TuneStage 2 for iPod

TuneStage 2 for iPod

The TuneStage 2 has a surprisingly good range.


Mention Bluetooth with an iPod device, and you might find us shaking our heads in doubt. That's because our experience with Bluetooth devices has been mixed - Bluetooth isn't bad, if you don't mind a limited range. But sound quality? Forget it. But then Bluetooth 2.0+EDR was released, offering better data rates and reliability than its predecessors. And as it turns out, the TuneStage 2 for iPod, which uses Bluetooth 2.0+EDR to provide wireless connectivity between an iPod and a stereo-connected base station, is a great example of how far Bluetooth technology has come.


A Bluetooth transmitter that extends about 1.5 inches from your iPod's dock connector sends your music wirelessly to the base station, which has stereo-out jacks for connection to a stereo receiver or powered speakers. The transmitter's range was a pleasant surprise, reaching beyond 40 feet with walls in between, and without any response lag, though the TuneStage 2 wasn't able to transmit a signal through the floors. There's no compromising with the sound, either. Our music, ripped from CDs at 256Kbps in iTunes, didn't suffer from any noticeable degradation in quality.


Perhaps the main reason we like the TuneStage 2 is that it lets us use the clickwheel to control the iPod. Other home stereo devices force you to dock the iPod and then use a remote control with an unfamiliar button layout. Or worse, they lack an LCD, so you can never be farther that an eye squint away from your docked iPod. There's no good remote control substitute for the iPod, other than the 'Pod itself.


The one main drawback of the TuneStage 2 is its effect on battery life. Our 80GB iPod, which usually lasts about 16 hours, lasted 10 hours when we used the transmitter. Fortunately, there's a USB port on the transmitter, so you can charge the iPod while still transmitting songs to your stereo.


The bottom line. With its effortless ease of use, great range, and smart design, the TuneStage 2 is an ideal way to add iPod support to your home entertainment center.


PRICE: $149.99
REQUIREMENTS: 4G iPod or later, iPod mini, or iPod nano
Easy to use. Good wireless range. Bluetooth transmitter has USB connector for syncing with iTunes.
Cuts down on iPod battery life.





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