DLO’s IR-based iDirect provides the standard iPod remote functions – play/pause, volume up and down, forward/back – via large, easy-to-press buttons that, like the iJet, provide good feedback via tactile ‘clicks’. The package also includes a handy plastic cap that fits over the headphones and remote plugs to protect them when the receiver is not attached to your iPod. Like all of the IR-based remotes we have tested, the iDirect provides very good range and reliability indoors – approximately 30 unobstructed feet – but does not function through walls or around corners.
The RF-based AirClick is available in three models: one for standard iPods, one for iPod minis, and a third (not tested) that can be used to control media applications on a computer via the computer’s USB port.
By default, one remote can control multiple receivers, which is a nice feature if you have iPods in two different locations, or both an iPod and a computer AirClick, and only want to keep track of a single remote. You can also pair remotes and receivers so they work only with a specific counterpart. The AirClick receiver is the only receiver to feature a reception indicator – you know the receiver is picking up the remote’s signal when you see the red light blink.
The AirClick remote has a permanent belt clip on the back, so you don’t need to attach a bulky clip assembly like you do with the iJet. The clip can also be used to attach the remote to an included cradle; using one of two included Velcro straps, you can wear the cradle on your arm or attach it to a bike frame or steering wheel. We enjoyed being able to control an iPod in the glove compartment from the steering wheel, or an iPod in a backpack from the wrist.
The AirClick remote control is also the only one to have a hardware hold switch – no worrying about accidentally pressing a button (a valid concern with the AirClick, as the buttons are large and easy to press).
In order to use the AirClick remote without looking at it, you have to stop and remember how the buttons are arranged. AirClick provided good reception from over 30 unobstructed feet away and worked successfully through a single interior wall from about 15 feet away.