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REVIEW: Bluetake i-PHONO Bluetooth Stereo Dongle BT430Tx
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 08.04.06 - 17:38:50 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 29903x
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Ok, now you have one of the new fancy Bluetooth stereo headsets you might use with your mobile phone or PDA just to find out either not all your devices supports the required A2DP Bluetooth profile or you wonder if there is more. And yes, there is more you can use your Bluetooth stereo headset for, if you have the right accessory like the i-PHONO Bluetooth Stereo Dongle.
It enables your music player such as a CD players, MP3 players like iPods, home Hi-Fi systems, handheld game consoles, Portable Media Centers, but even your Computer and Notebook or TV to transmit wirelessly the audio in stereo-quality to any Bluetooth stereo enabled headset like the i-PHONO mini Bluetooth Stereo Headphone.

The i-PHONO Bluetooth Stereo Dongle is just a small black adapter which connects to any of your devices above, as long as it has a 3.5mm stereo out jack:

No driver installation is needed; effortlessly, you only need to plug the dongle into the audio source and pair it with any compatible Bluetooth headset, that's it. Since the i-PHONO Bluetooth Stereo Dongle supports the required Bluetooth A2DP stereo profile, this pairing is absolutely hassle free because A2DP compatible devices find each other, without requiring to enter a passcode by bringing both devices into the pairing mode.

That's it, now you can wirelessly listen your audio - in stereo. Unfortunately, which isn't a wonder at all, the dongle isn't supporting the Bluetooth AVRCP which means you can not remote control the audio source but since it is just connected through a 3.5mm stereo jack, this cannot work anyway. However, on the used stereo headsets, you can change the volume.

The dongle itself is a Bluetooth v1.2 compliant class 2 transmitter which works in a range of 5 - 10 meters and has a non-removable but rechargeable battery built-in. The battery works up to 7 hours which I can confirm from my tests as well.

The battery is charged through the included USB power cable and recharging is indicated with a red LED on top of the dongle (round the pairing button):

However, this cable is pretty unique and you shouldn't loose it since I have no idea where you get a replacement from. If you also have the i-PHONO mini Bluetooth Stereo Headphone, there is a Y-splitter cable with AC adapter available also to charge the dongle and headset simultaneously either through a USB port or the AC adapter:

Final Conclusion

The dongle adds some more use to your Bluetooth stereo headsets, if you don't want to use the headset with your mobile phone and A2DP-enabled PDA but also with other electronics like MP3 players, home stereo systems and even TV. It does what it is expected to do, nothing fancy, just a silent worker in the background.
I'm using it quiet regularly with my Notebook in the office or at home if I watch TV and don't want to disturb my girlfriend, pretty handy.
Somehow disappointing is the propriety charger-plug. Normally I prefer to have mini USB enabled accessories because one cable fits all and if you are traveling, you don't have to take too many different cables and chargers with you. I hope, Bluetake will change this, if the do a revision of the dongle.

The i-PHONO Bluetooth Stereo Dongle BT430Tx is available from several online shops, like Expansys for something around US$ 59 or so which might be quiet pricy but keep in mind, a stereo Bluetooth headset costs even more and it adds some real additional benefit and value to the headset.

Cheers ~ Arne

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