J&L iWall IMS27 2.1 Channel Music Center

The iWall is both big and bold, with big sound and a bold and heavy physical design.


7.7
CNET Rating
7.5
User Rating


Design

There's a single word to describe the iWall IMS27, and that word is BIG. All in capitals, because for a 2.1-only iPod speaker dock, this thing is huge; larger even than the Parrot Zikmu or any of a raft of ordinary units. OK, it's perhaps not quite as big as Jean Michel Jarre's AeroDream One, but still impressive, especially as the AeroDream is still at prototype stage. Our review unit had a slightly similar early status, as it wasn't yet branded as the iWall; simply the J&L IMS27. We're told new units coming into the country will bear the iWall branding, however.

As with many larger iPod docks, there's a slight visual problem with the iWall; putting any iPod into it makes the iPod look almost comically tiny. The dock mount is on the top, just above a very bright LCD display.

Features

For such a big unit, the actual output power of the IMS27 isn't all that great, with single L/R 12W output speakers and a rear-mounted 26W subwoofer; this equates to a PMP output rating claimed by the distributor of 600W. That's a somewhat debatable figure, but regardless the iWall is still capable of some pretty solid sound output.

Plug options are S-Video output and RCA inputs, which is a touch limiting; this is a unit that's large enough that many users might seek to use it for general household audio inputs, but that's simply not possible. Your only input sources are from any iPod/iPhone, the auxiliary input on the back or FM radio. The IMS27's remote control is quite busy, but it's at least of a reasonable size; just as with the main unit itself there's little risk of losing it behind the sofa.

Performance

The LCD panel on the front of the unit is quite bright and busy, and almost looks like it could be a touchscreen, but it's not. In fact, there's a lot of redundant data on it; while it has spaces for every function the IMS27 is capable of, not all of them relate to the currently used function, which means you've got a lot of illumination there for no real effect.

FM radio was a notable weak spot for the iWall. Reception quality will understandably vary depending on the area you're in, but we found the simple cable antenna on the back wasn't up to the task of getting any decent FM signals on Sydney's outskirts; we eventually just gave up on this function.

Actual audio reproduction is fairly good for a 2.1 channel system. If you're listening in the same room it can get suitably loud, especially with bass tones put up to full. The large physical size of the IMS27 means it absorbs bass tones well, so there's very little distortion at higher volumes. As it's such an iPod-centric product, it's well worth making sure you've got well-encoded music to play back; testing with a few low bitrate tracks easily exposed their flaws in our tests.

Conclusion

It's big and it's bold, but it's not the biggest, boldest or best. Those in small apartment blocks could easily annoy their neighbours with the IMS27, especially given that the rear-firing subwoofer works best up against a wall for maximum physical effect. It's a fairly priced system if you've got the space for it, but many may find its immense size a distinct disadvantage.



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JennieM posted a comment   

I love my iWall, had it for a couple of years now. Have just done a renovation and want to hook it up to my tv so I can view my iPad/iPhone screen. Can this be done?

MJ4321
8
Rating
 

"Great sound, looks fantastic, and can't beat it at that price point!"

MJ4321 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:As above, and add in Gigabean's customer service

The Bad:Dockhub are maybe becoming the new Kogan... happy to sell you everything but wont help you after that.

Great product, however be wary of where you buy it from! I bought a similar model from dockhub however they provided no support when it stopped working. I wonder whether they are selling refurbished models...
Anyway I still really liked the product so after I finally got refunded from dockhub I bought an updated model from Gigabean which had iPad support too and it's been working perfectly. I had a few questions about how to set the alarms and one or two other things and Gigabean got back to me within 24 hours each time and knew what they were talking about. Good that they have people on their support crew that actually use the products and know what to do.

 

simpleton posted a reply   
Australia

does this guy work for this gigabean or what!? ha

 

gunnaudio posted a reply   
Australia

We have no idea who this is. We have not refunded to any iWall buyers apart from the money back guarantee for unwanted gifts.
We offer a full replacement warranty in cases like this. Why would we refund to someone who still wants one?
We offer fantastic customer service through our 1300 595 660 service line and aim to answer emails within an hour.
We have never left anyone hanging and certainly don't and never have secretly sold refurbished models.
We have sold thousands of these to many happy customers. We are now the sole supplier and manufacturer in Australia through our GUNN brand.
We have now introduced Bluetooth and made many other improvements to the models and are committed to providing the latest technology at the lowest prices for Australians.
The iWall is a great sound system that looks amazing for a fantastic price.
Buy from GUNN with absolute confidence.
Brady

SOOZee
8
Rating
 

"Great product for price"

SOOZee posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Good bass and easy to use

The Bad:-

Bought the J & M iWall as I needed something for those BBq days when the adults are outside and the kids want to play the xbox inside.

Well it is perfect for a BBq or Small gathering....in fact I think perhaps the next big party we have this might be the main sound system.

Sound quality is quite good considering the price and compared to most docks for a similar price the bass sound is excellent.

All in all I would recommend this system as a convenient mobile (around the house) entertainment system that is easy to use (with iphone) and looks pretty sexy as well.

DJSOOZ

hiccup
10
Rating
 

"Just a great sound system"

hiccup posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Pretty much everything

The Bad:Screen is really bright

ABSOLUTELY UNREAL!
These iWalls are awesome. The best sound system for the moeny by an absolute country mile.
The clarity, bass and useable volume are enequalled and I always get comments on the looks.
We love it! 10 stars!!

MarJig
8
Rating
 

"reposting as full comment didnt appear, Dock hub are great"

MarJig posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Prompt Delivery, Easy people to deal with

The Bad:Cant find a Fault for the price

Earlier statement not fully received so felt the urge to re post. As I stated earlier I have purchased 9 x J&L iwalls from dockhub for friends and family accross Australia and they love them. The sound is fantasic and the delivery times of the purchase is fantastic. I would be happy to recommend Dockhub to anyone. Thank you dockhub for a great product at a great price.

MarJig
8
Rating
 

"Great Device I love it"

MarJig posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Prompt Delivery, Easy people to deal with

The Bad:Cant Fault for the price

I have ordered 9 of these J

DaveI Facebook
3
Rating
 

"Alfull"

DaveI posted a review   

The Good:Tall, Quick Delivery.

The Bad:Everything I discribed

So annoyed with this product! Brought mine for top dollar off of the Dock-Hub people. It arrived quickly, its only good point. The Damn thing Blasts you with sound set to high.I can not set the memory to a bearable level to prevent this. The Same goes for the Alarm, no way to set the sound to the desired level to wake to. The first time and Last time I used it I woke the whole house with the Shitty thing.Dock-Hub won't answer E-mails and when you ring there is no one who can help. When a representative did call, he had no idea about my problem and how to help. He promised someone who could help would ring back and that never happened.Not Happy Jan... I feel very strongly about sending the thing back...and Damn the cost to do that!

 

gunnaudio posted a reply   
Australia

We tried to call this guy but his phone didn't work. By his admission.
He was also leaving the wrong email address which is why we couldn't get back to him.
This is obviously very disapointing for us as we work hard to offer great customer service and have thousands of very happy customers.
We even gave him some money back after this comment as he wasn't happy with the alarm.
Very disapointing.
Brady




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User Reviews / Comments  J&L iWall IMS27 2.1 Channel Music Center

  • JennieM

    JennieM

    "I love my iWall, had it for a couple of years now. Have just done a renovation and want to hook it up to my tv so I can view my iPad/iPhone screen. Can this be done?"

  • MJ4321

    MJ4321

    Rating8

    "Great product, however be wary of where you buy it from! I bought a similar model from dockhub however they provided no support when it stopped working. I wonder whether they are selling refurbishe..."

  • SOOZee

    SOOZee

    Rating8

    "Bought the J & M iWall as I needed something for those BBq days when the adults are outside and the kids want to play the xbox inside.

    Well it is perfect for a BBq or Small gathering....."

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