Felicity Glover reviews three bluetooth music receivers that wirelessly stream tunes from your smartphone or iPod.
Technophile: Music receivers without the wires
BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway
Sound bite Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry, may have suffered a few setbacks over the past few months, but it's good to see it doing something right. And in a world dominated by Apple accessories, it's about time BlackBerry smartphone owners had a way to stream their music wirelessly to their home speaker systems.
Sound check The Remote Stereo Gateway might be small, but it is capable of packing a decent punch. It is also easy to use. Simply connect the stereo or RCA auxiliary cable, both of which are provided with the device, to the Gateway, attach it to your stereo and turn it on. The sound quality is good, the price excellent and it works within a range of 30 feet.
Sounding board There's a lot of competition out there when it comes to bluetooth accessories, many of which are seeking a slice of Apple's pie. But what is probably more interesting about the Gateway is that RIM appears to be recognising that all-important cashed-up consumer demographic (and its potential profits) rather than purely focusing on the corporate masses it has spent years cultivating.
SoundZone Bluetooth Speaker (SZ1001)
Sound bite So the catchword for bluetooth speakers these days seems to be "on-the-go" capsules. Or at least that's how the maker of this tiny device describes it. This speaker is rechargeable and collapsible, too, which means you can take it almost anywhere.
Sound check Weighing in at just 94 grams, the stylish SoundZone speaker fits in the palm of your hand and can be used in the car, the great outdoors and, obviously, indoors to wirelessly connect with your smartphone. It's also compatible with a range of devices (that have bluetooth capability) and comes with a cable to connect it to PCs and MP3 players. It has an impressive playback time of 12 hours.
Sounding board It's worth remembering that it takes two hours to recharge the speaker's battery, so always ensure there's enough juice in it if you don't want your party to fall flat or your long-distance drive to hit rock bottom because everybody is forced to sing 10 Green Bottles to liven up the journey.
Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver
Sound bite For the die-hard Apple fans out there, Belkin's Bluetooth Music Receiver can wirelessly stream music from your iPod Touch or iPhone through your home stereo or stand-alone speakers. Best of all, it can "remember" up to six paired devices, the perfect solution for that overloaded Apple family of today.
Sound check Small and sleek, the music receiver transmits up to 33 feet away and allows you to control music from your iPhone or iPod Touch from the comfort of your sofa. It is easy to connect and comes with the prerequisite 3.5mm cables to wire you for sound.
Sounding board If your home is becoming cluttered with all those speaker docks needed for your Apple devices, this is a good solution to claim back some space. However, forget about music on the go: it doesn't run on batteries, which means you will always need a power connection to use it.