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BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway

Mon Dec 15, 2008 - 6:14 AM EST - By Brian Hart

Overview

Who would have thought that anything good would come out of RIM, the makers of BlackBerry smartphones? I say that tongue-in-cheek because I have the utmost respect for the BlackBerry crowd, it's just not for ME. However, one of their products, the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway, is currently available here in the TreoCentral Store for the discounted price of $49.95. So just what is it and how does it perform? Read on for the review!

RIM claims that the BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway will work for any A2DP Bluetooth-enabled device, but I've used it specifically for the Treo 750 and my new Treo Pro. It is a device designed to enable wireless transmission of music or other audio files from your smartphone to any home, portable, or car stereo. It takes advantage of the Bluetooth technology of your Treo and transmits your tunes wirelessly - pretty darn cool!

The device is small - about 2 inches square, half an inch thick, and bordered in metal with a slip-resistant rubber base. There are only two ports: one for a mini USB charger and the other is a line-out jack to connect to your stereo. The effective range is approximately 10 feet. Included with the Gateway are both a 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm jack and a 3.5mm to two RCA jack cable. Noticeably absent is a power cord. Apparently, the BlackBerry mini USB power cord will work and I also found that my Motorola mini USB power cord worked just fine, but just to be safe, I recommend the official BlackBerry power cord which you can probably pick up at any wireless retailer.


Performance

To use the Remote Stereo Gateway, you must first pair the Gateway to your device's Bluetooth radio. To do this, the Gateway must be in pairing mode, and this is accomplished when you first plug it in to power, simple as that. Make sure your Treo device is also in pairing mode. Then, plug in the Gateway and following the pairing instructions on your Treo. When asked for the passcode, just enter "0000." Once paired, you are ready to play your tunes using the media player of your choice on your Treo.

In my experience, pairing was very simple and the audio quality was good. I usually expect to hear some static resulting from signal degradation when mixing Bluetooth and music, but not so in this case. The signal was very clear and the songs sounded like they should on my car stereo. You just have to make sure that the stereo you want to use has a line-in jack.


Conclusion

The BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway is a handy accessory to have if you want the ability to stream your music wirelessly from your Treo to your car, home, or other portable stereo. The lack of an included power cord is disappointing, but the technology to pair this small device with your Treo to have your music on-the-go is very convenient. It is simple to set up and use and the discounted pricing makes it even more attractive.





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Criteria 

Rating

Design 5
Features 5
Usability 4
Cost/Benefit 5
Overall
(not an average)
Pros
  • Easy to pair with your Treo
  • Very small size makes it extremely portable
  • Sound quality is very acceptable
  • Cons
  • No included power cord


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