Hardware review: CableJive duaLink sync splitter cable

The duaLink sync splitter cable, made by CableJive, allows you to connect two iPods, iPads or iPhones from a single USB port. This is particularly useful for laptop owners, who may not have a lot of ports on their machines.

Here’s a closer look at the cable itself.

And here’s what it looks like with two iPods connected to my MacBook Pro.

Finally, here’s what things look like in iTunes.

It’s a straightforward product that I think many of us could use. It costs $25.95, and you can get it directly from CableJive.


Hardware review: the duraSync cable for iPad, iPod and iPhone

I’ve been using the duraSync charge and sync cable for the past few months, and I love it. It’s a durable, solidly-made, premium cable that replaces the stock sync cable which ships with your iPad, iPod or iPhone, and it’s made by CableJive, the same company that makes the SoundDock and iStubz cables.

The cable is really sturdy, and it’s made to last. It comes with a Lifetime Warranty, so if anything should ever go wrong with it, you can send it back to CableJive for a replacement.

It has a stiff rubber outer shell and an impact-resistant plastic core. The dock connectors will withstand crushing, banging, dropping and being stepped on, even driven over with a car. The cable itself is made of durable wire, with heavy-duty shielding and a clear coating. It will withstand pulling, jerking and being run over.

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Hardware review: CableJive's iStubz cable for iPod and iPhone

In May, I mentioned CableJive’s new iStubz sync cable in my review of their SoundDock cable, which I’d purchased last year, and I was contacted by Zack, one of the folks at CableJive, who offered to send me an iStubz cable for review. In the interest of full disclosure, please know that the cable I received was a review sample that I got to keep.

Would I have bought one otherwise? Yes. I think that at $7.95 for the 7cm size or at $8.95 for the 20cm size, these cables are a great deal. They fulfill a real need for those of us with iPods and iPhones — namely the need the declutter our desks. They’re much shorter than the standard sync cable that ships from Apple, they work just as well, they’re made from the same materials — thus, they’re perfect for quickly connecting our Apple peripherals to our laptops.

I got my cable in late May, and have been using it ever since. I opted for the 20cm size. I packed my old sync cable and put it away from the very first day after that. It’s useless to me now. The iStubz cable is much more convenient to use, and in terms of design, it comes closer to Apple’s design philosophy than Apple’s own cable.

The cable I have can be seen the right side of the picture shown above, or in the two photos shown below. The longer cable, the one used to connect the iPhone to the laptop, is the 20cm one, and the shorter cable, the one used to connect the iPod to the laptop, is the 7cm one.

I had some issues with the sturdiness of my 1st gen SoundDock cable, as you can see if you read my review of it, but these iStubz cables are nothing like it. These are mass produced and very likely made to the same quality standards as the Apple sync cables. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re made by the same manufacturer.

I took a couple of photos of my own to show you the difference between the iStubz cables and Apple’s standard sync cable. While I’ll agree that sometimes it’s better to use the standard sync cable, such as when you have a desktop computer with USB ports on the back, in most situations, the iStubz cable is all you need to connect your iPod or iPhone to your laptop.

CableJive's iStubz cable

CableJive's iStubz cable

If you want to buy the iStubz cable, you can get it directly from CableJive.


CableJive SoundDock and iStubz cables

Back in 2008, I bought a SoundDock cable from CableJive, which allowed me to connect my 1st gen Bose SoundDock to my Mac. Since we bought our SoundDock, Bose has come out with a 2nd gen SoundDock, which has a built-in auxiliary input, making the cable unnecessary. Still, we weren’t about to buy a new SoundDock when ours was working perfectly well, and with the addition of a cable, we could make it work with our Mac, allowing us to have nice, premium sound.


I remember looking around for months for a cable that could do the trick. I knew it was technically possible, but no company I knew of made such a cable. Finally, I discovered CableJive. Back then, they were just going into business, judging by their website and lack of customer service. After placing my order, I got no confirmation whatsoever. I had no idea whether they received my order or not. The phone number they listed on the website wasn’t working, and nobody answered my emails. Thankfully, the cable arrived in the mail a few days later, and has been working ever since.

The build quality of the SoundDock cable leaves something to be desired though. The sleeve that fits around the cable at the end that has the thick, iPod-style adaptor is loose, and the plastic that contains the circuits that make the connection with the Bose SoundDock isn’t anchored well into the sides of the adaptor, making it flop around in there. Overall, I’d call the cable flimsy, and considering the price we paid for it at the time ($48), overpriced.

I can only hope their build quality has improved since then, and I’m glad to see that at least they’ve lowered the price to $40. It’s still a hefty price to pay for a flimsy little cable, but like I said, no one else makes them, and if you’ve got to have it, you’ll pay the price or go without.

Now I see they make these iStubz cables, which are basically short sync cables for the iPod and iPhone. The ones that ship with the phone are too long for most people’s needs, cluttering up one’s desk. I like the idea, and I also like the price ($8).



Now here’s my question: why is the iStubz cable, which is more complicated to make (I assume) than the Bose SoundDock cable, only $8, and the SoundDock cable $40?

Images used courtesy of CableJive.