Product Type: Belkin digital audio accessories
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A Deceptively Simple Solution to a Common Problem
Belkin Rockstar Multi-Headphone Splitter
Member Name: PCLM
Belkin Rockstar Multi-Headphone Splitter
Date: 03/05/10, updated on 07/05/10 (79 review reads)
Advantages: Very convenient, no bells and whistles, small/lightweight, dirt cheap
Disadvantages: Comes with no adapters or extension cables
Headphone splitters are nothing new, but Belkin's Rockstar Multi-Headphone Splitter is definitely the best I've ever used. It's a solidly built piece of gear, and does exactly what is required of it with no bells or whistles in sight, and it does so for less than a fiver.
It can take up to five 3.5mm standard headphone connections simultaneously, with the sixth outlet serving as the main connection to your audio source (i.e. your iPod, your TV, or whatever device you plan to use it with). The sixth connector has a green cable permanently attached to it, and this too has a 3.5mm connector on the end of it. There are no adapters included with the product should you need to fatten up your connectors, for example if you plan to use it with your amplifier or some other device with a 6.3mm (1/4 inch) jack. Certain mobile phones come with headphones which have connectors slightly thinner than those of standard headphones, and you'll likewise need an adapter to use these with the Rockstar.
Also included with the device is a rather useless extension cable. The cable is barely half a meter in length, and probably won't solve any distance problems you might run into. If the headphone cables connected to the device are long enough you shouldn't have any problems here, but there are situations where you'll need to buy separate extension cables. My primary use of this device is to allow family members to watch TV during the night when other members of the family are asleep. It's pretty irritating to have to reach for the remote to lower the volume every time something dramatic is happening on-screen, and this device allows us to have the volume as loud as we like. In this scenario, the device is plugged into the TV's headphone socket, extension cables are plugged into the device (one for each of us) which stretch across to the room to our headphones. The product is more specifically targeted towards iPod users who want to share a single iPod between them, and as long as you're all standing in more or less the same place extension cables won't be necessary. The cables I bought to go with the device were quite cheap, and you can probably get two or three for the same price as the Rockstar itself.
Each time a set of headphones is plugged into the device the volume of the signal coming from the audio source will decrease slightly, and if you have used up all of the available connections you'll have to turn up your TV or iPod a fair bit. The quality of the signal is not diminished, however.
It would have been very easy for Belkin to have bloated the Rockstar to bursting point with superfluous features, such as native volume controls, EQ, and so on. If they had done so the device would have suffered, if not for the inevitably higher costs then for the destruction of the device's best feature - its simplicity. The device looks attractive and has a certain futuristic feel to it, and the minimalist design fits in nicely with that of most iPods, so much so that it wouldn't look out of place to have "Belkin" replaced with "Apple" on the device's packaging.
The Rockstar splits headphone signals five ways - that's all it does, and it does it well. For less than £5 on Amazon.co.uk the Rockstar is a no-brainier for anyone who requires such functionality.
Summary: As far as headphone splitters go the Belkin Rockstar is pretty much top dog.
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