BlueAnt has been making Bluetooth devices for quite some time and recently released its new Ribbon Bluetooth Streamer. This allows you to use any Bluetooth enabled device without the need to worry about cables and adapters. Since all of the new Apple devices are using its new 9-pin Lightning connector, this is a perfect solution for using your 30-pin speaker docks and in your car.
The Ribbon is small and ultra-portable and clips to your shirt, jacket pocket…anywhere on your clothing. It comes with a pair of earbuds, but you can use any headphones you want. It has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and includes a cable to easily connect it to speaker docks. While it’s easy to clip on to your clothing so you can use it on the go, the small form factor makes it easy to place anywhere in your home or car too.
The rechargeable battery inside it is good for six hours of use and 250 hours standby time between charging. It comes with a wall charger and USB cable to charge it up from your computer too. A complete charge of the battery takes about two hours. I would have liked to see better battery life from it though.
The signal was strong in a radius of 15 feet, after that it would start to get choppy and cut out. Perfect for easily listening to headphones at your desk or while cleaning the house or doing other activities.
iPhone and Android Support
It has a cool iPhone on screen battery meter so you know how much charge is left on your Ribbon. Siri will read back text messages on your iPhone through the Ribbon too. The major benefit to this device is you’ll still be able to easily use your 30Pin Dock accessories with the new Apple devices that have the new Lightning connector.
If you’re an Android user, download the free app that has a groovy feature to have text messages read back through the Ribbon.
I tested it by streaming audio from an iPad, iPod touch, and Android smartphone running Gingerbread. Then listened to the music from a variety of Logitech speaker docks and headphones. The music had a rich and warm sound through the speaker docks. On most devices the sound was great, but the stock earbuds sounded too muddy for my taste. I tested out several genres of music and it lacked quality high end sound from the earbuds. I also tested it with a pair of Grado SR-80’s and even the new Apple EarPods, and the sound quality was much better.
If you recently bought a new iPhone 5 or other Apple device with the new 9-pin Lightning connector, the BlueAnt Ribbon offers a quality solution for using your current 30-pin docks. It sells for $69.99 on BlueAnt’s Site.