When traveling, or using my iPhone in my vehicle and on the road, I’m always looking for was to consolidate cables, chargers, and items I bring with me. I try to find as many universal use items as possible. In my car, I’m currently using the Griffin AutoPilot, to charge the iPhone, and I use its AUX out jack into my AUX on the car stereo, for the best sound I can get. There are times, I want to use the docks ability to output audio, without the subpar headphone port, with built in amplifier, and there’s not many products that allow this.
I picked up the SendStation PocketDock, which allows for 2 things… First, it’s a very small dock connector. Almost the eat same size as the previous dock cables before the iPhone came out, so it’s a little longer then the new cable plugs.
On the bottom, two ports are included, one is a mini USB, and the other is an Audio Out. The Mini USB will allow you to charge AND transfer data. Plugging the unit into the iPhone brings up the “Not compatible with iPhone” screen, but it does work with my iPhone 3GS.
The Griffin AutoPilot has a feature where you can set the output level, and I was afraid the SendStation might not be loud enough with no level option. It is softer then the high setting on the Autopilot, but it still works very well. Once you turn the volume up on the stereo in the car, it’s more then loud.
Using headphones with the audio out is a different situation. Since using the dock connector, the volume slider disappears on the screen, so there’s no way to control the volume. It’s always the same level, unless your headphones have a volume pot to adjust it. I picked up a small volume pot from my local Radio Shack for about $3.00. I still like my headphones louder, so this may not be something I use like this.
The unit comes with 2 cables, one is a standard 1/8″ to 1/8″ (or headphone to headphone) cable for using the AUX port on the car stereo, and the other is a 1/8″ to RCA Left and Right stereo cable. Both cables are decent length and have a built on velcro cable tie on them.
I’m not sure $30 is a great deal for this, but It’s certainly something to consider if you want a charge and audio out solution for the car.
I am currently using this in combination with my Belkin Mini USB auto adapter, and a Belkin USB to Mini USB retractable cable, making this the most portable and compact system I’ve used to date.
Pros: Small, Charge, Data transfer, Mini USB, and Audio out from the Dock.
Cons: Pricey, No level adjustment for Audio out.