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OhGizmo! Review – Scosche passPORT

By Luke Anderson

Do you remember when you first purchased your iPhone? I camped out for hours to get my hands on a 3G earlier this year, and it was worth it. Now think back to the moment when you plugged it into one of your iPod accessories, only to find that it didn’t freaking work. I really only use the iPod connector in my car to listen to tunes while driving. While it does play music, and plays my ringtone through the speakers, it doesn’t do one very important thing; charge the phone. Any iPhone owner knows just how short of a life the battery has, so doing something like listening to music on a long car ride is just out of the question. Oh, and then there’s that annoying sound that plays through my speakers every now and then. You know the one that you get when your old phone was sitting too close to your speakers, that’s just lovely.

Yes, I do actually have a point here, and no I’ve not gone mad and decided to chuck my iPhone out the window. Rather, the people over at Scosche have bestowed upon me an interesting little gadget that promises to aliveate the stresses caused by incompatible accessories. It’s called the passPORT. Read on for my full review.

There’s really not much to this device. It’s only a couple of inches long with a male and female iPod connector. I decided to test this out during a 3-hour road trip, which I would normally drag out my old iPod for, since I don’t really want to kill my iPhone’s battery. Upon plugging it in, I was greeted with that dreadful message notifying me that I was using an incompatible accessory. After dismissing this, I noticed that my phone was actually charging. That right there was enough to sell me, but I was curious to see if I’d still get the extra noise when driving. I’m happy to report that after 3 hours of driving, this did not occur even once.

While I will admit that this is a great solution for me, it’s not perfect for everyone. Those extra couple of inches that it adds won’t be ideal for the various iPod speaker docks out there. Honestly though, even if you only use this to hook up to your car, it is well worth the $30. You’ll be hard pressed to find any aftermarket deck that supports the iPhone, so this is really your only good choice, aside from some sort of iPhone charger/FM tuner solution (which will set you back far more than $30). This is definitely something I would recommend to almost any iPhone owner.

Update: It should be noted that this particular product was designed specifically for use in vehicles, which goes along with my review. While I noted that it was not something one would use for regular home docks, this is because the passPORT was not designed for such use. We’ll keep you posted on Scosche’s plans for a home dock adapter for the iPhone.

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  • Randy

    Does this device pass all other services through, like line-out audio?

  • LukeAnderson

    Randy, I'm not sure that I fully understand your question. The passPORT doesn't do anything for line-out audio, as everything is running through the stereo's iPod connector.

  • Randy

    As I understand, this device allows the newish iPods that recharge from USB to work with older accessories when Firewire was used to recharge the battery. I'm guessing that this is done by just rewiring within this device.

    I have an adapter has a Firewire connector to charge the battery through the dock connector as well as a 3.5 mm jack that outputs the iPod's line-out audio from the dock connector. Using this device, is the line-out audio fed straight through the device from the male to the female connector, or is audio disconnected? In other words, does line-out audio still work, or does this device address only the power pin swap and nothing else?

  • Randy

    As I understand, this device allows the newish iPods that recharge from USB to work with older accessories when Firewire was used to recharge the battery. I'm guessing that this is done by just rewiring within this device.

    I have an adapter has a Firewire connector to charge the battery through the dock connector as well as a 3.5 mm jack that outputs the iPod's line-out audio from the dock connector. Using this device, is the line-out audio fed straight through the device from the male to the female connector, or is audio disconnected? In other words, does line-out audio still work, or does this device address only the power pin swap and nothing else?

  • Randy

    As I understand, this device allows the newish iPods that recharge from USB to work with older accessories when Firewire was used to recharge the battery. I'm guessing that this is done by just rewiring within this device.

    I have an adapter has a Firewire connector to charge the battery through the dock connector as well as a 3.5 mm jack that outputs the iPod's line-out audio from the dock connector. Using this device, is the line-out audio fed straight through the device from the male to the female connector, or is audio disconnected? In other words, does line-out audio still work, or does this device address only the power pin swap and nothing else?