Review: The BlueAnt Ribbon Media Streamer

anewdomain.net – The BlueAnt Ribbon is a “Stereo Bluetooth Streamer,” but was that really something I needed? I set out to find out.

The Ribbon gets its name from its unique shape. It is a twisted strip of material: Black rubber on one side and blue plastic on the other. It resembles a folded piece of ribbon like the pink ribbons worn for breast cancer awareness. The distinctive shape allows you to wear the ribbon just about anywhere including on a collar, pocket, or sleeve. The blue plastic slides over the fabric and stays in place quite well.

Charge the Ribbon with the included USB cable and AC charger using the micro USB port on one leg of the device. Then download the app to your iPhone or Android phone. Follow the simple instructions to pair the two devices and you are ready to go.

Image credits: Sandy Berger for aNewDomain.net

Plug in the nice soft, comfortable, ear buds that come with the Ribbon (or use your own) into the 3.5 mm port on the bottom of the other leg of the device and you will be listening wirelessly to the music on your phone. Overall sound quality is excellent. Whatever is playing on your cell phone will be played through the ribbon. This includes many different music apps like Muve Music and Pandora.

The black rubber side of the Ribbon has three embossed areas that are used to control the device. You can use them to pause and play music, control the volume, and skip tracks.

A 3.5 mm adapter is also included, which lets you connect the Ribbon to any car radio or home device that has an AUX port. This is where I started to get a little excited. You can use the Ribbon in your car for hands-free listening.

However, it gets better. You can keep your phone in your purse or pocket, listen to music wirelessly, and use the Ribbon to answer and make phone calls. A click of the middle button will answer a call, a double-click will stop the music and bring up Siri or the Google Voice Actions for you to place a call. If you like, you can even have the Ribbon read your text messages to you. Of course, with Siri or Voice Actions, you can quickly respond to a text in a hands-free manner.

Since the controls on the Ribbon are raised, you can easily access them by touch. The first time I pressed the control on my lapel and said, “Call my husband.” I was hooked. I felt like Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise using the communicator on my uniform.

The Ribbon will also let you connect your Android phone or iPhone 5 to devices that may only have the old iPod adapter port.

There were no glitches in testing this device. However, the Bluetooth connection started to flake out at about 20’. So don’t expect to any terribly long-range Bluetooth connections.

I didn’t think that I would like the Ribbon, or find it terribly useful. I was wrong on both counts!

Manufacturer: BlueAnt
For: iPhone and Android
Retail: $69

Sandy Berger
Sandy Burger, based in Pinehurst, N.C., is a veteran tech journalist and regular contributor to Tech Page One. As senior editor at aNewDomain.net, Sandy covers tech tips and tricks, apps and gadgets in general. Email her at [email protected]
Sandy Berger
Sandy Berger
Tags: BYOD,Gadgets & Devices,Technology
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003414561225 Andini

    Great review. That was a good piece of inmforation you gave about the ear piece loop being made of some un-stiff material. I like tidbits like that. How is the sound for calls and A2dp compared to Jawbone Era. I’m going to buy one of them and I’d appreciate your opinion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003421257418 Burak

      (Wireless Phone Accessory) I bought my first BlueAnt two years ago and have been very iemrpssed with their sound quality. When they introduced the Q2 I decided to upgrade so that I could get all the new features. The sound quality remains good, but unfortunately I can’t use most of the features I bought it for. The caller announce uses weird pronunciations so it’s hard to understand sometimes. My phone, although only a few months old, does not have the latest version of Android, which is version 2.2 (beware of the Android version when you purchase an Android phone). The text to speech feature on the Q2 only works on Android 2.2. The voice dialing also does not work with my phone (Motorola CLIQ). So, I could have purchased a less expensive BlueAnt headset to get the sound quality without the features. I definitely recommend this brand but if it’s features you want, then I strongly urge buyers to make sure it’s compatible with your phone.