So you’ve bought a brand new smartphone or tablet. It’s sleek, shiny, and one of the top of the line mobile devices nowadays. Of course, being your newest toy, you simply want the best accessories to be paired to it. You buy the best cases, the best screen protectors, the best designer headsets, all to complement your expensive investment and to further improve the overall user experience of your device.
Here, we review what we think is probably one of the best, bang for the buck accessories you can buy your smartphone or tablet: the CoolStream Duo Bluetooth Music Receiver.
As the name suggests, the CoolStream Duo Bluetooth Music Receiver is a nifty little device that serves as a “bridge” between your gadget and almost any speaker system on the planet today. It does so via Bluetooth, so you need not worry about messy wires and bringing in the right adaptors for your phone or tablet.
Of course, we know that nowadays you can buy Bluetooth-enabled speaker systems from a slew of manufacturers out there, but the catch is that the good ones typically cost many hundreds of dollars. With many of us already having old but quality speaker systems from years back, especially those who bought iPhone or iPad speaker docks with 30-pin connectors, the Duo, priced at only $39.99, is very much a great buy to extend the lifespan of those speakers.
Design-wise, the Duo ships with both a 30-pin connector and a 3.5mm auxiliary jack, allowing users to directly plug the device to any old iPhone or iPad docking station that still uses a 30-pin connector, or to connect it to home audio systems, boomboxes and car stereos that have the 3.5mm jack.
The Duo is battery powered, and when connected via the 30-pin connector, it automatically charges. The device can also be charged via any 5V or 12V power source. Full charge, the receiver’s battery can last up to five hours of nonstop music streaming. There are also light indicators to show you that it’s paired with devices, when it’s charging or fully charged which you can easily learn from the manual included in the box.
In actual usage the past few days, we found the Duo perform rather nicely. Testing it on different kinds of music and podcasts, the audio signal seemed to clear enough although a little softer compared to directly connecting your device. In terms of range, the Duo performs well when the source device is below 25-30 feet. This is in line with the rated 30-feet maximum distance set by the manufacturer.
Another nifty feature of the Duo, that comes as a nice surprise even to us, is that when you connect a pair of headphones to the 3.5mm to its 3.5mm port, it transforms the pair into instant Bluetooth headphones. Although not really necessary, the feature is welcome especially when your phone or tablet is out of reach and a call comes in.
Priced at $39.99, the CoolStream Duo Bluetooth Music Receiver, with all its additional features, is a great buy when you’re looking to extend the life of your speaker docks or old speaker systems. It works well both indoor and outdoor, and may also be used on automobiles. Audio quality is good to great, and having built-in battery doesn’t hurt either. And don’t forget, it can turn ordinary headphones to Bluetooth ones in seconds.