iJet iPhone/iPod RF Remote Control Review
I love my iPhone. It seems like it can do it all. Plug in your computer to your home’s stereo or a set of powered speakers and you can even control your music right from the ‘remote’ app. But what is one to do if your iPhone is the source of music. Enter the iJet, an RF infused remote that works through walls at up to 150 feet.
Setting up and using the iJet is a no brainer process. Just plug the dongle portion into the iPhone’s (or iPod’s) serial port and you’re good to go. You’ll be able to control the iPhone’s headphone volume, skip/rewind (and scan) tracks and play/pause your music all from the palm sized remote. The dongle even has a pass through serial port so you can charge your iPhone while using the iJet and not concern yourself with battery life.
The remote also features an LED indicator light, belt clip with holster and a keychain/string pass through. Word is that the remote is water resistant, but my gut tells me you shouldn’t jump in the pool or bath tub with it, although I’m sure it would be fine for heavy perspiration during a run or jog. And because they know you’re going to be using your iPhone or iPod directly with a stereo they’ve include an RCA to headphone jack cord to make setup all the easier.
Like so many of Apple’s products, the iJet does have its shortcomings. There’s no instruction on how to replace the remote’s battery when it dies, though it’s supposedly good for up to 5 years of use. Also I didn’t like how my iPhone’s screen illuminated every time I inputted a command from the iJet remote, but that’s probably more iPhone than iJet – it’s worth noting if you’re overly concerned about your phone’s battery life, though.
Update: You can replace the battery yourself, here’s how: At the lower left corner of the remote, you will see a slot to place a coin. Using a quarter, insert the edge into the slot and turn the coin in either direction until you see the two sections unsnap. Be careful not to let the quarter press down on the circuit board. Once the face is removed you will see a small Phillips screw near the middle of the circuit board. Using the correct sized driver (screw head can become mis-shaped if incorrect driver is used) CAREFULLY turn the screw counterclockwise. There are several small components on the board, so please be careful not to damage any components. Once the screw is removed CAREFULLY remove the circuit board. You will see two small coin sized 3 Volt Lithium batteries (Model # CR2025). Replace each battery making sure that the top battery is facing positive side up (+), and the bottom battery is facing negative (-) side up. Once batteries are replaced, follow steps in reverse to close unit.
The dongle portion of the iJet system does draw power from the iPod or iPhone to operate. While battery life should be rather moot in this particular instance, you can rest peacefully knowing that after 20 minutes of inactivity (remote or music) the dongle goes into ‘low power mode’ to conserve juice.
At the end of the day I found the iJet to be very useful. The most applicable of scenarios for me was the car. The last thing I need is to get a ticket for switching a song on my iPhone while driving, which could easily be mistaken for texting or talking on the device, both of which are illegal in California. The device does include a lifetime warranty, so hopefully that covers battery replacement. The remote’s operation isn’t as responsive as controlling the music or volume directly from the iPhone, but that should be expected as it is sending a wireless command. The small size of both the dongle and remote are of some concern since they could easily be misplaced, but I’d rather that then an over sized and bulky accessory. What the iJet lacks in overall pizazz is made up in ease of use, affordability and functionality.
- Super simple setup and use
- Lifetime warranty
- RF, so works through walls
- Remote battery isn’t replaceable
- No car kit for steering wheel