Jul 15 2008
Review– DLO VentMount for iPod touch (or iPhone)
If you’re like me, you rarely drive without your iPod but don’t have a great place to put it. Mine ends up on the console between seats, which works but not well. Sharp turns (not that I do that) send the polish metal-backed iPod sliding and changing tunes means talking your eyes off the road.
Now, there are giant suction-cup adjustable holder things, but they just don’t do the iPod touch or iPhone justice. DLO has a better option, the VentMount. By means of tiny arms reaching into your car’s vent the DLO mount embraces your iPod touch or iPhone and props it up right on your dash. The mount is just enough to safely hold your iPod at an adjustable angle while not completely blocking your vent or looking like an erector set stuck to your windshield. This review is specific to the iPod touch VentMount, though the iPhone VentMount is pretty much identical.
The arms attach to a faceplate. The iPod attaches to a belt clip that slides on and off the plate, a great deal if you’re the belt clip type. The installation took less time to do that it does to describe it here: attach the arms to the faceplate, clip the arms to your vent blade then slide on the belt clip. Be sure to test the location and carefully chose which blade to clip to, as it is a pain to remove the clips. The easiest way to get them off is to detach them from the plate and wiggle them out individually.
On the Road
My car has a steeply inclined dash – more than most. You’ll notice that my mount is pretty inclined because of that. The exact position is adjustable with a swing-out support that props the bottom of the plate up. The simplicity if the install is good because DLO’s manual is a single sheet with two line drawings.
I really liked having my iPod touch dash-mounted. While I am no safety expert [disclaimer] I did feel more attentive not having to look down to control my iPod [please don't wreck your car playing with your iPod, and if you do don't blame me, my boss Rick or any of our subsidiaries]. The position was also ideal for enjoying cover art and following driving directions in Maps. As a bonus, the mount looks cool even without an iPod in it. Oh, and even though I didn’t use it much, the belt clip rotates on the plate, allowing you to roll landscape style.
At under $30, the mount isn’t too expensive, and may become something you use everyday. There were a couple things that ate at me as I tried out the VentMount. First of all, it does obstruct the vent. The blocking of the vent actually isn’t bad. Instead the trouble comes because the arms restrict the vertical adjustment of the vent blades, so you can’t angle them up or down.
Also, I did worry a bit as my iPod got chilled rapidly by my air conditioning. Cold (or hot) temperatures within a reasonable range should not impair the function of the iPod, but changing temperatures isn’t good for Lithium-Ion batteries. After doing some research I found that this is mostly true of batteries during storage at high temperatures, so I can’t say that freezing or roasting your iPod during use will hurt it as long as you stay within Apple’s limits of operation.
So, temperature paranoia aside, the VentMount is a must-have auto accessory for touch and iPhone owners. Before picking one up, and before mounting one you’ll want to check out your vent situation in your car to get an idea what you’ll end up with. As long as your car is suited for it, it is the best solution around for using your iPod on the road.