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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Declutter Your AppRadio Setup With The CableJive dockXtender [Review]

For the longest time we have pursued an extension cable for Apple's lightning digital AV adapter. There were cheap options available from eBay but most of them aren't reliable. I even tried a DIY cable which didn't materialize.

The search ends today with the CableJive dockXtender Lightning Version. This is the only reliable lightning cable extender available at the moment. Other solutions may be available but not always reliable.

We received a review unit of the dockXtender from CableJive so thanks to them. Here is our complete review.

CableJive dockXtender (Lightning)

CableJive grabbed my attention with the 30-pin dockXtender a few years ago. I used that product with my first generation AppRadio for two reasons. Firstly, the AppRadio iPhone cable wasn't the longest and the way I had run the cable in my dash required me to have an extension to reach my phone dock.

Secondly, the 30-pin connector on the original cable was frail with many users complaining of damage within a few months of use. Getting a replacement cable was a hassle at the time too with Pioneer support not being the best.

After I posted about the need for a lightning extension cable I happened to contact CableJive. They informed me of a product in the works. The lightning version of the dockXtender was launched late last year.

The dockXtender is made to work in any situation that requires a lightning cable extension. In fact, the product page shows a picture of the dockXtender being used with a sound dock. This review will look at how the cable works with the AppRadio 3 and iPhone 5.

Description: The CableJive dockXtender (Lightning) is designed to extend any lightning cable connection. It works with most iPhone cases, covers or skins. It is available in black and comes at a length of 2 feet.

Packaging: The dockXtender comes packaged in a little box. The box has many of the features of the product printed on it. Support and contact information from CableJive is also available.

Build Quality: The cable is built really well. The wire is thick, flexible and durable. The ports at both ends look like they could have been made by Apple itself.

Features: All functionality is passed through the dockXtender which means you can charge your phone as well as sync data across it. This is important because the cheaper eBay cables will only charge your phone most of the time.

Any and all lightning devices are compatible including the iPhone 5/5C/5S, latest generation iPod Touch, and iPad Mini and iPad Air.

How to use with AppRadio 2 or 3: There is a male and female end on the dockXtender. The female end connects to the male end of the lightning digital AV adapter while the male end will plug into your phone.

The 2 feet length is perfect for my situation. If the cable was any longer it would mean having to roll it up in the dashboard or center console of your car which is not always a spacious place.

The ports connect firmly at both ends. When connected the iPhone starts charging and the 'Apps' icon on the AppRadio lights up meaning the cable is working as advertised. I didn't encounter any loss of connection or any other issues.

No more clutter!

With the dockXtender connected, I was able to tuck the HDMI cable, the lightning USB cable and the lightning digital AV adapter into the center console of my car. I ran the dockXtender out the side of one of the panels and onto my phone making sure I have enough length to reach my phone dock. Now all you see is the dockXtender on my dashboard.

Price: The CableJive dockXtender Lightning version will cost your $25.95 if purchased directly from the CableJive website. To avail of free shipping your purchase must exceed $35. CableJive sells plenty of other smartphone accessories so you may have to shop around until you get to $35.

You can also purchase the cable from Amazon for the same price of $25.95 sold by CableJive. You get free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime or free 5-8 day shipping if your purchase exceeds $35.

Link to purchase from Amazon is below...

Final Verdict: If you have an AppRadio 2, AppRadio 3 or any other AppRadio Mode enabled head unit with a lightning iPhone (5/5C/5S), the CableJive dockXtender is a must have. Pioneer requires the bulky looking Apple digital AV adapter to connect one of those iPhones to your head unit. 

Along with the HDMI cable and USB lightning cable for charging the setup looks like a wiry mess almost always. The dockXtender helps your declutter your car from all those cables by allowing you to tuck them away and out of sight inside your dash or center console.

The dockXtender is the only reliable lightning cable extension we have found at the moment. The manufacturer CableJive offers a one-year replacement warranty on the cable too (does not cover consequential or incidental damage to products used with the cable).

The cable is also useful for those with bulky cases on their iPhone which won't allow you to dock your device into a sound dock or charging dock.

Here is a video from CableJive showcasing the dockXtender... ARWReview

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