By February 5, 2009

iTrek mini USB to 3.5mm adapter for HTC Touch / Verizon vx6900 review

The problem: you want to listen to Pandora.com Internet radio on your Windows Mobile phone, but it doesn’t have a headphone jack (3.5mm). The phone only has Bluetooth.

The proposed solution: buy an adapter for the mini-USB jack on the bottom of the phone that allows for a 3.5mm plug, which can be routed to my car’s stereo.

The product: the iTrek mini USB to 3.5mm adapter, purchased from Semsons & Co., Inc via Amazon.com for $5 shipped.

The verdict: it works … sort of.

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The iTrek adapter snuggles into the mini-USB port on the bottom of my HTC Touch. It doesn’t snap in, but I never felt that the jack would come loose during use. Some of the reviews on Amazon mention a poor fit; I think this may be to the manufacturing tolerances of an electronic doo-dad that cost probably $1.00 to make.

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The top port is another mini-USB jack so you can still charge your phone. The iTrek adapter was different from most other adapters I researched because it has this. Most adapters just have the mini-USB to 3.5mm adapter, so you can either charge your phone or listen to music, but not both. The iTrek allows you to charge up and listen at the same time.

It was super easy to connect my Verizon vx6900 to my car’s stereo system. My stereo has an AUX jack, and I plugged a male-to-male 3.5mm cable from the adapter to the AUX jack. “This is too good to be true,” I thought, and unfortunately it was.

The volume coming out of my phone is about half that of my MP3 player or XM receiver. To compensate, I have to turn up the volume on the car stereo. Past a certain point I hear a hiss. I presume this is because the iTrek is an electronic doo-dad that cost probably $1.00 to make. 😉 The sound coming out of the phone is also very “flat.” I initially thought I was only getting mono sound, and had to change the balance left and right to make sure it really was two channel.

I thought the iTrek adapter was a good experiment, especially for $5. However, I was unimpressed by the sound quality and still use my XM receiver. That’s a shame, because I’d much rather listen to the variety on Pandora. I might try an in-line headphone amplifier, as I’ll need one for my motorcycle headset anyway, but that ratchets the price up a notch.

iTrek mini-USB to 3.5mm adapter: not recommended.

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