If you have a modern vehicle you most probably have means to play music onto your car stereo from your phone. Various options are offered by car manufacturers – Auxiliary, USB and (on higher end cars) Bluetooth. When Auxiliary and USB are the only options things get messy. Cables tend to get entangled onto things (handbrakes, gear levers) and apart from that, looking at your phone whilst driving to switch songs or answer phone calls can be fatal.
TaoTronics bridged the gap between not-so-spec-ed cars and fully speced by creating the Hands-Free Car Kit.
What does it do?
This little nifty device converts music being played through Bluetooth to an auxiliary jack – hence ‘Bluetooth enabling’ your cars stereo. It comes with a tethered remote that allows you to play/pause, answer phone calls, change songs and change the volume without looking at your phone.
As with all TaoTronics products recently, this gadget looks great. The USB charger slides in snugly into the 12V port and doesn’t jiggle about. The remote has a ‘soft-touch’ finish with three buttons, a slider on the side to power the device on and off (just in case the 12V port remains powered when the car is off) and a microphone. On the back of the remote there is a barely noticeable magnetic base which also has 3M adhesive for those who have no metal parts on their dashboard.
Installation is very simple – plug the ‘USB charger’ into the 12V DC port. Connect the USB end of the cable into the charger into the port with the phone symbol and connect the 3.5mm jack into your cars Aux input. Turn on your car (or turn the key onto ‘accessories’) and connect with Bluetooth or NFC. Voilà! you’re all set!
This gadget has the the features you’d expect any Bluetooth device to have:
– Play / Pause
– Next Song / Previous Song
– Volume Up / Down
– Answer phone call
– Decline phone call
– Redial last called number
– NFC pairing
As I said in another of my posts I’m quite particular about audio quality so I was ecstatic to read that this gadget has in-built aptX coding (TL;DR CD quality music over Bluetooth) and it did not disappoint me.
I haven’t heard any artefacts or skipped notes yet. My iPhone connects within a few seconds of turning on my car and starts playing as soon as I press the multifunction button once.
I delayed purchasing this product for too long. The price of competitors had put me off buying a similar gadget. But luckily enough TaoTronics sent me one to review and I couldn’t be happier. Compared to the price of changing your vehicles’s factory stereo to a Bluetooth-enabled one, this hands-free kit is a very cost effective solution.