iPod Wireless Speakers and Headphones

Product Information

The iPod seems to have induced a particular trend in the consumer electronics industry as many companies on the market rushed to manufacture accessories for the little device which allows you to take music with you anywhere you go. Speakers and headphones were amongst the first choices as iPod accessories for consumer electronics companies. The next step was wireless speakers and headphones to allow more freedom of movement. We will try to talk about the pros and cons of wireless peripherals for the iPod and also the models which each wireless component works with.

Logitech Logitech started marketing in 2005 a wireless headphone unit that works with any model of iPod which has a dock connector on the base. This feature is standard on all new models and is available on older models also. The headphones use Bluetooth technology to connect to the iPod through an adapter which transmits the signal. They include rechargeable batteries that supposedly can play up to eight hours of music per charge.

The wireless headset is very light and weighs just 3.2 ounces, with the adapter unit weighing less than an ounce. iPod controls are provided on one of the earpieces, so there is no need to return to the iPod to adjust the volume or move through the play list. The iPod can be left sitting on a counter or on a desk, and the headphones will pick up the signal for up to 30 feet away.

Logitech also markets a wireless music receiver and transmitter that turns your current stereo into a receiver and set of speakers for your iPod. They are available in its own rechargeable batteries so it doesn’t drain your iPod. The receiver unit merely plugs into your stereo system and the transmitter onto your iPod. The system works with any iPod or MP3 player with a standard 3.5mm headphone output.

The advantage of this system is that you can make use of it to make your current speakers wireless without having to buy additional equipment. It’s easy to plug in and use so you are able to easily move to other rooms in the house. The sole disadvantage is the 30-feet distance restriction between the receiver and the transmitter.

Macally Macally designed a Bluetooth based BlueWave iPod headset which connects to the iPod by means of a transmitter plugged into the iPod’s headphone port. One issue with the BlueWave system is that the transmitter unit does not use the iPod’s connector for power but two non-rechargeable AAA batteries. One more issue would be the plastic notch situated by the headphone jack which prevents the transmitter from wobbling on the iPod’s top and which you’ll need to take out if you own an iPod shuffle or a first or second generation iPod.

The signal’s range should be around 30 feet but it differs greatly with respect to the environment you’re in, particularly if doors or walls stand in the way. The headphones can provide up to eight hours of interrupted music depending on volume level and other factors. They are also powered by 2 non-rechargeable AAA batteries.

With the BlueWave system, you can also wirelessly stream music from your iPod by connecting the headphones to the home speaker system with a RCA patch cable which fits in the line-out jack from the headphones.

Oregon Scientific Oregon Scientific released in 2005 a really interesting wireless speaker system created for the iPod, the iBall. The speaker is shaped like a bowling ball and it connects to a transmitter dock, that holds the iPod, through 2.4 Ghz wireless technology, with adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum. The signal range ought to be up to 100 feet and the rechargeable batteries provide up to eight hours of music on a single charge. It is compatible with iPods, iPod photos, iPod nanos, and iPod minis.

The iBall has a built-in remote for the iPod which you are able to make use of even if the iPod isn’t in the room. The speaker has a round LCD display that you can use to change volume and skip tracks, find out the time, wireless signal strength, battery power, play/pause status.

Wi-Gear The iMuffs from Wi-Gear are wireless headphones made particularly for the iPod but with a twist. They use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly to both your iPod and your Bluetooth enabled phone, so that you can use them as a wireless headset for the cell phone. When you receive a call, the iMuffs pause the music on the iPod, ring in the headphones and permit you to speak in the integrated microphone.

The iMuffs system has a small receiver which hooks on top of the iPod and comes with a rechargeable battery which gives up to 12 hours of interrupted music. As expected with Bluetooth, the iMuffs headphones can pick up the signal in the thirty feet signal range. They also feature iPod controls on each earpiece for pause, volume, skip and search.

Sometime soon, the market of wireless headphones and speakers for the iPod will become a bigger share of the overall iPod accessories market, as the signal range will increase, the audio output quality will get better and the batteries the manufacturers use for power will allow more hours of playtime.

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