WaveJamr works, as long as you don’t expect too much.


Teach an old dock new tricks

When Apple introduced the Lightning connector to late-model iOS devices, it left a lot of orphans. For years, accessory makers have been building speaker docks using the 30-pin Dock Connector. With WaveJamr, you can convert your old dock to Bluetooth, and get some more life out of your gadgets.

WaveJamr is incredibly simple. Plug it in to your speaker dock, and the Bluetooth receiver automatically goes into pairing mode. Enter «0000» to pair with WaveJamr and you’re ready to rock. There’s a blue LED in the top-right corner of the WaveJamr, but it blinks all the time, so it doesn’t really do much as a status indicator — although the blink does «stutter» momentarily when you connect a device. It would be nice to see different blink patterns when a device is connected, for example. Speaking of connections, the WaveJamr only supports a single device at a time, so you can’t easily swap between audio sources.

WaveJamr worked in our testing, but there was some audible static in the connection, and it made a great speaker dock sound muddy — the sound quality improved dramatically when we switched to the speaker’s own built-in Bluetooth receiver. We tested WaveJamr with multiple speakers, and found that the sound quality was diminished with all of them, and not as good as some other Bluetooth receivers we’ve tested in the past. RadTech reports a range of up to 33 feet, which is about the most a Bluetooth device can handle. In practice, however, the WaveJamr starting breaking up at about 15 feet.

The bottom line. It works, just not very well. For $11 less, you could buy a lightning adapter to use a newer iOS device with an older dock, or spend a little more on a more reliable Bluetooth receiver.

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