk, I can now listen to my favorite audio book (currently Jack Welch's Winning) while making pesto.
Enter the iH36W Under Kitchen Cabinet iPod player (US$99) with FM/TV/Weather Band from iHome. The premise is simple, the iH36W is an under cabinet radio that replaces the tradition CD player with a motorized drawer that allows you to connect an iPod. IT works with most iPods with a dock connector and the first generation shuffle. A three line display shows what's playing on the iPod and it also has an AM/FM/TV radio tuner that includes weather band and programmable kitchen timer.Mounting it isn't easy because you've got to carefully mark and drill your holes (I recommend drilling from the underside) and suspend the unit with one hand while you try to line up all four screws with the other. This isn't a knock on the iHome though, my GE under cabinet radio was just as hard to mount. Two paper templates are included for marking the screw holes, which makes installation easier. Just take your time and remember the old adage: measure twice, drill once.
The iH36W's sound quality is quite good and full considering the size of the speakers and it's more than loud enough to fill an entire kitchen and even entertain your guests during a small to medium size house party. A respectable 10-button remote control included in the box that has a magnet on the back so it's easy to attach to the fridge or another appliance, just don't drop it in your stew. And whatever you do, don't use a toaster under any under cabinet appliance.