ot-adapt-08.jpgLet’s face it, finding the right pair of headphones can be a real pain in the behind.

You start asking yourself, do I get a pair of wired or wireless headphones? Wireless headphones, while handy, can be expensive and are often heavy and not nearly as conformable as a standard set of earbuds. Since you’ll be wearing your headphones (or earbuds) for hours at a time, you want to make sure that they feel nice in your ears or on your head, so you go through pair after pair trying to find the best and most comfortable fit. And once you find that perfect pair, you just want to stick with them. However there will be time when you can’t or don’t want to use wireless headphones, so now you have to buy two different pairs and go through the fit rigmarole all over again, not to mention carry around multiple pairs of headphones.

Well now there is need to compromise, you can have all the comfort of your existing wired headphones AND the freedom of wireless audio wherever and whenever you want it.

Meet Outdoor Tech’s ADAPT Bluetooth Adapter.

ot-adapt-03.jpgThis brilliant little device is light as a feather and not much bigger than a stack of quarters. Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices, the ADAPT allows you to wirelessly listen to your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Television (if Bluetooth enabled), PC or even stream your music wirelessly in your car (by connecting aux cable between the ADAPT and AUX IN port on car radio).

More than just a listening device, the ADAPT also features a microphone with noise suppression, echo elimination and duplex sound capabilities to allow you to make clear calls from your iPhone using whatever pair of headphones you happen to be currently wearing. The convenient clip on the back of the ADAPT allows it to be securely attached to your shirt, jacket, pants or bag strap.

I tested out the microphone by calling several people to see how clear I sounded and both parties were quite pleased with the results. You can listen to a sample below in which I used the ADAPT and my iPhone to leave myself a voicemail at work.

The specs rate the device at talk/listen time of 9 hours and standby of 150 hours and this seemed to jive with what I was getting during my testing of the device, which satisfied my needs just perfectly. While on the topic of battery life, I should mention that I was unable to get the ADAPT to work while it was plugged in, but I’ve seen this limitation with other Bluetooth audio devices in the past. The one aspect of the OT ADAPT that was a little disappointing is the fact that it uses a proprietary cable (included) for charging instead of common standard like a micro or macro USB cable.

ot-adapt-05.jpgThe audio quality when connected to my iPhone and iPad was crystal clear! However, when I connected the ADAPT via an AZIO USB Bluetooth dongle to my PC the sound wasn’t as clear, but that could be the fault of the AZIO. One of the most pleasant surprises was the ability to use the ADAPT with my Vizio LED TV, to watch the big screen w/o worrying about waking the kids up. Sure it’s not going to be 5.1 surround sound, but what does come through the headphones via the ADAPT was rich and engulfing. Instead of having to crank up the volume just to hear some of the dialog, I was able to keep the volume at a low, comfortable level and easily hear both the dialog and other sounds.

Paring the device was easy, though I did find that sometimes I had to remove and re-add the ADAPT from the Blutooth setting screen on the iPhone if I had previously paired it with my iPad instead. The ADAPT is rated for an operating distance of up to 30 feet and it definitely delivered here. I was able to leave my iPhone charging at my desk while wandering from my office into our break room at work to grab a drink (at least 30 ft away) w/o any interruption or distortion in sound.

In Conclusion

You don’t realize just how nice it is to use wireless headphones with your iPad until you try them. With no plug to spread your fingers around, you can comfortably hold the iPad in any position while enjoying the privacy and rich sound that headphones offer over the native speaker. When switching back and forth between wired and wireless headphones, it can be annoying to get used to the different fit of the ear pieces, so the ADAPT’s ability to let me just pack my favorite earbuds everywhere is super convenient, portable and reliable. This is an absolutely brilliant piece of tech with many more uses than might immediately be obvious.

Anyone considering purchasing a pair of wireless headphones should STRONGLY consider this inexpensive and convenient alternative instead.