How to beat the new iPhone 5 Lighnting Connector dilemma for your speaker docks

There is no doubt that when Apple announced the iPhone 5, the new iPod range, and the new iPad 4 and iPad Mini, all with the new 8-pin Lightning Connector it threw a grenade into the accessory market that we are still waiting to see the full damage off. And while the market waits for some directions from Apple to produce new options (apparently happening in November), there are ways to get around the issue.

The Lightning to 30-pin adapter

Apple lightning to 30-pin adaptorYou can go down the official Apple route and shell out for their official Lightning to 30-pin adapter (£25). In my opinion it is not an ideal solution as it takes some of the aesthetics away from some of the great looking speaker docks that are in the market, and has been available to purchase for years. There is also the potential issue it brings in terms of supporting the new iOS devices while docked in the respective docking stations. Will the adaptor be strong enough to avoid potential free standing iOS devices due to the increase in elevation from the docking station and the relatively smaller connection point?

Besides, the adaptor is just not a focus for Apple, as lets face it, the change to the Lightning Connector was not only to save space, but also to bring about a product lifecycle change in the accessory market.

The bluetooth option

Instead of shelling out good money for a less than ideal Lightning Adaptor, there are good options available in the market for bluetooth based docking adaptors that will turn your current speaker dock into a wireless speaker. Yes, bluetooth does unfortunately impact slightly on the audio quality (depending on the quality of your music library and the speaker dock), but on the positive side, it does allow you to use your new iOS device properly without having to dock or leave a cable running between your device and the sound system.

Some prominent speaker dock brands, including Bose, have bought onto this trend and are now offering customers the opportunity to get bluetooth dock adaptors for their devices. Do however check the specifications, as you might get the same quality at a lower price by going with other independent solutions, such as the Azatom Tune-Stream.

See an overview of Bluetooth dock adapters for iPhone.

The upgrade option

Finally, it might be time to bite the bullet and start thinking about an upgrade to your speaker dock as well. Most new sound systems targeting Apple owners these days will either have bluetooth streaming built in, or better, support the higher quality AirPlay streaming. So whether you are after an affordable portable solution with a bluetooth speaker or an AirPlay speaker for your home, there are now plenty of choice in the market ranging from the cheap and cherful to the proper high-end home audio systems.


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