Review: CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver for iPhone Dock

Intro

If you recently upgraded your iPhone/iPad to a newer model featuring the Lightning connector or moved away completely from iOS devices, do not throw your old 30-pin docking station away. Thanks to CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver you can still use it with whatever new device you have now, as long as it contains a Bluetooth adapter.  Exeter Science & Entertainment  was kind enough to provide us with a sample for the review so sit back and enjoy reading our experience using it for the past week.

 Before proceeding with the review, there is one point I would like to make: the 30-pin Apple connector using in their older iPhone/iPod/iPad series can transfer both analog and digital sound. While the digital feed offers better quality, it is harder to implement by the hardware manufacturers so many docks are analog only. Some are digital however and the CoolStream will not be compatible with the digital ones, only with the analog ones. Fortunately there is an ever expanding dock compatibility list available so you can consult it before purchase.

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Design and Functionality

There is really not too much to say in terms of design. The CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver for iPhone Dock is a tiny and attractive blue-black adapter that connects to your iDevice 30-pin dock and acts like an iPod towards the dock and like a Bluetooth receiver toward your phone or tablet. The pairing is extremely easy, just follow these instructions:

1. Plug the CoolStream Bluetooth receiver into your docking station.
2. Go to settings on your mobile device and activate the Bluetooth function.
3. Power on the docking station and then press the CoolStream BT receiver’s  power button and hold for 3 seconds. The blue light should be flashing and there  should be an audible pairing signal.
4. CoolStream should appear on the screen of your mobile device. Tap it to pair.
5. Enter the pairing code of 0000 (four zeros) to finalize connection.

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If your device is smart enough, step 5 might be not necessary since the some software versions will pair automatically devices with 0000 code. The CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver works equally well with many cars containing the 30-pin dock, again check the compatibility list so see if your car is supported.

Key Features

  • No batteries – power from docking station.
  • Easy pairing with smart phones, tablets and computers. Pairing code 0000.
  • Bluetooth 2.0 supporting A2DP for stereo sound.
  • Wireless streaming up to 30 feet

 

Technical Specifications

Check the updated compatibility list here.

  • 30-Pin Adapter Turns iPhone/iPod docking station into a Bluetooth dock.
  • Bluetooth adapter with 30 pin connector. Works with iPhone/iPod docking stations including Bose SoundDock Portable, SoundDock I and II, SoundDock 10, iHome iP90 and Logitech S715i.
  • Use with any iPhone (including iPhone 5), iPad, Android phone and any device with Bluetooth.
  • Bluetooth version 2.0 supporting A2DP for true stereo sound.
  • Not compatible with docking stations with digital audio in such as Sony RDP-X500iP and Philips Fidelio DS9000.

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Testing

My current iPod dock is actually a boombox iLive IBPD882B CD/DVD/iPhone Boombox with 7-Inch TFT Display and FM Radio and it is basically my favorite all in one to carry around camping, picnics, etc. With the newly added Bluetooth capability via the CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver the combo is really a Jack of all Trades.

iLive

 

The CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver was instantly recognized and the pairing took just several seconds. I tried both my son’s favorite toy, an old iPhone 3G I still have around as well as my new Galaxy S4 and a couple of notebooks. In all cases, the CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver performed really well, sending a high quality sound to the boombox. To be honest, I am delighted that my boombox can now connect with every portable sound producing device in the house.

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Conclusion

If your 30-pin docking station is analog compatible, the CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver for iPhone Dock will really inject new life in it, allowing it to be used with the ubiquitous Bluetooth standard and ensuring the compatibility with basically every modern device. I know some of these docks were quite expensive and very high quality so for around 39$ getting to enjoy them again is no small feat. For me the product is an instant winner further enhancing the functionality and lifespan of my iLive boombox (which btw, wasn’t on CoolStream compatibility list – I hope they add it). CoolStream Bluetooth Receiver for iPhone Dock is earns a “Highly Recommended” award by Review Horizon and is currently available at Amazon for $39.99.

Pros

  • Reasonable priced
  • Works as advertised
  • Easy to pair
  • Significantly improves the usefulness of old 30-pin docs

Cons

  • not compatible with digital docks

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