I’ve reviewed several iPod music docks here over the years. Starting with the Bose SoundDock I’ve had an appreciation for these music devices to dock my iPods back in the day as well as my iPhones over the years. As a matter of fact I used to smile when I’d walk into a hotel room and see an iHome or other similar device on the nightstand. This meant that at a minimum I could dock my iPhone and charge it overnight even if I had no plans to listen to music via the dock’s speakers. Well those days are over, or at least I thought they were when I got an iPhone 5. Apple has aggressively phased out the 10+ year old 30 pin dock connector found on several of these music docks and in most modern cars. While Apple does sell Lightning Adapters to adapt older 30 pin connectors to the new Lightning connects found on the iPhone 5, newer iPods and current iPads. The problem is that compatibility can be hit or miss. Some may still play music, but not charge the device.
Enter the CableJive dockBoss 5
The dockBoss is an adapter for the older 30 pin based docks and on the other end is a standard USB port and 3mm audio-in jack. Instead of simply converting the older 30 pin connection to a Lightning connection, the dockBoss 5 converts to a standard USB port for power and a standard audio-in port for music. This means that not only can I use my iPhone 5 on any of these devices, but I can use my iPad or any other handheld device or smartphone. I now travel with a dockBoss 5 in my luggage. When I arrive to an iPod dock equipped room I just plug in the dockBoss and one of my regular USB-to-Lightning cables. Now my iPhone is charging without me have to search for a plug by the bed (some hotels still don’t get this need) and if I want to listen to music I can plug in the supplied audio cable that comes with the dockBoss 5 (as pictured above). If I don’t care to listen to music then it’s just a single cable connection. Also note that the dockBoss 5 includes both an audio cable and standard micro USB cable for connection to most other smartphones and other portable devices.
The Bottom Line
Since Apple retired the 30 pin dock connector most portable music player manufacturers are now leaning towards bluetooth and wi-fi for connectivity for there new devices. However, if you’ve got an older music dock that works perfectly there’s probably no reason to throw it away! With the dockBoss 5 you can get more life out of it and make it compatible with other devices that it never worked with before.