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Like this article? We recommend Other Accessories that Will Enhance the Functionality of Your iPad 2

Other Accessories that Will Enhance the Functionality of Your iPad 2

Aside from ways to protect your iPad 2 or using a stand to hold it at the perfect angle on a tabletop, a desk, or on your lap, you'll discover a wide range of other optional accessories that enhance the functionality of your tablet.

If you enjoy listening to music or watching TV shows, videos, or movies on your iPad 2, seriously consider investing in a pair of noise-reduction headphones that either plug into your tablet's earphone jack or offer wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

Using optional headphones with your tablet will greatly enhance the digital sound it generates, allowing you to truly experience the music or audio you're listening to, especially if you're in a noisy environment such as an airplane.

For a good pair of noise-reduction headphones (that offer top-quality stereo sound while getting rid of unwanted background noise), plan on spending between $100.00 and $300.00. Noise-reduction headphones are available from companies such as Shure (http://www.shure.com/americas/products/earphones-headphones/music-mobile/index.htm) and Bose (http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headphones).

There is also a variety of ways to connect your iPad 2 to your home theater system or home stereo system, so you can listen to music stored on your tablet using your high-end speakers. Or you can invest in external speakers for your iPad that will fill a room with top-quality audio being generated by your tablet.

External speakers come in a wide range of styles, some of which are battery powered, extremely portable, and utilize a wireless Bluetooth connection. The Jawbone Jambox ($199.00, http://www.jawbone.com/speakers/jambox/overview) is one of the best external speakers in this category. However, companies such as Bose, Brookstone, iHome Audio (http://www.ihomeaudio.com), and Cambridge SoundWorks (http://store.cambridgesoundworks.com) also offer tabletop speaker systems that provide superior sound quality when connected to an iPad 2.

Instead of just allowing you to listen to music, your iPad 2 can serve as a personalized, virtual piano teacher when you attach the optional Piano Apprentice keyboard from Ion Audio ($99.99, http://www.ionaudio.com/products/details/piano-apprentice). This mini, 25-key musical keyboard comes with a specialized app that will teach you how to play the piano virtually anywhere. This keyboard/app combo is ideal for kids and adults alike.

Ion Audio also offers a tabletop arcade enclosure for an iPad 2. The iCade ($79.99, http://www.ionaudio.com/products/details/icade) transforms your tablet to give you an authentic arcade-like gaming experience, complete with a joystick and oversize buttons. This accessory works in conjunction with an ever-growing library of game apps, including Atari classics such as Asteroids, Centipede, and Battlezone.

A more portable joystick option for iPad 2 gamers comes from Logitech. The Logitech Joystick for iPad 2 ($19.99, http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet-accessories/for-ipad/devices/joystick-ipad) attaches to the tablet's screen using suction cups, but offers a true gamepad–like controller feel that's compatible with more than 50 optional games (available from the App Store).

While not exactly an iPad 2 accessory, the Apple TV device ($99.00, http://www.apple.com/appletv) that connects to any HD television set or home theatre system, as well as the Internet, can be used in conjunction with the iPad 2 (thanks to iOS 5's AirPlay feature).

When an Apple TV and iPad 2 are connected to the same wireless network, you can wirelessly stream video content or photos from your tablet to your high-definition TV with a single tap of the screen.

When used with AirPlay, Apple TV allows you to begin watching a movie, for example, on the iPad's screen while you're on-the-go, but continue watching the same movie on your big-screen television when you get home. You can also stream photos or animated slide shows from your tablet to view on your television.

You also have the option to use Apple's Digital AV Adapter cable ($39.00, http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC953) to connect your iPad 2 to any HD television or monitor, and take advantage of iOS 5's Video Mirroring feature. Thus, anything you'd see on your tablet's screen is simultaneously displayed on your HD television (except for copyright video content), regardless of what app you're using.

Apple and its third-party developers offer an ever-growing selection of optional accessories for your iPad 2 that can dramatically enhance its capabilities, make the tablet more accessible, or better protect it while you're on the go. Choosing the right combination of optional accessories for your iPad 2 will dramatically enhance the experience of using your tablet.

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