The GiiNii AudioBulb is one of several Light Bulb – Speaker combination products which integrates an LED Light Bulb with a Small wireless speaker that receives music through a dock of some kind. The Klipsch Lightspeaker is a similar speaker which installs into a recessed pot light fixture but the GiiNii AudioBulb is universal and fits many fixtures not just recessed pot lights.
The GiiNii AudioBulb contains a 5W LED light bulb and 10W, 2.25 inch full range speaker. Around the edge of the bulb is a four stage dimmer and the AudioBulb receives it’s signal from a dock which transmits at 2.4GHz (the same frequency as many cordless phones and WiFi). The basic setup consists of two GiiNii AudioBulbs and iPod dock transmitter and remote control. The system is capable of expanding up to 8 speakers and can be separated into two zones either stereo or mono with independent volume control in each zone.
AudioBulbs screw into any standard light socket including ceiling or wall fixtures or lamps where adequate space for the audio bulb is available. The controller consists of an Apple iPhone/iPod dock with 30 pin connector or a 3.5MM jack for any other external audio source. Unlike the Klipsch LightSpeaker dock the GiiNii dock has a very cheap plastic feeling to it. GiiNii claims the dock can transmit to AudioBulbs up to 100 feet away but that’s line of sight and without interference, if you’ve got WiFi or Cordless Phones in your home or business you can expect the realistic range to be more like 30-50 feet without interference or drop outs. The AudioBulbs in the starter set come pre-paired with the dock so installation is pretty much plug n play!.
The GiiNii AudioBulbs work as advertised and the sound is about what you’d expect from 2.25″ speakers, no earth shattering base or low end but pleasant in the mid/high and vocal ranges and certainly useable for background music purposes. What about the light bulb you ask? Well first off unlike a conventional light bulb the LED light bulb is more directional since the ring of LED’s are only on the front face of the bulb surrounding the outside edge of the speaker. The LED’s themselves are omnidirectional from the front face but the body and sides of the bulb housing do not illuminate. This makes the AudioBulb ideal for a ceiling fixture of any type where you want the light to shine down or forward but is not ideal for a end table lamp or other such illumination. GiiNii touts the AudioBulb to have the same illumination as a standard 60W bulb,, however here again the 5W surface mounted LED’s provided less illumination than a 60W bulb perhaps more like a 25-40 watt bulb.
All in all the GiiNii AudioBulb does what is says and is a very quick and easy way to provide wireless background music throughout your home or office with very little effort, wiring or mess. The audio quality is no Klispsch, iHome or Sonos level but it is good for speakers of this size and if you’re a little technically inclined there are ways to connect a powered sub to the system which would compliment the AudioBulbs and provide more bottom end and richer fuller sound.
The bottom line is the GiiNii AudioBulbs do work however at a price of $299 for the cheap feeling dock and single pair of speakers and $99 a pair for additional speakers we have to say for the quality of components and sound the GiiNii AudioBulb system is rather expensive. We expected the GiiNii system to cost half their MRSP and if you can find them at $149 for the starter pack with dock and $49 for extra bulb pairs it might be worth a listen however at full retail we say skip the GiiNii system and lock for better built and sounding alternatives.