Apple iPhone X Accessories that feature Bluetooth, Qi Wireless Charging, and/or Lightning connectors for podcast enjoyment anywhere

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 16 2018 (updated on Mar 29 2018) in
  • iPhone
  • Mobile
  • Network
  • Productivity
  • Podcasts
  • iphone-x-wallpapers-internals

    Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, details in the Affiliate Link Disclosure below every page.


    Backstory

    Many of these items will work with Android phones just fine. For me, my experience has been mostly with iPhones, since the iPhone 3GS arrived back in 2009. Even then, I immediately invested in a cradle base for my car, replacing just the cradles as needed ever since. I've been enjoying my iPhone X since it arrived in November, and it's been a better experience than all my other every-other-year upgrades. Little things like widespread online availability of Apple's leather case made the even the initial experience easier, as did having a USB-C to Lightning cable on hand for extremely fast charging with certain power supplies. It charges fast from my Dell Precision 5520's USB-C port, offering a secure wired Personal Hotspot and high speed charging. Perfect for my business travel, especially in airports! This combo is something I've been wanting for about a decade now.

    There was a bit of a learning curve when learning the home-buttonless design. Face ID and swiping to get to my home screen took a few minutes to (mostly) get used to. After just a couple of hours, going back to my iPhone 7 Plus for even a few moments felt awkward, and it appeared ancient, with that big chin. I already forgot to hit the home button instead of swiping up.

    All that said, I knew my iPhone X was a keeper. Quickly. I also knew this new iPhone would require some new accessories, greatly enhancing my ownership experience. Qi was a big new thing for me, and fast charging is such a joy.

    Requirements

    Driving

    I do a fair amount of driving around alone, for my job. I'd say it's a 90/10 split between listening to podcasts versus Spotify and conference calls. So having easy access to these functions continues to be of utmost importance, and I like the full quality audio that the wired experience offers me in a car.

    Listening to Podcasts

    I also listen to podcasts. A lot of podcasts. And the sound quality of the built-in speakers blaring from my pocket is still rather tinny compared to a decent set of speakers. I have my car all wired up with great quality sound, but what about the shower, or at my work desk? Even better would be Bluetooth speakers with playback controls including pause.

    Attending conferences

    I attend conferences. A lot of conferences. Battery life is always a concern at such events, where cell signal is frequently poor, and a bunch of photos, videos, and tweets are made. This all affects battery life. I'd rather not stay in sluggish battery saver mode all day, and would prefer to be ready in advance with a charging case that easily fits into my pocket.

    Below, you'll find that most of the devices have succeeded meeting these needs for a while now, and each product has a story. I've also put together some unboxing videos too. I hope this information helps others, knowing full well what a hard time I had finding devices that would fit these needs, and what a pleasure it is when you finally find solutions that fit the bill, and the need.


    Ivation Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

    • Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers w/ FM Radio & LCD Display, IPX7 Water Resistant & Shockproof - Ultimate Wireless Handfree Rechargeable Shower Speakerphone

      B00TQ5TDLC-on-desk.JPG
    • Good

      • good battery life (about a month with 20-30 minutes of daily use)
      • FM radio too
      • LCD display shows you what's playing
      • when used in conjunction with podcast apps like Overcast and Pocket Casts, the >> and << controls can be configured to do 15 seconds forward or 15 seconds back, which is awesome
      • you can actually listen to a conference call from the shower, just be sure to use your phone's mute button first
      • you can answer calls from the speaker, if you like a speakerphone that can be cranked up quite loud
    • Not Good

      • playback control buttons can be hard to distinguish from one another, visually or tactically
      • no mute button, so you'll need to mute from your phone if you're going to use it as a speakerphone
    • Conclusion
      • I've had mine since July 2017, first available on Amazon Feb 2015. It works well, is loud enough, and seems completely unaffected by moisture. Great for podcasts, sufficient for music or FM radio. Happy with this purchase, and still haven't seen anything else quite like it, even at local malls, Best Buy, The Microsoft Store, or The Apple Store.

    Peyou iPhone Charging Case with Lightning Headphone & Charging

    • iPhone X Battery Case [Support Lightning Headphones],PEYOU 3200mAh ULTRA SLIM Portable Charger Rechargeable Extended Backup Battery TPU Protective Charging Pack Power Bank Case for iPhone X /iPhone 10

      Picture-of-B075HCQR4X-by-TinkerTry
    • Good

      • easy to use
        • easy to insert iPhone X into it
        • easy to remove iPhone X from it
        • no logos
        • doesn't affect flash photography
    • Bad

      • labels look cheap (but they're hidden by the phone)
        • battery safety reputation unknown
        • currently only a 3.5 star review average
        • as advertised, it only supports basic headphone/earbud audio functionality
        • I can't use with my AT2005USB external mic to record podcast content on the go, so I still may need to carry an external battery pack at the bigger, all-day conferences
        • I can't use with my Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar Adapter, either
    • Conclusion

    Mar 29 2018 Update

    My particular Peyou iPhone Charging Case has died. Suddenly during a recent trip, after working just fine at the beginning of the trip, it decided to stay on one blinking green LED forever, no matter what cable or charger I use it with. It's now getting recycled. This is just one failure, your results may vary. Amazon currently now show 3 stars / 37 reviews.


    8 AM Fast Wireless Charger with Bluetooth Speaker

    • Fast Wireless Charger with Bluetooth Speaker, Home Stereo, Computer Speaker, 2 Coils Wireless Charging Stand for Samsung Galaxy Note 8/S8/S7 Edge/S7, iPhone X/8, LG HTC All Qi-Enabled Devices

      B0713V5WMJ-on-desk--TinkerTry
    • Good

      • when plugged in, automatically reconnects with the last paired device, no button pushes necessary
      • audio quality is vastly better (less tinny) than the built-in speakers on the iPhone X itself
      • you can charge in landscape mode too, but beware, the home screen won't rotate on iOS 11.2.5, as mentioned here
      • seems to take advantage of iOS 11.2's 7.5 watt wireless charging rates
      • my informal tests got me from 56% to 76% battery charge in an hour
    • Bad

      • says "Bluetooth Mode" every time it's plugged in to wall power, and the volume of those words is the same, very louad, no matter what volume is settings on your paired device are, and there seems to be no way to disable it
        B00RM75NL0
      • no playback or volume controls on the device itself, a problem I've reduced with the Satechi Bluetooth Button, but it can take two button pushes 3 seconds apart for it to pause if it was left idle for a while, since it auto-sleeps to preserve its battery life
      • lowest 1 bar of volume on iPhone X itself is a bit too loud, an issue for late-night listening
      • the rubberized lip that your phone rests on is a bit too deep and sharp edged - great for thick cases, but it also makes the often used swipe-up (Home) gesture for iPhone X a little cumbersome
    • Conclusion
      • it's looking like a keeper for me and my needs, no regrets, and I suspect it will soon be joined by even better, brand-name choices with similar functionality
    "8 AM Fast Wireless Charger with Bluetooth Speaker unboxing and testing [4K]" on TinkerTry's YouTube Channel.

    ProClip USA dashboard mounts for iPhone X

    • Top Adjustable iPhone Holder for Lightning to USB Cable, Item 514998

      • ProClip USA in Black.
        Read more about it at TinkerTry here.
        side-view-of-514998-in-2006-Honda-Civic-Hybrid--by-TinkerTry-2018-01-16
    • Good

      • sturdy ProClip USA dashboard mounts for iPhone X allows one-handed dock-and-go
      • Lightning wired connection for full audio quality
      • spring loaded top clip handles vehicle's bumps and turns without disconnecting
      • fits iPhone X nicely, even in a case
      • I can likely go back to my iPhone 7 Plus cradle, should I upgrade to whatever the iPhone X Plus winds up being called (iPhone 11 Plus/iPhone 11/iPhone XI) someday, already rumored to be a 6.5" display
      • when used in conjunction with podcast apps like Overcast and Pocket Casts, the >> and << controls on my steering wheel can be configured to do 15 seconds forward or 15 seconds back, using the Neo ProLink v2 featured here
    • Bad

      • doesn't really fit family member's iPhone 7 Plus, work-around is to insert phone at an angle, with the top unsecured by the clip
      • won't fit my 30 pin to Lightning adapter, so I just used the two screws to swap the lower section with my iPhone 7 cradle that already had the adapter/cable assembly
      • as of Jan 2018, 2-3 week backorder
    • Conclusion
      • works nearly perfectly for my needs!

    All the details in my recently-updated article:

    sturdy-proclip-usa-dashboard-mount-for-iphone-6-plus-allows-one-handed-dock-and-go

    More Photos

    B00TQ5TDLC.JPG
    2018-01-17_22-50-26
    Picture-of-B075HCQR4X-being-installed-by-TinkerTry
    Easy to slide right in, but I had to remove my leather case first, of course.
    Picture-of-B075HCQR4X-side-view-by-TinkerTry
    Picture-of-B075HCQR4X-bottom-by-TinkerTry
    old-and-new-proclipusa.JPG
    This shows my iPhone 7 Plus cradle at left, and my new iPhone X cradle at right. I simplly moved the plastic block with the white cable out of it, and plan to paint the white cable black. Easy!
    front-view-of-514998-in-2006-Honda-Civic-Hybrid--by-TinkerTry-2018-01-16
    front-view-2-of-514998-in-2006-Honda-Civic-Hybrid--by-TinkerTry-2018-01-16
    top-adjustable-iphone-holder-for-lightning-to-usb-cable
    all-this-goes-away-with-one-bluetooth-dock.JPG
    All this old stuff came off my desk, once I began to use my Bluetooth speaker/Qi charger. As soon as I turn on my power strip for my monitors and the Bluetooth speaker/Qi charger, the podcast that was playing in my pocket suddenly just starts playing on the much better speaker. Nice! When I turn the monitors/speaker off when leaving my office, whatever was playing pauses, then a few seconds later I just tap on my iPhone or Apple watch, to resume podcast playback.
    dust-collecting-on-old-cradle-and-remote.JPG
    Some of the dust collectors I was able to get rid of, including this awful looking Lightning iPhone docking contraption.

    Jan 27 2018 Update

    Added the Satechi Bluetooth Button to the article above.


    Jan 31 2018 Update

    The day I was preparing this article, Amazon showed availability for the Ivation Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker. But the day I finally published this article, both Amazon and Newegg show no stock, with only Ritz Camera showing availability. I'm so very sorry I didn't get this article published earlier, and I'm disappointed this speaker has apparently been pulled from the market so soon.

    Also, as for the "8 AM" branded bluetooth speaker featuring Qi wireless charging, it seems searches of Amazon reveal that there are many clones of this design with presumably identical functionality, sold under a variety of relatively unknown brands, including CENSHI, YONGXING, and Hestio.

    Back in December of 2017, I had tried the Azpen DockAll D100 Qi Wireless Charging Sound Hub with Subwoofer from Sam's Club, but wound up returning it. While the sound was good and it had deeper bass, it also had touch controls were too sluggish to always get right on the first tap, volume adjustments required many taps on +/- instead of just push-and-hold, and my iPhone's Bluetooth wouldn't auto-reconnect to it when it was plugged in. This greatly reduced its usefulness for me.


    See also at TinkerTry

    hgg340
    apple-lightning-30-pin-adapter-cable-compatibility

    See also

    iphone-x-fast-charging-speeds-compared

    iphone-x-wallpapers-internals