Review Car Bluetooth: 6 Ways to Find the Perfect Bluetooth System
Older car technologies were relatively simple; a cassette or CD player embedded in the dashboard was a big luxury. However, newer cars are now using Bluetooth devices to connect almost any compatible device to the vehicle’s dashboard controls. What is Bluetooth? In a nutshell, Bluetooth is a form of wireless communication through the use of short range radio transmissions between the vehicle and an electronic device, such as a smartphone.
Since many car manufacturers are adding this feature to current production models, it is important for consumers to understand the benefits of the technology, as well as finding the best individual match. In fact, there are many websites that offer a comparison feature about Bluetooth enabled cars by plugging in a ZIP code and reading the various choices available in the marketplace. To find auto insurance coverage comparison as well, simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool above now!
Every device manufacturer uses different software to control everyday functions, from browsing the Internet to receiving a phone call. Although a car and a device may have Bluetooth hardware, that does not necessarily mean that they will instantly connect.
During car shopping, it is imperative for a consumer to test the Bluetooth connection; if this is a feature that is important on the individual’s list, it will be a large letdown if the Bluetooth system does not work with a device after the final purchase. The connection may take a little while to communicate initially, but if the vehicle and device are compatible, the connection will automatically communicate the next time the person enters the car.
2. User Friendliness
Driving requires constant attention to the road; he or she does not need to be distracted by the Bluetooth connection. Consumers should test the pairing between the device and the car to see how easy it is to manipulate during driving. Many vehicles place the phone’s information, through Bluetooth, on the large touchscreen that is integrated within the dashboard. The information should be easy to read with a glance; no tiny numbers or letters should be involved.
Drivers should be able to answer and finish a call with ease; the touchscreen should have a large enough area to press “send” and “receive.” If the Bluetooth communication on the screen is hard to manipulate, the driver will most likely forgo the communication link and resort to a more dangerous choice of pressing the phone’s controls.
3. Control Placement
Bluetooth is supposed to make communication easier in the vehicle, not more difficult. One common placement for controls, such as picking up the phone or dialing a number, is through the steering wheel control buttons. Placing Bluetooth controls within the steering wheel allows the driver to keep his or her hands on the wheel, rather than fiddling with controls farther away.
However, a premium Bluetooth system will allow the driver to access the controls on both the dashboard and steering wheel. This configuration provides the passenger with access to the Bluetooth controls, such as engaging in a group conversation over the phone.
4. Voice Recognition Feature
Bluetooth systems need to have a solid voice recognition feature; if a driver needs to keep his or her hands on the wheel, it is nearly impossible to call out on the phone. However, a voice recognition program allows users to ask for the phone to call a friend, colleague, or family member. The hands never need to leave the steering wheel.
Consumers should test this feature before purchasing the vehicle. Some recognition software does not “read” a person’s voice well, causing miscommunication and failed phone calls. During a test drive, consumers should talk to the Bluetooth software to see if it will call anyone correctly and on a consistent basis.
5. Speakers and Audio System
Although speaking on the phone is helpful in the car, some people still want to listen to their favorite tunes on the stereo. The Bluetooth connection should not interfere with the music playing; in fact, the music should slowly recede into silence when a call is received and should calmly pick up volume once the call is finished.
Another feature of the Bluetooth and the stereo system is use of the speakers. A driver can hear a caller much better if the audio is moved through the vehicle’s speakers. Once the music dies down, the caller should be heard loud and clear across all speakers. Consumers should test this feature while driving within a noisy area, such as a freeway, to see if the music and caller react accordingly.
6. Privacy Mode
A driver may have individuals in the car that do not need to hear a particular conversation on the phone. The Bluetooth system should have a simple way to alternate between a full car speaker mode and privacy mode. During the test drive, consumers should test this out. Depending on who is in the car, an improper conversation advertised to all passengers can be embarrassing.
Bluetooth is a convenient car feature, but can have some drawbacks for some drivers if not tested properly before purchasing. Consumers should compare vehicles‘ Bluetooth systems online by typing in their ZIP code and evaluating the different choices in the marketplace.