Bluetooth Audio Receiver
Upon initial inspection, the Bluetooth Audio Receiver might not look like it’s capable of much. The entire unit measures only 40x40x11.5mm. However, this device is capable of driving Bluetooth 3.0 audio through any speaker system with a standard 3.5mm connection.
The receiver is very lightweight, and made entirely of plastic. You could easily carry it in your pocket without feeling it at all. However, this lightness has its tradeoffs. You’ll immediately notice that the construction of the receiver isn’t amazing. For most users this probably won’t be an issue, as you don’t really have to interact with the device at all while using it, but it’s something to keep in mind. Looking at the receiver, you’ll notice that the front is dominated by one large main function button. This is both how you turn on the receiver and how you pair it with your device, whether it’s an iPhone, Android phone, Mac, or any other device that supports Bluetooth audio. There’s also a microphone seated just below and to the left of the main function button. Around the sides, you’ll find volume buttons, a micro USB charging port for the device’s internal 120 mAh battery, and the Aux jack. Inateck rates operation time at up to five hours.
Pairing the receiver to your device, in my case an iPhone, is very similar to pairing any other Bluetooth device. You’ll see the receiver’s name listed in Settings, and it only takes a few seconds to connect. In subsequent uses, I did occasionally find it slightly difficult to tell when the receiver was powered on. There’s a small LED indicator light on the main function button, but I typically had to press and hold the button a few times before I was positive the device was on and showing up on my iPhone.
Once connected, you’ll get substantial sounding audio out of the unit. Hooking it up to a set of desktop computer speakers, I was able to drive clear and loud stereo audio that was comparable to having my device plugged directly into the speakers. There’s not much, if any noticeable latency while switching songs, changing the volume, or pausing music. I found that the Bluetooth range was comparable to other speaker solutions I’ve tried in the past, letting me walk freely within a few rooms of the house before the audio began to cut out.
The receiver features hands free calling operations, allowing you to answer, decline, and end calls without using your phone. While this is a welcome addition, I’m not totally convinced of the utility of it. I typically kept the unit plugged into a set of stationary speakers, and I wasn’t often close enough to the receiver for it to be useful when on a call.
For only $12.99 (on sale), Inateck’s Bluetooth Audio Receiver is a bargain for anyone looking to add Bluetooth functionality to an existing stereo. You can pick it up on Amazon here.
Micro USB Cable with Lightning Adapter
You might not assume that there’s much to say about a simple USB cable, and you’re right- there’s not. However, Intateck’s Micro USB Cable with Lightning Adapter is much more than just a simple cable. Pulling the cable out of it’s packaging, the first thing you’ll notice is the design. Unlike regular Apple Lightning cables, Inateck’s offering is flattened, making it much wider than normal. Not only does this flat design make the cable feel more durable (something many traditional Lightning cables lack), it’s makes regular old Lightning cables look downright frail. Inateck’s done a good job of creating a very unique aesthetic for something as simple as a charging cable. Be cautious, however, because it doesn’t appear that this cable is MFI certified. This means that Apple could theoretically break support for it.
At one end of the 1.2m cable, you’ll find a standard USB connection. It’s the other end where you’ll find what makes this charging solution unique. Instead of just a basic micro USB or Lightning plug, this cable has both. First is the micro USB connector, which can be used with any of the countless devices which support this standard. On top of the micro USB connector securely sits a Lightning adapter, which works with any iOS device released since fall of 2012. You can slide this adapter on and off at will.
I’ve been using this cable to charge my phone a few times a day since I received it in the mail. It’s by far the best Lightning cable I’ve ever used. After roughly two weeks of consistent, heavy use, it still looks as new as it did when i pulled it out of the packaging, something I unfortunately can’t say for regular Lightning cables. Since this one cable works with both micro USB and Lightning devices, it just might be one of the only charging cables you’ll ever need. If you’re not a fan of the flat cable design, the removable Lightning adapter means that you could make virtually any micro USB cable into a Lightning cable, a huge utility itself.
At just $12.99, this cable is not only more affordable than Apple’s offering, it’s longer, more durable and versatile. You can pick it up on Amazon here.