Himbox-car-kit_01I’m a fan of neat new ways to wirelessly enable existing audio systems – it’s one of the great facilitators for convenient audiobook listening. And the iClever Himbox HB01+ Bluetooth 4.0 Car Kit definitely qualifies in this category. Although flagged as a Bluetooth car kit, it’s equally applicable to home audio – and it’s both compact and, at $39.99, attractively cheap.

As you can see from the picture, the basic Himbox unit is a round button format thing, similar to many ultracompact MP3 players. It’s small enough to be almost entirely control buttons. It has a (non-detachable) cable which forks into a USB plug and a 3.5mm audio jack. The principle is simple: You plug the Himbox into your car’s USB socket or cigarette lighter for charging (the unit has no battery), put the audio jack into the Aux input feed on your car stereo, sync the Himbox to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and listen away. Needless to say, all that works just as well at home.

Since it’s originally designed for cars, the Himbox has a couple of handy design points and accessories. It ships with a nice three-port cigarette lighter charger, including one high-power port, and a magnetic clip which can adhere to the base of the Himbox, giving an extra option for hanging the device in your car – or home. I tested the unit on a boombox at home: It paired over Bluetooth without issues, and sound quality was good. The Himbox also has built-in call answering features for those who need to use it with a smartphone.

Of course, you need a home audio unit with a single Aux input socket (not a headphone out socket) for the Himbox to work, or some form of adapter, but that still leaves it a boon for many users. Anyone with a bunch of downloaded audiobooks can potentially stream them to their home stereo for very little extra with the Himbox. Recommended.