Review: Griffin SmartShare
Headphone splitters are a popular way to allow multiple people to hear one audio source—whether it be an iPod, computer, portable CD player, or something else. Most splitters are very cheap, can be found almost anywhere, and are a cinch to set up.
Griffin’s SmartShare takes the concept of the headphone splitter and adds another feature—volume adjustment. The SmartShare will set you back about $15. At this price, it is a bit more expensive than many other splitters.
The SmartShare works with all iPods, including the regular iPods, nanos, It also works with any device that has a 3.5mm audio out jack (this include any portable devices, computers, some television sets, many home stereo systems, or anything else that can be used with headphones. Plug a set of headphones into each jack on the splitter and two people can listen at the same time.
One problem that many people run into with splitters is that when different kids of headphones are used, it is noticeable in the volume department. Rather than blasting someone who is using earbuds if someone else is using large pro-grade headphones, the SmartShare features an inline volume control on each output jack. This is also great for anyone who just wants to listen at a slightly different volume.
It should be noted the the volume adjustments can only slightly reduce the volume – you can’t turn the volume down to nothing on a headphone or raise it higher than the device’s output.
Overall, we find the addition of the volume control on each jack to be very useful, especially when two people are listening with different preferences. The splitter seems well made, and doesn’t cost too much.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The SmartShare takes the idea of the headphone splitter and improves upon it.
Pros: Good build quality, volume adjustments
Cons: A bit more expensive than other splitters, can’t turn volume down all the way