Jan 31, 2015
As we become more connected in the digital sense, wireless solutions become that much more relevant. Bluetooth is an oldie but goodie, and the trusted protocol is easily incorporated in several ways. Now that it is all but ubiquitous with regards to mobile devices, it makes sense that mobile devices — especially Android — can be the ultimate hub in connected setups.
Looking at the IOGEAR TuneTap Audio Receiver, it’s easy to see why it could be compelling; it’s small, easy to set up and comes from IOGEAR. The review unit sent to us exhibits that size, which is 2.88 x 2.88 x 0.97 inches, weighing only 1.6 ounces. It is a sleek little thing, with solid fusing and ports for audio out, optical out and a power jack; on the top, there is a subtle LED light right under the logo. The package also contained 3,55mm to RCA cable, power cable and documentation.
The unit itself is a bluetooth puck that, in simplistic terms, takes in audio and converts it to signals that can be picked up by other bluetooth accessories. This opens up a bunch of scenarios: home sound system? TV? Wired speakers? The idea is to connect the TuneTap in wired fashion to the compatible audio output device, and then connect the TuneTap itself to a bluetooth audio source (Samsung Galaxy Note 4). Setup is intuitive: the TuneTap gets connected to power, and then we tried it with a set of traditional speakers via the 3.55mm cable. Subsequently, connecting to the mobile device with the mobile device is a simple matter of using the device’s bluetooth menu to find and pair to the TuneTap.
Voila. Everything worked smoothly. The sound quality is crisp, and pretty distant when both bluetooth devices are within range of each other. I tried the unit with a couple different devices, and it worked well every time. I like the choice of output cables; it just makes sense.
The need for power is both a blessing and a curse. It does curb the mobility somewhat, but that concern is tempered by the joy of not being concerned with charging the unit. The added optical cable is a bonus, as is the included NFC which allows for touch-pairing.
As far as solutions go, kudos are due for the simple ones that just work. This one definitely fits the bill.