I have owned an iPhone/iPod accessory called the iDeck for a few months now, in which I have found it to be an absolutely great purchase. You have probably never heard of the iDeck, but much as it’s name implies, it is an iPhone and iPod adapter for your car’s tape deck. Thus, this won’t be an accessory for everyone, but for those looking for a solution to connect an iPhone/iPod to their car stereo, the iDeck may be a great choice for you.
Before I get started with the review, you can jump to this page on Amazon to learn more about the iDeck. I should also note, that this review is not paid, and is completely unbiased.
The iDeck is pretty much a mobile dock for your iPhone or iPod Touch that operates by using the cassette deck in your vehicle. The features are fairly simple. The iDeck allows your iDevice to be amplified through your car’s speakers/sound system. It also charges the device simultaneously, via a cigarette lighter adapter. So, if you have ever wanted to listen to the music on your iPod or iPhone in your car, but don’t want to have to install any special stereo equipment or use a FM Transmitter, the iDeck is the way to go.
Before I purchased the iDeck, I considered some alternatives, many of which, rely on an arm or a stand. Here are a few examples:
While these are likely quality products, I find them to be a bit tacky. The iDeck is different in that because it mounts the iPod using a cassette bracket, the iPod or iPhone will sit securely in the center of your vehicle’s dash. If you use your iPhone for GPS, the cassette tape mounting is super efficient, because it doesn’t require that you mount anything to the windshield, where as other devices may require that. The device itself is very minimal, yet effective.
While the iDeck is marketed as an iPod compatible device, it will work with iPhones too. If you purchase the iDeck and connect an iPhone 4 or 4S, you may get an on-screen prompt similar to “This accessory has not been optimized for this device.” You can simply tap the OK button to ignore it, and the iDeck still works fine, even with newer Apple devices.
I would not recommend the iDeck as iPad compatible, however, because when I tried to connect an iPad, it did okay, but it was very wobbly and not very secured to the dash.
Also, the iDeck doesn’t allow you to charge your phone and hold it to talk on it, where a standard cigarette charger cord would allow you to do that. However, the speaker phone function on the iPhone works nicely with iDeck. Whenever a call comes through, and you are listening to music, the iPhone automatically dims the sound levels perfectly, allowing you to answer the call. Upon ending a conversation/ending the call, your music will simply resume where it left off.
I was amazed with the quality of the iDeck, down to the box that it came in. Everything was very “Apple like” in nature, and one could easily mistake this device as being a device that is manufactured directly by Apple. The device comes with several dock adapters that will allow you to use different iDevices, such as the iPod Nano, Touch, or iPhone. Each device has its own adapter. However, I simply don’t use the adapter, as the dock itself is fairly sturdy.
That’s my quick review of the iDeck. I definitely recommend this device for anyone that needs a quality iPhone/iPod car charger, plus a holder, plus a way to play music through a vehicle’s speakers.