Tech News on G4

Outdoor Tech Adapt makes any headphones or speakers wireless

May 28, 2014

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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Outdoor Tech AdaptYou've invested in a great pair of headphones, but that was eons ago, long before wireless and perhaps before in-line microphones. But you now have a dilemma. You'd like to take advantage of the latest wireless features but don't want to let go of your tried and true speakers or have to payout big bucks for something else. With Outdoor Tech's Adapt, you won't necessarily have to.

In fact the Outdoor Tech Adapt is a Bluetooth headphone adapter that will make anything that has a 3.5mm audio jack wireless - whether it's your favourite set of well-worn headphones or the earbuds from your iPod Touch. Adapt also ports a built-in sports clip so while you might think it's designed to be clipped to your clothes or backpack, it isn't limited to things you wear on your head. You can even connect it to the set of speakers you have on your desk right now. Even better, you can connect it to your car's AUX-in to stream tunes from any Bluetooth enabled device through your car's speakers.

Outdoor Tech AdaptAdapt has a well made non-slip rugged rubberized shell so it can withstand the outdoors. Furthermore, it's small enough so that it can be clipped almost inconspicuously to your clothing but large enough and conveniently shaped to make the controls easily accessible.

Built-In Microphone

Adapt also has a built-in microphone, so when connected to your smartphone, you can make and take calls or choose to ignore them – just make sure Adapt is positioned to pick up your voice. Plus, connecting Adapt in your car can keep you from distracted driving by giving you a low-cost hands-free in-car speakerphone.

The microphone features noise suppression, echo elimination, and duplex sound. Most of the time it functioned as advertised, but callers on occasion complained of some tininess on the call when connected to the Adapt.

Another feature I found cool is that it will automatically pair with a previously connected device so you don't have to keep pairing over and over again.

Outdoor Tech AdaptI found the sound was ok - for the most part. Remember it is Bluetooth, so it has to rely on the signal which means there can be a bit of noise, the occasional lag, and it's not as crisp as a direct connect. At the risk of sounding old school, it's more like an FM Radio. Plus, it's also Bluetooth 2.1 and not the latest and more advanced 4.0.

Easy to Use

It's easy to use. The centre button with the Sasquatch motif acts as a multi-function button. It's a power button, a pairing button and a phone answer button. You can also use it for voice dialing and redial. There's an added bonus for iPhone users; you can enable Siri by holding it down for two seconds. The other controls, volume, track etc. are fairly standard.

Behind the Sasquatch are two LED indicators. Red illuminates while charging, blue when fully charged, and a flashing red means low battery. There's no way to tell exactly how much battery charge is actually left.

One issue it might not resolve, but it has nothing to do with Adapt, is if your favourite old headphones have a really long cable. You'll still need to connect to Adapt, so you'll need to tuck the cable somewhere.

Outdoor Tech AdaptProprietary Charging Cable

One misstep I think the company took was with ADAPT USB charging cable. It has a standard USB connector on one end and a proprietary USB connector on the other end. As the Gadget Guy I have a plethora of connectors of various shapes and vintages, but this one I don't have. Consequently, if you lose the cable, you're hooped. You will however get about 5 hours of play on a full charge from its Lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

Flexible  & Functional

Adapt does give you the freedom and flexibility of not being tethered to your smartphone or mp3 player if you prefer to keep it in your backpack or purse or tucked inside a coat pocket. Since it's Bluetooth enabled, in theory, you could stream your music to up to 10m away, although in practice, it's not likely realistic.

Overall, from a functionally perspective, Outdoor Tech Adapt does the job well - giving you wireless functionality including a microphone where one didn't exist before. It's great if you're out and about on a run. Furthermore, the ability to free up your hands and easily stream sounds to your car speakers is a huge bonus.

 

Outdoor Tech Adapt comes in five colours - orange, yellow, pink, sky blue and black and retails for $39.95. You can find it at London Drugs and Chapters/Indigo.

Rating: 3.8 / 5

 

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , GadgetGreg.com , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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