Requirements: any iPod compatible with 30-pin dock connector.
I love it when a product simply does exactly what it is designed to do with no fuss. SendStation’s Dock Extender is just such a product.
The complete Dock Extender, attached to a Keyspan TuneView base.
It comes in three parts. The first—a small piece with a male dock connector jack on one end and a female connection slot on the other—is the key component. Think of it as an extension cord.
The second part is a piece that snaps into the standard Universal Dock indentation that iPod dock-style products use. This base also has an upright metal stand for supporting the iPod—obviously needed since the bottom of the iPod is no longer supported by the dock’s indentation.
The last part is a hard rubber cap that fits over the top of the stand. Three different caps of varying thickness are included to accommodate varying sizes of iPods, as well as the thickness of the case in which you’ve placed your iPod.
Accounting for your iPod’s case is where the usefulness of the Dock Extender really shines. You’re probably well aware that most cases have to be removed before the iPod can slip into a dock product. Since the Dock Extender’s Universal Dock insert raises the connector above the dock’s indentation, you’ll no longer have to remove the case, provided your case provides access to the port on the bottom of your iPod.
The Dock Extender gives iPods a little lift.
As you can see in the above photo, my Marware Sportsuit case isn’t exactly the thinnest case on the market (which is fine with me, since I like the padding protection). In addition, the metal piece on the case used for attaching a belt clip makes the back even thicker. Even the smallest rubber cap seemed to make the iPod sit a bit snug against the support. No worries. Just turn it around backward—or even remove it entirely.
But as you can also see in the photo, the Sportsuit case slips snugly down over the top of my iPod and encloses around the bottom. Without the Dock Extender, I either had to tug it completely off, or squeeze the bottom of it up high enough to fit into the dock indentation. I didn’t like the latter of those options because it was causing a crease in the clear plastic on the front over the lower portion of the click wheel. Now, with the Dock Extender, I only have to pull up the case a tiny bit around the edge—enough to expose the connection port.
Since the actual extension portion of this product is a separate piece, in the rare cases where it isn’t feasible to use the Dock Extender base, the extension piece can also be used alone. I’ll leave it to your own means to determine if and when this would be necessary for you.
There’s only one shortcoming of the Dock Extender. It doesn’t come in black—yet! In addition, though not a shortcoming, a possible point of contention is the price. Personally, I feel it’s a reasonable value, but I expect there’ll be potential customers who feel, as I do, that the Dock Extender seems like a $15 or $20 product—not $30.
Yet, if you’re in love with a particular iPod case that you’d preferably never have to remove, $30 may be a small price to pay for the ability to attach your iPod to a dock without the gyrations needed to remove the case.