You iPhone’s headphone jack is just fine for listening to your MP3s with the crappy Apple-supplied earbuds, but what if you want something a little, shall we say, less terrible? You could of course spring for a high-end headphone amp with its own DAC (Digital Analog Converter), and pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege. Or you could dig $11 out from under the couch cushions and buy CableJive’s LineOut Pro.
The LineOut Pro is true to its name. It plugs into the 30-pin dock connector of any iDevice and turns it into a line-out cable. On the other end of the one-meter (three-foot) cable is a gold-plated minijack.
Why bother? Because taking the raw analog audio feed from the dock connector avoids the extra circuitry used for the headphone output, including volume controls and so on. This in turn gives cleaner audio for a very cheap price. You probably don’t care if you’re just listening to music, but if you’re jacking your Garage Band tracks into another recording setup, every bit of quality counts.
The downside is that you can’t charge while you play, but otherwise it seems hard to fault this little widget at such a good price. Available now.