Most helpful positive review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good for my use
on August 20, 2012
I've read many of the reviews on this one, and I'm not disagreeing with them, but for what I'm using this for it works pretty well with a few caveats.
First of all, I'm using this on a PowerMac G4 Cube with an Apple Studio Display, and have only used the buttons on this a few times, so I haven't experienced the button failures that others have.
I'll try to outline the unit with my experience.
RECEIPT and UNBOXING:
Pretty standard packaging, nothing fancy here. The unit was well packaged and was received without damage. It was delivered pretty quickly and no shipping issues to note.
It feels pretty solid to me, the casing is a solid plastic. It uses a standard, full-size male USB connector to plug into the computer, or laptop. There are three buttons on the case, volume up, volume down, and mute. The buttons feel pretty solid to me, you don't have to apply a lot of pressure to actuate the buttons and I suspect some of the failures might be due to using too much pressure, but again I haven't used the buttons that much so I don't know how long they might work if used regularly.
There are two lights on the top of the unit, the green light indicates that sound is being transmitted, the red light seems to be an indicator for the microphone input which I have not used yet.
There are two 3.5mm inputs on the end of the unit, one is green for the audio output and the other is yellow for the microphone. Kind of odd to me since most mic inputs are colored red, but not really an issue.
This is advertised to transmit 7.1 channel surround sound, I don't know as I have it hooked up to a clock radio with stereo sound only, but it sounds plenty good in my experience. I have doubts about any connector being able to send out 7.1 discreet channels of sound over one of these 3.5mm connectors though, and if you are an audiophile you might not be happy with the sound quality on a bigger setup. I'm not an expert on these things, so check with online resources if the 7.1 is an important feature for you.
It's plug and play, no software needed. I found that for the G4 Cube it is too long to plug into the bottom of the Cube itself, with the 3.5mm cord plugged in it was about about 1/2" too long and I was using a L shaped plug. If you tried one of the standard straight 3.5mm plugs it would be about an inch too long. Anyway, I plug it into the USB port on the back of the Studio Monitor, and while not nessesarily pretty, it's very functional.
I use this to play music from my G4 Cube to the clock radio and simply use the OS X controls to adjust the volume. When I have used the adaptors volume buttons I found that it also adjusts the volume in iTunes (the slider). Neat that it works that way.
It works as advertised, that is at least in my experience with stereo (2 channel) sound. Good volume, sounds as good as any of my smaller speakers sound.
Easy to use, no special software needed. Many people might not realize that USB ports are capable of outputting audio these days, all USB ports 1.1a and above can do this. Most ports today are 2.0 or if you have a newer computer they might be v 3.0 ports, and they will all output audio.
Volume adjusters onboard for quick adjustment of audio, especially if the computer is in screensaver mode or the display is asleep, you can use the volume buttons for adjustment.
Standard 3.5mm jacks on the unit, for speakers, headphones, microphones, etc...
Indicator lights for activity monitoring.
Ok, this thing sticks out about two inches from the USB port once connected. I suspect that if you use it on a laptop or something like and hit it often with your legs/etc... that it will eventually wear out or break. There are smaller, similar adaptors to this one that might be better for that kind of use.
This is probably one of the main factors for purchase, it's fairly inexpensive and is one of the main reasons I bought it. It might not last forever, but it also is less expensive than many of the other ones I could find. For what I'm using it for, and the price I paid, I feel the price is pretty reasonable.
This is a pretty good adaptor, and for what I'm using it for it works great. The price and durability seem to be about in line in my opinion, it doesn't feel "rock solid" but it doesn't just fall apart either, it seems like I'll probably get a lot of use out of this, and it's an inexpensive solution for my problem which was getting sound out of a G4 Cube (there is no 3.5mm jack on the G4 Cube, the only way to get sound out is via USB).
Overall I recommend this item, but check to see if it fits your needs prior to purchase. There are many options available for an adaptor like this, and most are fairly inexpensive.