iPod accessories are a dime a dozen these days, with everything from FM transmitters to speaker systems made with the proprietary universal iPod dock. Non-iPod MP3 players are unfortunately left out of the loop with these accessories--that is, unless they are stereo-Bluetooth-enabled. The Anycom FIPO is a Bluetooth receiver that will fit any iPod dock and aims to be a bridge between iPod accessories and any stereo Bluetooth device, including cell phones. So if you happen to have access to iPod accessories but you would rather use another music player, the Anycom FIPO will let you do that for around $75 a unit.
There's not much to say about the design of the Anycom FIPO. It's just a tiny plastic rectangle measuring about 1.6 inches long, 1.1 inches wide, and 0.5 inch deep and is available in both white and black. On its front is a tiny blue LED that lights up when in pairing mode, and on its bottom is the charger slot that will fit in any universal iPod dock. FIPO is entirely powered by the device it plugs into, which means it is ideal for things like stereo speakers and car iPod adapters.
We tested the Anycom FIPO with the Griffin Amplify stereo speaker, which is made for the latest generation of iPods. There was virtually no setup--all we had to do was power up the speaker and connect the FIPO to the Amplify's iPod dock. The FIPO then immediately goes into pairing mode. Once it is paired with a device, the FIPO's blue LED goes on and off twice quickly, and after it's connected, the blue LED goes off every 6 seconds. We were pleased to know that the FIPO has an auto-reconnect feature that immediately reconnects to the last connected Bluetooth device. If you wish to disable the auto-reconnect feature, you can do so by following the procedure outlined in the manual.
We paired the FIPO with the LG VX8700, a cell phone with a built-in music player and stereo Bluetooth. When we played music from the phone, we immediately heard the music stream over the speakers. Since the FIPO has an AVRCP profile, we could also control the music from the phone as well, thus transforming it into a kind of remote control. We tried pairing the FIPO with Helio Ocean next, but the phone simply wouldn't connect. Also, Anycom states that it might not work well with the Motorola Krzr. So beware that the Anycom FIPO won't work with all devices.
Overall, we think the Anycom FIPO works as advertised. Streaming music from a regular cell phone to a beefy iPod stereo speaker definitely enhances the home music experience, and it's good to know that we can use any Bluetooth music player in a car with an iPod adapter. However, $75 is a rather steep price for such a simple device, and it doesn't work with all stereo Bluetooth phones.