Your phone will no doubt have all your tunes on it, but when you get in your car there’s just a few methods of getting those tunes pumping out of the powerful speakers in your car. First, you could perhaps use one of those FM transmitters. They’re usually OK but you’ll need to find a free frequency on your dial and ensure it’s all tuned in. Secondly, you can plug your phone into your stereo via a 3.5mm audio plug. A lot of new cars come with this now but it does mean that you’ll need to faff around finding the cable (which is usually in your footwell somewhere) and plug it into your phone.
So this doo-hickey basically connects to your phone via Bluetooth and then turns your car stereo into a big fat Bluetooth speaker. Provided you have a USB output somewhere in your car (to power the device) and a 3.5mm audio input (which many new cars have now), you’re set. The official name is the “AVANTEK BC-L6 Bluetooth 4.0 Hands-Free Car Kit Wireless Car Stereo Audio Music Receiver”, which is a crazy long name but describes it well.
The device is small and has an easy-to-find button on the top which will start the Bluetooth process and activates certain functions on your phone. This not only pumps your tunes out of your speakers, but it’ll also turn your car stereo into a Bluetooth hands-free device. There’s an in-built mic and you can control the volume by rotating the top of the device.
The pairing process was painless enough and, thanks to a sticky-pad on the bottom of the device, you can locate this on your dashboard or another suitable surface in your vehicle.
The twisting mechanism on the top of the device will adjust call volume or, when you’re listening to music, it’ll let you control the tracks. Twist right to move one track forward, twist left to move one track back. Now, I know we shouldn’t be fiddling around with stuff whilst driving, but if you stick this close enough you’re doing no more than you would if you were changing a CD track or tuning your radio.
Bluetooth calls, when I tried them, worked well and the echo / noise cancelling technology cut out most of all the road noise whilst driving. Trouble is though, a lot of us have a Bluetooth system in our cars that we like already.
If so, that’s not a problem – most handsets will let you choose (within the Bluetooth pairing options for your phone) whether to pair the music audio AND the phone (call) audio or just one of them. If you want, when you’ve connected your phone to the device, you can switch off the phone / call audio and only use this device for your tunes. Then you can let your regular car system for making and receiving calls whilst this will stream music into your stereo. Good huh?