Scosche TAPSTICK Waterproof Bluetooth Remote REVIEW
Many of us regularly enjoy movies and music on our smartphones and tablets. Depending on the situation, we may use the native speaker of the device or we may turn to wired/Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth portable speakers. It is incredibly convenient that we can control our speaker from our smart device. Additionally, with the appropriate Bluetooth protocols, we can control our phone/tablet from the speaker. Yet, it is frequently inconvenient to have to walk to one of the devices to adjust the volume, pause/play the music or to change tracks. Luckily, Scosche has created a Bluetooth remote that surpasses simple convenience.
The Waterproof Bluetooth Remote from Scosche arrived inside of a 6 3/4 inches tall by 3 1/8 inches wide by 7/8 inches thick retail package. Scosche brilliantly allowed their 3 inches tall by 1 1/2 inches wide by 3/4 inches wide clip-on remote to shine through the transparent front and side panels. Instead of solely relying on photographs, images, or representations of the device, we get to see the waterproof remote directly. Personally, I must commend the company for their packaging, as I do not feel that there is a better way to display a product. The rear face of the packaging added to the overall product appeal. Using a photographic quality image of a male wearing the remote upon a backpack strap, we can visualize one of the uses of the product. Beneath the image, Scosche provided five icons detailing the remote control, Bluetooth 4.2 + HID and AVRCP profiles, IP67 waterproof/dustproof, Mil-STD 8160G drop resistant, buoyant, coin cell powered replaceable battery, and a built-in metallic plate to work with Scosche MagicMount. Thanks to the wrap around clear cover, we were able to obtain a wonderful visual take on the remote.
Within the packaging, you will find the 0.6 ounces remote, detachable clip, and the twenty-page multilingual instruction manual (English, French, Spanish, German, Italian). The first page of the instruction manual was the most useful, providing a labeled diagram of the remote and clip. The three-button remote has a volume up “+” and volume down “-” button surrounding a multifunction (MFB) button. Between the volume up and MFB button, Scosche included a connection status LED to indicate the status. The manual further detailed the IP67 dustproof/waterproof nature, replaceable battery, built-in music controls, and the floating design. In addition to the diagram, the manual further detailed the utility of the device. To turn on the remote, hold the center MFB button for 3 seconds and notice that the LED flashes red and blue. You can then navigate to Settings, Bluetooth and select Scosche Remote from the list. The volume controls of the remote made perfect sense. To increase/decrease the volume press the volume “+” and “-” buttons respectively. Despite the easy to understand volume controls, the track selection was a little less intuitive. Instead of using long presses of the plus and minus buttons, Scosche chose to use a double tap of the MFB button to advance the track and a triple press to return to the previous track.
Once paired, the Bluetooth remote proved to be incredibly responsive. I was able to pair with and control my iPhone X or my iPad Pro 10.5″ amazingly well up to a distance of about 25 feet. After that, the controls became spotty at best. Using a pair of 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear HiRes Headphones, I was able to experience studio quality sound and comfort but with the added benefit of a remote control. Navigating to Amazon Prime Music, I could find an album with my phone and then set it down. With the Scosche remote, I could advance the track/return a track, play/pause the song and adjust the volume without having to move anything more than my thumb. This past memorial day weekend, I was spoiled by the Scosche remote. My family and I went camping with some family friends at a local KOA campground. I was able to use a Veho M10 portable speaker to listen to music without having to get out of the hammock. My children loved the Laurie Berkner Band dance party and I found that I could play/pause and control the volume of Amazon Prime Videos with the remote as well. While watching Movies Anywhere, however, I was able to control the volume and I was able to pause the video, but I could not use the remote to turn the movie back on. I do not think that this was a limitation of the remote, but a limitation of the software. I also liked that the remote was able to control my phone directly and did not affect speaker settings. This was most notable for devices that had their own internal volume and did not control the phone and vice versa. In addition to my iPhone X, I was able to gain added functionality for my iPad Pro 10.5″ as well. Additionally, with your phone on a tripod, you can use the Tapstick to take photos and video.
Pairing either my iPhone X or my iPad Pro 10.5″ with a portable Bluetooth controller allowed me to control the phone (music source) without having to pull out my device. Since my phone normally lives inside of an XL Nite-Ize Holster upon my right hip, I often have to unhook the velcro, remove the phone, turn on the screen and then adjust the volume or change the track. The Bluetooth remote can live in a pocket or can be carried in your hand to easily control your smart device. The featherlight remote was designed to go with you everywhere with the built-in IP67 waterproof nature. The clip will allow you to add this to a belt or to a shoulder strap on a backpack. I do not have the Scosche MagicMount to test the magnetic attachment but this is yet another method for increasing convenience. I read the single review on Amazon and disagree with the 3* rating. I did not experience issues with my iPhone X, with my wife’s iPhone 7, iPad Air 2 nor with my iPad Pro 10.5″. When typing in messages, Pages, and notes, I was able to access the keyboard and able to use all of the functions of the devices. Some of the applications had some limitations for the remote, but these were software limitations and not limitations of the remote itself. If you are looking for an inexpensive and convenient way to take selfies and to control your music and movies, consider purchasing the Tapstick device from Scosche.
Originally published at macsources.com on May 31, 2018.