Review: CableJive dockBoss air Bluetooth Dock Adapter for iPhone iPad and iPod
November 27, 2012 by Bill Palmer
Take the general trend of users increasingly wanting to keep their iPhone in their hands so they can use it for things rather than docked in a stereo where they can’t, throw in all the iPhone 5 users who can’t use their existing dockable stereos because the new Lightning port doesn’t fit with the old 30-pin docking port, and you’ve got a healthy number of people who wish their docking stereo had wireless capabilities. CableJive looks to solve that with its dockBoss air, a little stub product which slides into your stereo’s 30-pin docking port and acts a bluetooth receiver. This allows you to send your audio from any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (or for that matter any bluetooth-enabled device such as Android) wirelessly to your docking stereo.
It sounds nice in theory, and in my tests I found that the dockBoss air indeed works as it should. The wireless range is about thirty to forty feet, less if walls are involved. The audio quality is about what you’d expect from blueooth, which is to say that it’s almost but not quite the same quality as what you’d get if your device were physically docked (only audiophiles or those with super high end stereos are going to notice the difference). And while there’s no way to confirm that this product is 100% compatible with every docking stereo out there, it worked just fine with the five random stereos of various brands that I tried it with.
For iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5 users, the question becomes whether this is the way to go instead of a Lighting dock adapter. For a lot of users, the answer is yes. First, it saves you from the physical awkwardness (and potential liability) of having your iPhone sitting on top of an adapter on top of a dock. Second, it places your iPhone in your hands so you can do your email and your Facebook and your games, while your music is sent wirelessly to your stereo. The obvious caveat is that, as with any wireless stereo experience, your iPhone’s battery isn’t getting recharged as it would be if it were docked.
Thirty-five bucks for an adapter isn’t exactly chump change, and might not make sense for use with a fifty dollar dockable stereo. But if you’re trying to rescue a hundred dollar-plus dockable stereo system that you would otherwise be casting aside due to lack or port compatibility or lack or built in bluetooth, the dockBoss air is a lot more cost efficient than buying a whole new stereo.
Price: $34.95 • cablejive.com