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View Full Version : Buying a Bluetooth adapter for car phone / audio



Pat Barry
11-30-2015, 11:27 AM
I'm looking to buy a Bluetooth adapter for my wife's car so that she can use the car audio system to listen to music / podcasts from her cell phone and also make hands free phone calls. Her car is a 2008 Rav 4 . It has Aux input socket for a small audio plug. Should I go that route or go the route of the FM transmitter? Anyone have opinions on this? You can probably tell from the way I'm asking that I'm pretty clueless so its either get help from you folks or see if one of the kids a Best buy can help me out

George Bokros
11-30-2015, 11:39 AM
This is of interest to me. I have that ability in my Ford Fusion and would like it in my Ranger PU also. I too only have an input for a small audio plug.

Lee Schierer
11-30-2015, 8:06 PM
I used an FM transmitter before our cars were equipped with the audio input jack. They work okay; however, as you travel between cities the blank station you picked to broadcast on may be the same frequency of a local station so as you travel you will need to keep retuning the transmitter to get rid of interference from local stations. The audio input does not have that problem. The phone may not be able to connect via bluetooth if it is paying audio.

Pat Barry
12-01-2015, 9:06 AM
Well, after talking with a bunch of people at work, the consensus was that the Bluetooth receiver that plugs into the Aux input was the cleanest / best approach. They spoke of similar things as Lee described with the FM transmitter type. so I ordered one from Amazon yesterday. The nice thing about this one was that it has a cigarette lighter plugin with a couple of USB charging ports so you can still charge the cell phone while using the system and there's nothing that needs to be plugged into the phone courtesy of the Bluetooth wireless connection to the phone.

George Bokros
12-01-2015, 9:23 AM
Well, after talking with a bunch of people at work, the consensus was that the Bluetooth receiver that plugs into the Aux input was the cleanest / best approach. They spoke of similar things as Lee described with the FM transmitter type. so I ordered one from Amazon yesterday. The nice thing about this one was that it has a cigarette lighter plugin with a couple of USB charging ports so you can still charge the cell phone while using the system and there's nothing that needs to be plugged into the phone courtesy of the Bluetooth wireless connection to the phone.

I am interested in which one you purchased and how well you are satisfied with it.

Thanks

Pat Barry
12-01-2015, 10:05 AM
I bought this one from Amazon. It wasn't the cheapest one but I liked the fact it had improved audio response over the standard ones.
326111

Curt Harms
12-02-2015, 9:15 AM
It might matter how good the current radio is. Replacement radios that have bluetooth built in are not outrageously expensive and may have better performance/more features than the currently installed unit. I just replaced my getting - tired radio with a JVC unit. I didn't get bluetooth because the Garmin GPS has it and works well. It does play audio on flash media - USB & SD cards. Solid state media should be more durable and trouble free than disks. Just have never used a phone as a media player.

Jim Becker
12-02-2015, 9:41 PM
The only issue with using a Bluetooth adapter with an AUX in jack on the vehicle sound system is that if you choose to listen to another source...such as the radio...you lose the Bluetooth function for incoming phone calls. The alternative is to use a simple, inexpensive audio cable between the phone and the sound system for reproduction of music and podcasts while utilizing an Bluetooth speaker/microphone device, typically hung on your visor, for phone calls. (Mine was from BlueAnt) That's what I did for years prior to getting my current ride which has native Bluetooth integration. This and a power source for the phone makes for a very nice, functional and legal setup.

And what Curt brings up is valid for all but the most recent vehicles where the car's computers are part of the sound system, making it difficult to replace. But they typically already have Bluetooth. It may be more costly, however, than what I suggest above.

Curt Harms
12-03-2015, 9:30 AM
if you choose to listen to another source...such as the radio...you lose the Bluetooth function for incoming phone calls.

That is a benefit of the radio with built-in bluetooth. When there is an incoming call the audio whatever the source is muted. Also incoming calls are routed thru the vehicle's speakers so may be clearer and louder. If there's an external microphone it may allow higher quality outgoing audio as well.

Chris Merriam
12-03-2015, 9:55 AM
I used one of the Bluetooth adapters for a while and it worked great, sound was waaaay better than the FM method. The one downside is once or twice the connection became unpaired and you have to push a little button on the unit to re-pair. You need a power outlet nearby to power it, and make sure you use a quality power plug that won't conk out on you.

The adapter can also be for home use, to stream through your home stereo.