Someone bought me an iRock and I've been trying it out for the last couple weeks. For those not familiar with this class of gadgets, they are called wireless music adapters. They allow the user to connect his MP3 player to a home or a car stereo, producing robust sound without earphones or cables snaking to and fro. The iRock can also be used to transfer output from one's tinny computer speakers to the home stereo, negating the need for dedicated computer speakers.
Simply plug the 300W into any audio output source (MP3, CD, cassette player, etc), choose one of four FM frequencies, and tune your radio to that frequency. All you do is relax and listen without wires or clumsy cassette adapters.
The product usually garners good reviews, so I believe it must work for most people who own it. However, my own experience has been mixed. A clear signal among the four frequencies offered is hard to find. Therefore, spotty reception occurs as much as 10 percent of the time with the best signal selected. (The others are hopeless.) This may be because I live in an area with a high degree of radio frequency traffic. The signal also fails to carry the five or six feet between my computer desk and the stereo in my home office without substantial static.
The iRock devours batteries (a pair of triple As) like a newborn at the breast. I consider myself lucky to get two two-hour sessions from a set.
Finally, the product is warrantied for only 90 days and has a purposely discouraging exchange policy in case of defects.
My advice is to buy the iRock only if you are sure it will suit your needs. You may want to read reviews of other wireless music adapters before making a decision.
Note: This item was originally published at Mac-a-ro-nies, a weblog with a technology beat.