Model: LineOut Pro
Compatible: Dock Connecting iPods, iPhones, iPads
CableJive LineOut Pro
If you're looking for a simple, highly affordable way to pull line-level audio directly from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod, CableJive's new LineOut Pro ($11) has arrived as an alternative -- a three-foot long cable with a Dock Connector plug on one end, and a 3.5mm audio plug on the other. While LineOut Pro precludes you from simultaneously charging your device while pulling audio from its bottom, it does enable you to pull unattenuated raw analog audio from your device, which your connected home or car audio system can then reduce in amplitude by using its own volume controls. The Dock Connector plug uses CableJive's latest, case-compatible molding design -- first seen on dockXtender Cable -- and the 3.5mm plug's housing is similarly designed to be easily connected to anything with a 3.5mm port.
We tested LineOut Pro with three different car stereos and two in-home speaker systems, and the sonic differences were virtually imperceptible between the audio coming out of an iPhone 4 or 4S’s headphone port through an 3.5mm auxiliary cable and what came out of the LineOut Pro via the Dock Connector, when the iPhones were set at peak headphone volume output levels. Depending on the device you’re using—some iPods, iPhones, and iPads put out a little headphone port interference, and some stereo systems have particularly excellent speakers or amplifiers—you may notice an improvement in clarity with LineOut Pro. The differences may seem more stark if you’re using the headphone port rather than LineOut Pro, and your Apple device’s headphone port volume is set lower than at its maximum.
Is LineOut Pro worth your time and money? If you’re looking for the easiest way to connect an Apple device to your car without having to fiddle with volume levels, CableJive’s solution is relatively inexpensive, simple to figure out, and highly case compatible. You shouldn’t expect miracles in terms of audio quality differences though, and as a significant limitation, the Dock Connector port is occupied, precluding you from charging while outputting audio . That issue aside, LineOut Pro does what it’s supposed to do, and at a reasonable price, earning it our general recommendation.