I first saw CableJive’s products at CES and they were kind enough to send samples of their products for review. Amid the bejeweled cases, quirky penguin-shaped USB drives, and biometric accessories, cables could certainly get lost on the trade show floor. But a quality cable is not something that escapes my attention.
Liking to use my iPod Touch or iPhone in a variety of docks, I long ago abandoned some cases in favor of those which either came with a universal dock adapter or a slider case where part of the case could be easily removed for docking. However, I know a few iPhone users who cannot abide by anything but the Otterbox Defender case, as they have brutalized their phones in the field, and the case has performed. Unfortunately, these same users are as hard on their Apple stock cables as they are on their phones, resulting in frays and breakage.
CableJive has all the bases covered for such users. Read on for my review of two of their products, the dockXtender cable and duraSync.
The CableJive dockXtender cable is a thick (4.5mm) plastic coated cable that comes in two lengths, 2 foot and 6 foot. The 30 pin connector ends are housed in hard plastic. There were no issues connecting through the narrow Otterbox Defender case opening. I found the two foot length to be optimal for connecting an iPhone 3GS to a dock which could not accomodate the bulky case. The cable felt strong and durable. I twisted and stretched the cable with no discernible resulting damage.
Unlike cheaper knockoff versions found online, the dockXtender purports a two-tier shielding system that provides quality, interference-free transfers of all audio and video signals. (One of those cheaper cables, as reported by one of our readers, doesn’t even support the iPhone 4). Buyer beware! You can view a video of the cable in action here.
According to their website, the dockXtender was originally designed for the iPhone 3GS and that generation of cases. As a result, the dockXtender is not compatible with such popular cases as the Apple Bumper Case or Speck CandyShell, among a few others. The cable retails for for $25.95 USD for the two foot length, and $31.95 for the six foot length.
The duraSync Cable
The CableJive duraSync cable is made of a clear, flexible plastic around a woven metallic core. The ends have a hard plastic core with a rubber outer shell to resist impacts. I listen to my iPod Touch at night, sometimes while it is plugged in as I often forget to charge it and can’t risk the alarm not going off. Consequently, my standard Apple cable has broken and started to fray (see image at left below). I was eager to have a cable that wouldn’t risk shorting out, wrecking my iPod, or setting my bed on fire.
CableJive offers a lifetime warranty for their duraSync cable. They insist the ends can withstand ”banging, crushing, dropping or being stepped on”. The cable is said to endure “pulling, jerking, and being run over.” I was hesitant to attempt to thwart these claims until I watched the video of the cable being put through its paces. Now I didn’t take a screwdriver, rubber mallet, or cinder block to the cable, nor did I drive over the connector end with the car. I did yank, pull, stretch, and stomp on it with no ill effects.
The 3 foot, USB 2.0 compatible cable retails for $18.95 USD. Considering the stock dock connector to USB cable costs $19.00 USD from the online Apple Store, is of higher quality and comes with a lifetime warranty, it represents a signficantly better value. And for those consumers not willing to entrust their devices to questionable knock-offs, or prefer quality over quantity (purchasing several cheap cables rather than one enduring cable), the CableJive duraSync is an excellent product. Added bonus: the duraSynch cable has the a small profile similar to the dockXtender and fit my Otterbox cases.
The CableJive products do not disappoint in their build quality or functionality. While the dockXtender may not be compatible with every case, it will accomodate most and functions well. The duraSuync cable is top-of-the-line construction at a very reasonable price, given its materials and lifetime warranty. It may not have the flash of other accessories, but not having to baby my cables, worry about kinks or fraying, is a beautiful thing.