Products & Reviews
Seidio Audio Out Adapter
Thu May 4, 2006 - 11:48 AM EDT - By
Table of Contents
> Overview Conclusion
Overview Palm put a stripped-down RealPlayer in your 650's ROM, so you can easily listen to your favorite tunes right out of the box, without having to hunt down, pay for, and install third party music-playing software.
With the insane number of MP3-players out there, it's no wonder that many people are shying away from traditional single-purpose pocket sized players in favor of just slapping an SD card full of music in their Treos and hitting the road. Why carry two gadgets when one will do?
But, what do you do if your headphone jack peters out on you? That earphone socket in the base of your phone is a fragile little bugger, and many people have encountered problems with it: from flaky solder joints causing one channel to fade out, to the connection inside the port breaking and leaving you hanging with no sound out at all.
Now there's a cheap, easy solution for all of you who have suffered the sadness of losing this functionality and having to revert to your old MP3 player, or shell out a load of cash to have your Treo repaired if it's out of warranty.
Seidio, the guys that make all those nifty headsets and car kits and probably the best Treo cradle on the market, the InnoDock, have designed an ingenious cable that attaches to the Treo 650's Palm "multi-connector" and spits out a stereo audio signal through a female 3.5mm port the same kind that mates with most headphones so you can once again use your Treo for music on the go.
The Seidio Audio Adapter has a couple drawbacks though: Its connector is full width, meaning it uses the entire multi-connector on your phone, and in doing so, it unfortunately covers over the charging cord port too. While David Chang at Seidio assured me that the adapter does not draw any power from your Treo, he didn't mention any plans to fix this annoyance.
Palm ships current model Treos with a sync cable that uses the power plug too, but theirs has a pass-through for your AC adapter on its bottom. Why Seidio couldn't fit their audio adapter with the same style jack that Palm has shipped millions of is a mystery, but they claim they couldn't source the same connector in bulk that Palm tosses into every Treo's box. Hmm..
This means that you can't plug your Treo into a car charger or your AC wall wart while the Seidio audio adapter is plugged in, leaving you without any power options except your internal battery while still playing music. So, if you have a broken or flakey audio jack and want to use your Treo in the car instead of your iPod, you might want to invest in a spare battery or two.
The other problem with the adapter plugged in, it kills the microphone signals your Treo emits.. Every time you get an incoming call, or need to make one you will have to remove the adapter, as without the mic signals your phone can't transmit your voice. Even using a headset isn't enough: the adapter doesn't pass the mic signal through to most headsets, though Seidio claims that their 2-in-1 headset may work properly. This is unconfirmed as I didn't have that headset to test that functionality.
The good news is that the engineers at Seidio, while they goofed when designing the adapter, plan to update the product soon with a toggle button (and a higher price) that will let you turn off the device without having to remove it from your phone. Thus, if you are listening to Duran Duran on your stereo headphones through the adapter and the phone starts to ring, you'll be able to simply tap a button and answer the call.
Regarding sound quality, I didn't hear any difference on my high quality Sony headphones between using the adapter versus the Treo's built in audio port, so if your audio port is broken, this little gadget is a godsend. Even if your Treo's headphone jack works fine, you may want to pick one up anyway, if just to extend the life of the built in port, and use it solely for cabling mono headsets and car kits, while using the Seidio adapter for your music and movies on the go. Next Page: Conclusion >>
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