I Love the iLuv Syren, But Wish the iPhone Could Leverage its NFC Feature

Syreniluv syren

My car doesn't have integrated Bluetooth, so I'm always on the lookout for a convenient add-on. The Syren ($39.99) from longtime Apple accessory vendor iLuv has a lot to offer. In fact, it might have too much to offer! In addition to traditional Bluetooth pairing, the Syren offers NFC (Near Field Communication) so you can pair it with an NFC-enabled smartphone just by touching the speaker with your phone! But Apple doesn't have NFC yet, and may not as they promote their iBeacon alternative.

The Syren's novel approach to stereo speaker design has one speaker pointed up while the other fires down and is reflected for 360 degree sound. This unusual design might not let it fit in some cars' cup holders, so check first. Of course, you don't have to use the Syren in a car, as it will be right at home on a bookshelf or desk. 

For power, plug in the microUSB cable to your own USB car charger (not provided) or rely on the built-in five-hour battery. The button placement is a bit awkward, as they are hidden away in the back of the unit, so that's something I would have designed differently. 

A nice add-on is the voice guidance which makes it easier to connect via Bluetooth by talking you through the process. If we iPhone users can't have NFC, at least we can benefit from this feature. The iLuv Syren is offered in assorted colors including white with gray accents, black, black with blue accents, black with red accents, and black with pink accents.


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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.