Product Type: iDuck speakers
Newest Review: ... where the headphone jack would usually go, meaning that it can be used with a wide variety of devices. You also get the pretty cheap and... more
iDuck just doesn't do it for me
Member Name: shoe_gal_84
Advantages: Novel idea for a product
Disadvantages: Bad sound quality
So, I love my music, and always want it playing - even when I'm in the shower or bath. I used to take my phone into the bathroom and play my music through that, but hubby stepped in and said that it could cause damage to my phone by moisture getting in. I was searching through Amazon a while ago and came across the iDuck, which seemed to offer a fun solution to my bathtime problem, so I went ahead and purchased it for around £15.
The iDuck comes well packaged in a bit of a cheap looking box (ie. looks like the sort of box you might make for a prototype product at school!). I was really looking forward to using it, when I discovered that you actually needed 5 AAA batteries to get it up and running. We didn't have this many at home, so I had to wait before I could try it out. It comes with a sheet of instructions which are clear and easy to follow - thank goodness, as I'm not exactly a whizz when it comes to technology!
First of all, I'll explain how it works. There is a white, egg shaped transmitter (which take 3 x AAA batteries), and this is what you plug your ipod/MP3 player/phone into. The connector just goes into the socket where the headphone jack would usually go, meaning that it can be used with a wide variety of devices.
You also get the pretty cheap and nasty looking (but surprisingly cute) duck, which takes 2 x AAA batteries. This has the look of a typical yellow, rubber duck and claims to be completely waterproof. The duck has a selection of buttons on his back and also a speaker in the back of his head. It's quite nicely designed, in that from the front, you can't actually see the buttons or the speakers and it just looks like a normal rubber duck.
So, how it works is that you plug your music device into the 'egg' and turn on the transmitter (I have forgotten to do this several times). The 'duck' speaker is turned on by sliding across the waterproof button - it can either be moved right to select 'Audio', which means that it will connect to your music device. Or it can be moved left to select 'FM', which uses the radio function that I will mention later on. The idea is that you press the 'Reset' button at the beginning and then press the 'Scan' button until you can hear your music clearly. The 'Scan' button searches for the audio signal and should be pressed when you can just hear noise instead of music, or if you can hear music accompanied with noise. Apparently this means that the frequency of the receiver is different to the frequency of the transmitter. If you lose signal whilst listening to music, you should press the 'Reset' button and then scan again.
As mentioned, the device also has the ability to pick up FM radio. This can be done by moving the button to 'FM' and then tuning in the same way as for the music device. Pressing 'Scan' will simply move from one radio station to another. A downside is that there is no real volume control, you can choose from either 'Hi' or 'Lo' meaning it's either pretty loud, or pretty quiet! I'm sure that this is done for ease when ensuring it's waterproof, but it's a little annoying.
Finally, I put all of the batteries in the 'duck' and 'egg' and couldn't wait to get started. The instructions claim that the device has a range of 10 metres, but I didn't go anywhere near that far away. I plugged my ipod into the 'egg' and chose the album that I wanted to listen to. I tried it out in the hallway and it seemed to work really well. However, on taking the 'duck' into the bathroom, the signal just seemed to get a lot worse. I would say that this was only 2-3 metres away from the transmitters, so I'm not sure why it went so fuzzy. I kept pressing the buttons in the hope that I could get it to sound a bit clearer, or at least so I could hear the music. I managed to get it a bit better, and had my shower with a distinctly fuzzy soundtrack. I was really disappointed as I had so been looking forward to singing along in my shower!
Since then, I have used it a few times and the same thing seems to happen each time, which is a little annoying. However, I have used it elsewhere and it seems to be fine, so not sure whether it's a product fault or just something to do with my bathroom! The radio function is quite good on it, but I have the same problem when using it in my bathroom.
I know that the sound will always be a little muffled as the speaker has to be waterproofed and I appreciate that, but I hate that I don't get anywhere near the sound quality that I would expect.
Overall, I think that this is a great idea for a product, although it looks as though it may have been made on the cheap! Unfortunately, for me, it just doesn't do what I want it to do very well. I would still give it 3 stars as I'm unsure whether the product is at fault, or the bad signal in my house.
Summary: Great idea, but doesn't work great for me!
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