Auris turns any 30-pin music dock into a Bluetooth speaker

This handy little gizmo plugs into most speaker docks (including those without iDevice connectors) to let you stream audio from any and every Bluetooth-enabled device.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
The tiny Auris turns any 30-pin speaker dock into a Bluetooth speaker dock.
The tiny Auris turns any 30-pin speaker dock into a Bluetooth speaker dock. Touchkraft LLC

In my kitchen I have this great Fluance speaker dock -- well, great except that it doesn't have Bluetooth. If I want to listen to music, I have to plop my iPhone onto its 30-pin connector.

Or not, if I plop an Auris onto it instead. This Kickstarter-spawned gizmo can turn that dock into a Bluetooth speaker, able to play wireless audio from my iPhone, iPad, Android device, Windows phone, or anything else capable of Bluetooth streaming.

Update: This product now goes by the name Auris freeDa.

Neat, huh? No wonder this Kickstarter campaign earned more than three times its funding goal. I received a sample Auris from BiteMyApple.co (a site that sells all kinds of Kickstarter-created goodies), though you can also buy it direct from maker Touchkraft (for the same price).

Smaller than it looks in pictures, the matchbook-size Auris is compatible with all 30-pin speaker docks (i.e., those designed for earlier-gen iDevices). I tested it with the aforementioned Fluance and a DLO iBoom Jukebox; it fit just fine on both. There's also a 3.5mm line-out jack (and cable) for using the Auris with other docks and devices, though at the very least you'll need a powered 30-pin connector to charge its battery (which, according to Touchkraft, will last 12 hours between charges).

Contrast that with a product like the Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver, which can also plug into any AUX-in jack, but requires AC power. The Auris is best suited to the 30-pin crowd, but it's versatile enough to work elsewhere.

After replacing a defective sample unit, I had an easy time pairing the Auris with my iPhone, then belting out all my favorite tunes on my speaker docks. Because it supports Bluetooth 4.0, the Auris can pair with up to eight devices -- a great perk for households like mine, where family members might want to stream music from their devices.

As an added perk, the Auris includes a microphone, thus allowing you to use your speaker dock as a speakerphone -- provided you sit reasonably close to it.

At $50, the Auris isn't cheap. However, it works as advertised, and it's probably cheaper than replacing the dock you already own -- especially if it's a good one. Your thoughts?