It’s no secret that the BlackBerry phone has lost ground to the iPhone and Android options, but BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion is about to come out swinging. You may not have thought of the company as an accessory maker or audio innovator, but you’ll be changing your mind soon.
Today Research in Motion released the BlackBerry Music Gateway in the U.S. It’s about the size of a matchbook, yet it packs a huge punch —
The Blackberry Music Gateway allows you to connect any Bluetooth enabled device to any speakers, and turns your device into a wireless remote control. If you have a BlackBerry phone you can tap to connect via NFC and play your BBM music, but the system is a breeze with any device that has a Bluetooth connection. I used my iPhone and I was blasting music in seconds. You could also use a tablet or computer — anything with a Bluetooth connection — as the remote.
Here’s the whole deal: you plug the BlackBerry Music Gateway into the wall. Then you use the included 3.5mm audio cable or the 3.5mm RCA cable to plug the Gateway into your powered speakers or audio system. Then you pick up your phone, turn on Bluetooth and connect. And that’s it! Any audio you can play on your smartphone is now coming through your speakers.
One of the most amazing things to me was the range over which the Bluetooth connection works. I tried it at the office from the other side of our bunker of a mailroom, and I could still change the song playing on the speaker back at my desk. I took it home and went two stories up and could still pause and play music through the speaker downstairs.
It’s impossible to overstate how impressive this is given the size of the Gateway. It is about a half inch thick and then 1.5 by 2.5 inches wide. There is one button on the top that you press to enter pairing mode, and one LED that lets you know if the device is pairing or it is connected.
The BlackBerry Music Gateway means there is no reason to pay an extra hundred dollars for a speaker that has Apple AirPlay or wi-fi. You don’t need to hire a professional integrator to revamp your home network. This one device upgrades your old hardware and makes your phone or tablet a wireless remote control and it costs just $49.
The Gateway has been available in Research in Motion’s home, Canada, for a while now, and has been a popular purchase. Starting today it is available in the U.S. online at BlackBerry.com, and it will be coming to physical retail locations in the future.
Pick one up for that low price now and welcome your speakers to the year 2012.