I have experienced many dongles in my day, but none are as useful as Anker Soundsync. It’s a simple little gadget that solves what, for me at this point in my life, is a critical void; Bluetooth audio.
But before I tell you why I love that little piece of black plastic and why you might too, let’s turn the page just a few chapters first.
When suppliers of smart phones (I am looking at you Apple) decided to move away from the headphone jack, it seemed like sacrilege. How could they? Call the move what you will: Apple says the move was a necessary engineering move to make room for other larger internals and critics call it a brazen attempt to coerce you into buying audio devices bluetooth like AirPods. I think it’s a bit of both.
Whatever you personally think, we’re now approaching seven years without the once guaranteed headphone port (the iPhone 7 was the first model without a 3.5mm port to plug in headphones) and not being able to hardwire audio to your phone is just life – not just for iPhone users, but for pretty much all Phone (s. Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture of the Poco F3, a budget phone from China that would definitely fit on the headphone jack…right? Fake.
And so here I am in 2023, freshly moved to a new neighborhood, without the comforts of past living situations, and barely a Bluetooth audio device in sight. But without a speaker, I’m not. In fact, I’m still the rightful owner of a set of M-Audio monitors which, while not the best monitors in the world, are fine for my day-to-day needs. It is whether I had a non-aggravating way to use them.
Enter Anker’s Soundsync.
The Soundsync is a dongle in the best sense of the word. While it’s technically just there to fix the pain of downed ports, it does so in the least painful way possible – with the power of Bluetooth.
In my case, the problem was turning the headphone jack on my M-Audio monitors into a gateway to Bluetooth. Serving this company, Anker’s Bluetooth transmission Soundsync uses a small adapter (a double-sided 3.5mm jack) that plugs into the Aux port on one end and the dongle on the other.
Once the device is plugged in, all you have to do is turn on the Soundsync, find the option under Bluetooth Devices on your phone or Bluetooth-enabled device, and boom. You’re in Bluetooth now, baby.
As far as functionality goes, there isn’t much there, but again, it doesn’t have to be. There’s an on/off button and two volume buttons on the side if for some reason you’re some kind of freak who prefers controlling the volume manually. The dongle is battery powered, so you will need to recharge it from time to time. The receiver uses Bluetooth 5.0, so my connection never falters, and if you’re looking to connect multiple devices, the Soundsync supports two simultaneous connections.
Anker says the Soundsync has around 12 hours of charge time (not bad for a device as small as this dongle), and to recharge it, the Soundsync also comes with a micro USB cable. If you’re not into the dual-sided adapter, the Soundync also includes a longer 22-inch cable with 3.5mm jacks on each side.
There’s not much to unpack in terms of features, and that’s kind of the beauty of Soundsync. It is truly a plug-and-play device. Although I personally use it at home – I use the aforementioned Poco device as a dedicated media player so my main device’s audio stays separate – you can use the dongle in any situation where you need to convert audio from a Bluetooth headphone jack. Your car, if you drive something older, might be one place you want/need to.
Regardless of the scenario, in my experience Soundsync works, and that’s really what’s important here. For $30 the Soundsync brought me Bluetooth audio without having to buy an extra speaker or, heaven forbid, use one of my old laptops with a headphone port just to listen to music. music – I’ve seen this darkness and I wouldn’t wish this world on anyone.
If you’re like me and live in a world of passable speakers but no convenience, do yourself a favor and bring Bluetooth into the fold with the Soundsync.
Photograph by James Pero