How can I share music from my iphone without extra cables?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by roisin and mac, May 19, 2014.

  1. roisin and mac macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Hi all! I sometimes find myself mentioning a piece of music when I'm out spending time with friends, and because I live in a backwater where you're pretty unlikely to hear anything beyond Top 40 hits, people often haven't heard it before and they're curious (I tend to get pretty excited when I talk about music too I guess!)

    The trouble is, I have yet to come up with a good way to do this that gives decent sound, but isn't disruptive (of the conversation - eg with a lot of setup time - or of my daily routine by making me carry a bunch of just-in-case stuff). The built-in speaker's too limited for basically everything, my earbuds have better sound but you're only sharing with one person (also: potentially icky lol), and portable speakers are only an improvement over built-ins if they're bigger than those golf ball things, in which case they're not really a daily carry item (well not if your typical daily carry is one iphone, four keys, a tyvek sleeve with two cards and two banknotes, and a bumps & scrapes first aid kit).

    For a while - back when my daily carry was a lot less minimalist - I used to haul around a bunch of retractable cables and adaptors to hook up my iphone with whatever speakers were available. That got me great sound, but logistically it's a PITA: it disrupts the flow of conversation when you root around to hook stuff up, and in any case these days it's too much extra bulk and I leave it home more often than not, which means it's never there when I need it.

    Is there a way to have my cake and eat it here? Can I somehow get the better sound of using available speakers, but without the disruption of fiddling with cables and adapters or the hassle of hauling around space-gobbling extras like portable speakers?

    I would appreciate any ideas, don't be afraid to suggest stuff even if it seems off-the-wall or even expensive! I know it's kind of a weird problem so the off-beat solutions are what I'm looking for most of all :)

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Maybe some "loaner" headphones in a ziplock bag.
  3. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Yeah, that's a good idea but basically it only solves the yuck factor of earbud sharing. But it still means carrying something extra (ie that I wouldn't carry for myself) and it still covers only one person, so it won't work for situations where it's a group (which is most of the time when I need to share tracks) :-/
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Ok, got it. A zip lock is to much gear to haul around. You need something even smaller that can fill a room with higher quality sound then what comes from the iPod speaker.

    Learn the songs then sing them yourself A Cappella. Everyone in the room will be able to hear and you don't need any equipment.

    If you can stand to cary some gear, perhaps a cable with ends that could be used to connect an iPod to a TV set or whatever is around. But this breaks your requirement not to cary anything you would not normally would cary so it's back to a solo A Cappella performance. One tip: It helps a LOT to listen to the actual recording in headphones while you perform. You can match the pitch and timing to the recorded track. Dancing, "air guitar" and/or drumming with fingers on a table adds to the effect (or not.)
  5. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Wow, what the heck is your problem?! If you don't like my requirements and have nothing constructive to offer, go up your post count somewhere else - there are plenty of threads around for that.

    I made it clear that it was a niche question and not something general, and that I was aware these were very narrow requirements (you do know what it means to have your cake and eat it too, I hope?) But then you wouldn't know that because you clearly didn't even read what I wrote since both your suggestions are things I mentioned as having already tried. My OP is long, sure, so I did expect fewer responses due to tldr, but it's there for a reason - if you don't have time to read, again, move along. Nobody's forcing you, and for me I'd rather get fewer replies than have a thread I posted in good faith, to genuinely discuss some options, be highjacked by some troll. Again, there are better places for you to do that.

    In case the troll didn't scare everyone else away: I know this is a long shot, and I can go on using the cable kit I use now, but I was just wondering if there was a better option out there that I am missing. If I can do without the hassle of carrying the cable kit or the awkwardness of a lengthy/involved setup process, it would be nice. If not, then okay, at least I know :)
  6. rctlr macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2012
    I know it's another item, but I've seen these "Griffin Aircurve Play Accoustic Amplifier Speakers" - which are completely passive. They amplify the sound from the iPhone with no need for extra cables, power supply etc.

    There might be something even smaller that might give you the amplified sound you need.

    Hope this helps.
  7. berthaconners macrumors member

    May 20, 2014
    So, if I understand correctly, you just want to play music for your friends with good quality without being burdened by carrying around wires ect? Assuming you are using Apple products, you could buy an iHome ( or something like it, and leave it at the meeting place? I'm not sure if this is at your house, or your friend's house, but since you said you are open to expensive options, this could possibly work for you. Good luck :)
  8. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    oh yeah, I know these! I used to own them in fact, it's what I used for trips out of town until I found some nicer ones by Logitech on clearance. I've also tried a neat little thing that you would stick to the side of an empty container (like a glass) and it would use the glass as an wasn't as good as the Aircurve so I returned it, but still, it was kind of fun to see!

    But yes, it is too big to carry. I would basically need to carry this with me all the time, or at least when I'm out to see people (I can leave it home if I have no plans, although several times I've needed it it was a spur of the moment meetup that turned into an evening, that kind of thing). Considering the rest of my stuff put together is no bigger than this, it's kind of a tough pill to swallow :p

    Yes, that's exactly it! Except for the quality, I'll settle for decent rather than good :p Wires and other extra stuff are a problem because they're too big to carry regularly, and the way I meet up with friends is too unpredictable to let me anticipate when I'll need them and take them along. also, yes, I'm using Apple products - mostly my iPhone though because that's what I usually have with me (I only take the ipod for road trips, otherwise it stays on my docked speakers).

    Leaving an ihome at the meeting place would be a good idea, but we don't actually have a steady meeting place. We all live all over the city, with many in the group in the outer suburbs and then there's me right in the city centre. So in general we tend to split the distance and get together somewhere out - like coffee shops and such. It's usually smaller, friendly sorts of places, so unless it's a peak time it's not been such a big deal to ask the workers to let me hook up a cable or use an iTrip, but it's not like we could leave wires/speakers there for next time.

    I'd go with an itrip because the one I had was tiny, smaller than a mini altoids tin, there's a radio almost anywhere, and it's not much trouble to just ask to tune it to the other frequency. But the new design for the lightning connector is different, it has a lot of long thick cabling and a built-in car charger that is just dead weight to me.

    I guess you could use the car speakers, but that's out too for me because I don't always have a car - I share the family car so more often than not, it's just what I can carry.

    But I still appreciate the suggestion! It got me to see how I hadn't mentioned there's no specific meeting place to work with, always good to refine and clarify :p
  9. berthaconners macrumors member

    May 20, 2014
    I'm glad I was able to help :) Good luck, darling :)

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