i2i Stream Review
Now and again you may feel the need to share a great song that is playing on your iPod or MP3 player with a friend. Do you hook your player to a computer? What to do? – What to do? Well the AERIELLE i2i Stream may come in handy then. This little device will let you beam music from one player to another so you can share your music with your friends and family.
In the Box:
Inside the box comes two i2i Streams, two 12″ audio cables, two 28″ audio cables, two USB charging cables, two neck lanyards, two belt/pocket clips, and a user guide. The i2i Stream broadcaster fits in the palm of your hand and can easily fit into your pocket. It almost resembles a car alarm remote in design. The i2i Stream consists of three main buttons that will be used to operate the device. There is a send button on the top portion of the device, a receive button on the bottom, and a channel button that is smack in the middle. The fact they included two i2i Streams is very handy and there is a point to it which I will explain later. The lanyard included is black and so is the clip because everything looks good in black!
There is no software required to set up the i2i Stream. The included USB cable is what you use to charge the devices. Just plug one end into your PC or Mac via a USB port and the other into the i2i Stream and it will start blinking red, which means it is charging. Depending on how many blinks you get when you turn the device on means how much battery life you have left. 1 blink means there is less than 25% battery life left and 4 Blinks means there is 75% or more battery left and so on. What I found amusing was that inside the manual were detailed instructions on how to attach the lanyard to the i2i Stream and a separate insert on it as well. They really want you to use that lanyard! I only assume they want to keep bringing it up because the i2i Stream devices are on the small side and may get lost easily.
Setting up the i2i Stream doesn’t take much effort. The device has two input jacks, one on the top of the device for a pair of headphones. The bottom has a jack for you to connect your MP3 player via the included audio cable. Plug in both the head phones and MP3 to the i2i Stream and you are basically done. The extra i2i Stream can also be attached the same way to a pair of headphones or MP3 player.
What makes the i2i Stream different is the ability to beam a song to another friend or family member who also has the i2i Stream. That is why two are included in the pack. The i2i Stream is pointless without including an extra broadcaster device. When you have plugged in everything like you are supposed to, that is when the fun begins. To turn on the device, you press in the power button and hold for a few seconds. When it comes on you will notice the middle channel button glow – you can click the channel button several times to rotate through a selection of 7 colors to choose your favorite. I turned on my MP3 player and started listening to music and then decided on a song I was ready to send to a buddy who was holding the other i2i device. I pressed the send button and all the other person had to do is make sure they are on the same color channel I was using so that they can receive the music by pressing the receive button. With that action completed, both of us were then listening to music coming from my MP3 player. When you receive a song from an i2i Stream, the music received overrides the music currently playing on your own MP3 player. You have the ability to listen to as many songs as there are being broadcasted as long as you stay within 30 feet of the other i2i device or don’t change the channel color.
Another cool feature is that the other person who has the i2i device doesn’t technically need to have an MP3 player attached to it unless they are going to send songs for you to listen too as well. If they are just receiving tunes then it works just fine with just a set of headphones plugged in. It’s like having a DJ in your pocket without all the work of syncing songs etc… One downside I noticed is that the person who is sending the songs via the i2i Stream must be wary of the volume they are sending it at. The other person will hear it at whatever volume it is currently being played at. You can increase the volume on your i2i Stream but it makes an irritating beeping noise every time you increase the sound. So I would just tell whoever sends you the music to either turn it up or lower it. Music can be sent from an MP3 player, stereo system, or computer. There is no special requirements needed to share music that you are already listening to, only the available jack to input the audio cables.
I have to say I was expecting some watered down version of the sender’s music but I was pleasantly surprised. The stream was decent quality and if the volume is turned up on the senders side, it sounded even better. I decided to wander past a door and down a flight of stairs and only when I got to the bottom of the stairs did the music start to break up and have static. So you can definitely have consistent music as it states in the package within a range of 30 feet, and you can even push it a bit if you want be adventurous.
The AERIELLE i2i Stream is a great gadget for teenagers and for those music lovers who have an extensive catalog and just love to share with others. It’s also an efficient method to use if you want to stream music from an MP3 player to your stereo. However, if you are the one broadcasting the music, schlepping around a MP3 player attached to a i2i broadcaster and a pair of headphones, it can become quite cumbersome. Lots of wires and devices all connected to each other leads to things getting tangled and messy in bags and pockets. But if you can deal with that, like most teenagers can, then the end result is well worth it. It’s a fun device that encourages sharing and works surprisingly well. Though it retails for $114.99, you can pick up the i2i Stream at Buy.com for $74.99.
The Good: Good sound quality. Strong range of 30 feet, i2i Stream on its own is a small device that can easily fit in your pocket.
The Bad: Carrying so many devices attached together by cables can become quite a tangled mess. You will also have to carry around the extra i2i if you want to broadcast music to someone else. Volume control can be annoying.