iHome iBTW39 review: Dual alarm speaker, wireless charging goodness

Before smartphones took over the world, simple alarm clocks ruled bedside tables. With the steady rise of wirelessly-charging mobile devices, there seems to be a push to bring alarm clocks back to the forefront in a new way.

Today's clocks don't just tell the time; they also charge wireless devices and play music through Bluetooth. iHome is one of the leading providers of 21st-century alarm clock systems, which includes the iBTW39.

The Good

  • All-in-one solution
  • Dual alarms
  • iHome Enhance app adds more features
  • Includes battery for backup during power outages
  • Smart footprint (just 7.1 x 4.1 x 5 inches)

The Bad

  • Too many poorly positioned buttons
  • Confusing setup
  • No color or style options

Multiple uses

What is the iHome iBTW39?

iHome ibtw39

Alarm clocks haven't been in vogue for many years, although that may be changing. The iHome iBTW39 packs a punch when it comes to features starting with the wireless charging pad on the front of the device that supports Qi Wireless Charging Technology. You can use the pad to charge the iPhone 8 or higher and Android devices that support the protocol.

But, there's more. You can also charge a secondary device through the built-in USB port.

Besides alarm and charging capabilities, the iHome iBTW39 also includes Reson8 speakers so you can stream the music from your mobile device. There's also smart home integration so you can control any iHome brand smart plugs directly. With IFTTT integration, you can also use the iBTW39 to control other connected gadgets throughout your house.

So many features

iHome iBTW39: What I like

The iHome iBTW39 offers a smorgasbord of useful features. There's the alarm feature, of course, which provides dual alerts for separate wake times for weekdays, weekends, and every day. These alarms use Bluetooth audio or the four built-in alarm tones to get the job done.

The wireless charging dock, on the front of the device, requires no instruction; position your mobile device on the wireless charging area to begin. You can charge your mobile device in a vertical or horizontal position. The dock works with any iPhone that supports Qi Wireless Charging Technology; some Samsung mobile devices will also work with the dock. The USB charging port on the back of the clock is ideally suited for your Apple Watch or iPad.

I also liked the free iHome Enhance app that you use to adjust alarm settings and access other features, such as the device's so-called Smart button. Located on the top of the device, this Smart button features a short- and long-press, both which you can assign.

For example, you can use the button to start Spotify, Apple Music, or another music service; it will also work with iFTTT and iHome's lineup of smart plugs. Beyond this, I was impressed with the built-in speakerphone and mic, which both work well during multiple tests.

Button, buttons, and yes, more buttons!

iHome iBTW39: What I don't like

iHome ibtw39 instruction

After an alarm clock awakens you, what's the first thing you want to do? Turn the damn sound off, of course. Perhaps it's my 40-something-year-old eyes or merely the winter darkness, but I had problems finding one of the correct buttons each morning on this device. (To turn off the alarm, you can use buttons on the top or back of the device.)

I also found setting up the iHome iBTW39 was anything but simple, although the companion iHome Enhance app does help. For initial setup, you'll need to reference the instruction manual. (Always keep it by your bedside if you need to make changes.) I think my frustration grew primarily out of the size and location of the buttons on the device; they are located on the top and back.

Once setup was complete, I had no additional issues with the iBTW39. It worked well and got the job done.

Your nightstand will thank you

iHome iBTW39: Bottom line

The iHome iBTW39 is much more than an alarm clock; it's also a wireless charger and speaker. If you need more than your smartphone to wake up, consider making this purchase.

See iHome iBTW39 at Amazon

Have any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about the iHome iBTW39 or speakers and audio products in general, let us know below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.