A car stereo system makes up the audio unit for the vehicle. You can use CD's or flash drives to play music, or listen to the radio. That's all it is good for. But Bluetooth being a wireless technology, allows you to connect multiple devices to your car stereo, if it is Bluetooth enabled. Think about it. You are driving to work, you've got your favorite track playing, suddenly you get a phone call. Now you have to turn down the music with one hand, and answer the phone with the other. And drive, of course. What if by pressing one button on your stereo system, you pick up the phone, the song's volume is automatically turned down and instead of through your mobile, the call is played over the stereo? No, this is not a futuristic prototype of a car audio system, this is what a Bluetooth car stereo can do! And with competing brands and technological advancements, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with this type of car audio system.
Uses & Benefits of a Bluetooth Car Audio System
While various models and brands offer different features, here's a look at some of the common ones.
✧ The basic function is of course, hands-free calling. Some models allow you to handle the phone completely from the stereo dashboard itself. Call information, like caller id, number and call status will be displayed on the stereo screen.
✦ An interesting feature is playing the call as audio over the stereo, so you can listen to your calls through your car speakers. Other perks include transferring your contacts to the stereo itself, so you can access your phonebook through the stereo. And when an incoming call occurs, the stereo system thoughtfully mutes any song or video playback, so you can pick up the call in peace.
✧ Easy call handling allows for safe driving as well. A very common cause of vehicle accidents and casualties is a distracted driver, who uses his phone while driving. Hands-free calling allows for mobile use, while both your hands remain on the steering wheel.
✦ A Bluetooth stereo system allows you to turn your car into a mobile media center. All Bluetooth enabled devices can talk to each other. So if your MP3 player is paired with the stereo, you can play music stored in the player on the stereo. This sort of wireless music streaming requires a A2DP profile on both the car stereo and the device, so look for this specification. Streaming video content is an emerging technology. The best part, no nests of wires and connectors to sort out!
How to Choose a Bluetooth Car Stereo
✧ You can opt for a Bluetooth kit, which is a device that acts as a middleman between your stereo and the connecting device. It translates the Bluetooth transmission from your phone, into a recognizable format for your stereo to understand. Some models require wires for connection to the stereo, some don't. A Bluetooth kit has limited functionality, restricted to hands-free calling.
✦ A Bluetooth car adapter is a connector that allows more phone handling services on the stereo interface itself. Adapters can be universal or stereo specific. This type of Bluetooth peripherals are discreet in connections, with a simpler wiring system, usually at the back of the stereo. They are also more functional, with music and video features.
✧ The most advanced option, is a built-in stereo. No need for wires or cables, just plug the unit in to replace the existing stereo. Their slightly higher price is justified by the up-scale features and sound quality. Complete and advanced phone control and hands-free options, music controls and streaming and better audio experience, round up this sort of Bluetooth stereo, making it a premium option in car audio systems.
✦ Pick smart and think long-term when purchasing a Bluetooth car stereo. Don't go in for a complicated system, if you are not the tech type. If you want a basic hands-free model, stick to your decision and do not get swayed by fancy sales talk. Make sure the offered specs and features on the model will work with your car and devices like a phone or MP3 player. While Bluetooth is a very friendly technology for devices to get along with, new and old Bluetooth standards used on devices can affect compatibility.
A nice snazzy Bluetooth car stereo set makes an attractive target for car thieves, so try to pick a detachable unit. Even a flip face model is a good theft-safe option. Safer driving, easy phone handling and if present, a good car sound system, are 3 good excuses to buy a car stereo with Bluetooth connectivity.