3G dock vs Apple Universal Dock?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by acousticbiker, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. acousticbiker macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #1
    I'm planning on buying 2 docks, one for my desk at work and one for my nightstand at home. The 3G dock is just so expensive. Universal docks are going dirt cheap on eBay...so I was wondering whether there was any advantage to getting the 3G-specific dock vs using a Universal with the 3G adapter? Is it the speakerphone/audio that is better through the 3G dock?
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    None. The Universal Dock with the round IR receiver will NOT output iPhone video through the S-Video jack on it. Otherwise, the Universal dock has a straight-through connector for whatever cable you attach to the dock connector.

    TEG
     
  3. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #3
    Thanks. What about the one without the IR receiver (seem more common on eBay)? Will these work with the iPhone for charging/syncing?
     
  4. weezite macrumors regular

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    Jul 15, 2008
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #5
    Technically, any dock will work with any dock connecting iPod/iPhone, as Docks only pass the signals straight through. The only difference is those that have remote support and those that vampire off the Sound or Video signals.

    TEG
     
  6. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #6
    So does that mean that the IR-less Universal Dock will fit the 3G with the adaptor? How many Universal Dock varieties are there?
     
  7. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #7
    There are 3 levels of Universal Docks.

    The Original without Remote Support, and the other two with remote support.

    All Universal Docks (as well as most 3rd Part Universal Systems) work with the Universal Adapters.

    TEG
     
  8. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #8
    Thanks.

    1. Is the speaker output muffled through the Universal dock?

    2. Is there a difference in fit between the Universals and the 3G dock? i.e. is the Home button obscured at all in the Universal?
     
  9. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #9
    The speakers will be a little muffled, much like in the regular iPhone or 3G dock, but not all that much. I believe that the angle of the adapter is such that there should be no problem accessing the home button.

    If you are worried about sound, I suggest getting a cheap set of powered speakers and connecting them to the line-out port on the dock to get your sound.

    TEG
     
  10. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #10
    Thanks for all the help! Actually, I just want to be able to hear the phone ring and also the alarm sound (on my nightstand)...will these sounds be about equal through the Universal compared to the dedicated 3G (which seems to claim that the sounds are maximized)?

    And one more thing: what about the 3G not supporting FireWire charging? Does that apply to any of the Apple Universal Docks?
     
  11. taphil macrumors regular

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    Jun 16, 2007
    #11
    Actually, NOT all universal docks will work with the iPhone. Only the most recent (current) model will. It is distinguished by having a small square infrared sensor on the front. The older universal dock has a big round IR sensor. If you plug the iPhone into the older dock, a message will come up saying accessory is not supported, and the speaker will not function.

    I had both the new universal dock and the 3G dock. I found that the sound through the iPhone's speaker sounded about the same in terms of volume and quality, so it really just comes down to your preference on which you want.

    The new iPhone only charges with USB, regardless of using a dock or not.
     
  12. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #12
    Thanks. I'm actually consider a version without any IR sensor on the front. Does anyone know whether the IR-less version will charge/sync the 3G?
     
  13. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #13
    They will all charge/sync the iPhone. The speaker vampire for the line out may not work, but as you said, that is not your goal.

    As long as the ringer is on maximum volume, you will be fine for audio.
     
  14. jerome-mac macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2008
    #14
    Hi!
    I'm interested in the universal dock without the ir sensor for a iPhone 3g!
    Can you please tell me if the phone doesn't move too much when plugged?
    I'm wondering if the dock well fits the phone and that it doesn't put too much force on the iphone connector?
    Thanks for your feedback!
    Chrs
     
  15. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #15
    OK, so I received my 'Universal' Dock (without IR sensor) from eBay. Nice, but it doesn't accept my Universal Dock adapters for the 3G iPhone. Did Apple make than one version of 'Universal' Dock?
     
  16. jerome-mac macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2008
    #16
    Indeed,it doesn't seem to be an Apple product... Ebay photo shows "Apple 2003", maybe a very old iPod dock?? Would you advise me to buy it or to look for a iPhone 3g dock?
    Thanks!
     
  17. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #17
    I have the universal dock from Apple with the big round IR sensor (black circle).

    I get the "airplane mode" message when connecting the iPhone for the first time but the iPhone charges and syncs just fine and even fits in fine without the universal dock adapter. The dock adapter will make the iPhone contour more to the dock, but I'm pretty sure it will just provide an aesthetic and not a functional advantage.
     
  18. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #18
    Just to make sure we're talking about the same item, here's what I got:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/iPod-UNIVERSAL-...20336QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262

    I'm pretty convinced that it's an original Apple item: very solid, excellent fit/finish, branding on packaging and item look legit. So it must be an old iPod dock, just not a Universal Dock (as it is advertised).

    Advantages (of this dock over 3G dock):

    1. Cheaper (I got two of them for $34 shipped, two OEM 3G docks would be $60+).
    2. Less likely to cause scratching of the bottom of the iPhone, as the only part that comes into contact with anything (when properly placed) is the actual male/female charger connection.
    3. Better balanced than the 3G dock (there is a part of the dock that protrudes forward, so that it is less likely to fall forward).

    Disadvantages (of this dock compared to 3G dock):

    1. Because the Universal Dock adapter does not fit, I'm worried about the male/female charger connection being the only thing holding the iPhone to the charger. It's pretty stable, but I feel that if I pushed it forward or back inadvertently I might do damage to the connector(s).
    2. Home button a bit difficult to press (slightly obscured compared to 3G dock).

    So, I can't really tell you what you should do but keep the above in mind. I'm still kind of torn. These come from Hong Kong, so return shipping (which the seller refuses to pay, despite the 'false' advertising which he has not yet corrected) will cost me $13+. Actually, if given the above +/- you'd be interested in these for $34 shipped, I'd do it (because, assuming you're in the US, it would be cheaper for me to ship to you than back to HK).
     
  19. ozblogger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #19
    I bought that one last week , and to tell you the truth I am also disappointed.
    1) the line out doesn't work ... I don't care about video, but audio should work !!
    2) as you mentioned no adapters fit, so I had to put sticky tape to cover 1/3rd of the back of the slot so that the iPhone slides in and charges .
    3) only good thing is no warning message !

    but otherwise I'd rather spend $10 more and get the iPhone 3G dock
     
  20. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #20
    Sorry you had to also experience this. What do you mean by #2? And by #3 do you mean that the actual Universal Dock gives you the warning message?
     
  21. ozblogger macrumors newbie

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    Aug 10, 2008
    #21
    to be more precise:-
    2) universal iphone adapaters don't fit: and if you tilt the iPhone a bit backwards while on this dock, the connection becomes loose and it stops charging , so had to put some sticky tape for it to stay at "intended angle"

    3) I meant the warning message that some non-oem docks give before charging
     
  22. lozanoj83 macrumors 6502a

    lozanoj83

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #22

    The dock you got if I remember correctly was the dock that originally came with the iPod Photo back I believe in 2004. Also, it should let you charge and sync with any cable, but im not sure if it'll let you do audio output.
     
  23. crazyyankeefan macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #23
    I'm currently evaluating the 3G dock and the universal dock too. I worry that the 3G dock might scratch the bottom back of the phone. Also, I plan to get Power Support Air Jacket for 3G when it hits here, and I don't plan to remove the case every time I charge. For this concern, it seems the universal dock is the way to go. However, the universal dock leaves the phone making contact with the dock through the port only, so I wonder if it may lack of support and become unstable.
     
  24. acousticbiker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 28, 2008
    #24
    Well, I've decided to go with the 3G dock. The partially blocked access to the home button was getting annoying and the male/female only connection was making me nervous.
     
  25. crazyyankeefan macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #25
    I know a lot of people get those ipod/iphone compatible stereos, but those rely on male/female only connection too. The 3G dock definitely has more support, but it bothers me to take the phone out of the case to charge every single time.
     

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