The iPad accessory market is on course to mimic the wildly successful iPhone ecosystem, but what are the must-haves? If you’re anything like us you’re a music fan and you want to use your iPad with an existing iPod speaker dock; we’ve just tried out the D&A RX1 iPod speaker dock receiver dongle we reviewed back in February, paired with a Kleer S5T transmitter, and – despite the iPad initially saying the accessory wasn’t compatible – we’re now enjoying our iTunes music (not to mention Spotify and other streaming services) in high quality and with no cords.
Of course, the iPad already has integrated Bluetooth with A2DP support, but then you’re dealing with limited audio quality and the trouble of finding an audio system with Bluetooth itself. Kleer, meanwhile, promises CD-quality audio and the ability to simultaneously pair one transmitter with up to four receivers; you could, for instance, have your Kleer-based headphones paired with the same transmitter, switching easily between private playback or routing audio through your speakers.
What doesn’t work is track control and menu navigation from the speaker dock’s remote. We can adjust volume, but not navigate the iPad’s music; still, since the tablet isn’t actually docked you can simply carry it around and control it directly. It would make particular sense for a party or any sort of gathering, where you could pass the iPad around and everyone have a hand in creating a custom playlist. Range is listed as 10m in open space; we got smooth playback even with a couple of walls in-between.
You can pick up the iFreeHifi kit – which consists of both the S5T transmitter and RX1 receiver – for £75 ($114); alternatively, they’re sold separately for £42 ($64) and £35 ($53) respectively. There’s also an iDock, for £15 ($23), which bridges your HiFi’s auxiliary input and the S5T.