Do you spend hours a day commuting? Are you looking for a way that you can chat with friends and family over the phone hands-free? Are you also interested in upgrading your car stereo at the same time? If so, you may be in the market for a handy little device called a Bluetooth car kit.
If you aren’t yet sure how to start your search for the perfect Bluetooth car kit, then check out the product table below. We have done the hard work of researching popular models of Bluetooth car kits, and have put together a table which compares both features and pricing.
|GOgroove FlexSMART X2|
|iClever Himbox HB01|
Interested, but still not ready to shop? If you are ready to learn more about Bluetooth car kits, read on to learn all about the important features to shop for and the questions you should ask.
What is a Bluetooth Car Kit?
A Bluetooth car kit allows you to talk on your mobile device hands-free through a Bluetooth connection. You connect the car kit to the auxiliary jack of your vehicle’s stereo. Through this connection, the device is also able to function as an all-in-one upgrade to your car’s audio system. This means that along with talk features, it may also include radio features. While these features vary from model to model, they are common even among less expensive devices.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Bluetooth Car Kit
Before you can pick out the best Bluetooth car kit for your vehicle, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions to evaluate your needs:
What kind of compatibility do you need?
Most Bluetooth car kits are compatible with a wide range of mobile devices running Android or iOS. You will also find models which can connect to Blackberry smartphones. Also ask yourself whether you will need to hook up to just one device at a time, or whether you may sometimes want to link up with two different Bluetooth devices simultaneously.
Do you need to be able to use both the car kit and your car’s Bluetooth features simultaneously?
Some Bluetooth car kits will override the Bluetooth in your vehicle. Others will not.
What charging options do you need?
Many Bluetooth car kits will give you multiple charging options—for example charging through a USB cord or through solar panels. Solar is an excellent feature if you live in a region with a lot of sunlight.
How easy is the setup process?
If you will be moving the car kit back and forth between two or more vehicles, you obviously do not want to waste a ton of time doing this. Plus, this is an important feature if you park your car for long periods of time in public lots and do not want to leave the device in plain sight.
What are the mounting options?
There are states where it is illegal to mount anything on your vehicle’s windshield. If you live in one of those states, or simply want to leave the windshield unoccluded, then make sure you pick a car kit that you can mount on your dashboard.
What is your price range?
Bluetooth car kits start for under $20 and range up towards $100. The more you pay, the higher quality the audio will be. You may also get additional features for your money.
Features to Look For When Shopping for a Bluetooth Car Kit
Voice control and accessible buttons
The whole point of a Bluetooth car kit is to give you a way to use your mobile device without having to constantly reach for it and fumble with the buttons. For this reason, the best Bluetooth car kits include large buttons which are easy to use. They also preferably should include voice control. That way you don’t have to reach for the device at all.
This is important both for voice calls and for listening to music. Many audiophiles purchase Bluetooth car kits not just to talk to their friends and family on the road, but also to stream music from their mobile devices directly to their car stereos. Generally cheaper car kits will not produce the kind of crystal-clear high fidelity sound that higher-range devices will produce.
Battery life is important for long trips or for frequent commuting. The best Bluetooth car kits can offer you around 10-40 hours of talk time before you need to recharge their batteries. Standby time lasts even longer, sometimes more than 100 hours. If you have a device you can plug into your mobile device to recharge or which can draw on solar power, it is feasible that you will never run out of power.
Auto-connect, mute, and other useful features
Some Bluetooth car kits offer additional handy features. Auto-connect is great to look for; this saves you the trouble of manually connecting the device every time you get in your vehicle. Also look for a dedicated mute feature. This allows you to silence calls automatically.
Warranty and support
A one-year warranty is common for Bluetooth car kits. While you are at it, check to see what kind of online support the manufacturer offers. Some companies provide you with apps and downloads which you can use to augment the capabilities of your Bluetooth car kit. You may also want to have a look at customer reviews to see what kinds of experiences customers had if they needed to actually use their warranties or ask a question.
You now know a lot more about Bluetooth car kits, both why you need one and what kinds of features and capabilities they can offer you. You can make a list of features you need and scroll back up to our product table to search for the best fit for your needs. Enjoy making calls in your vehicle and streaming music from your mobile device!
Kinivo BTC450: Great Sounding Music
If you like extra bass in your music, consider the Kinivo BTC450. It does everything that you’d expect a Bluetooth car kit to do, plus music sounds great on it. Another reason to get the BTC450 comes down to looks. This unit’s black, streamlined body is very cool looking.
- Automatic connection feature. Like most Bluetooth speakers, this one is easy to pair and use.
- Music sounds great. Most music sounds tinny coming out of a Bluetooth speaker. But when it comes to high fidelity sound, the BTC450 delivers.
- Siri compatible. If you have an iPhone, you’ll have no problems communicating with Siri.
- Clear phone calls. The BTC450’s speakers perform just as well on phone calls as they do on music.
- Sleek design. This gadget could be the best looking Bluetooth car kit on the market right now.
- Strong mounting strip. The adhesive strip that goes with this unit never gets unstuck.
- Car charger included. Some Bluetooth car kits don’t come with a charger, but this one does.
- There’s no dual pairing feature. The BTC450 only connects to one device at a time.
- The thin audio cord included with the kit isn’t very good. You’ll need to buy a thicker, better shielded cord to reduce occasional static and interference.
Mpow Streambot: Bestselling Bluetooth Car Kit
The Mpow Streambot’s competitive price and ease of use has made it very a popular product on the internet. Fans of the Streambot love its straightforward interface, portability and surprisingly long range. The Streambot’s built in batteries allows you to take it with you just about anywhere you go. You can use it with any device that plugs into a headphone jack.
- Popular online. The Streambot is very popular on Amazon and has many great reviews.
- 3 button operation. With the Streambot, you can control everything with one multifunction button and two volume/track controllers.
- Small. This Bluetooth car kit is only 2 inches long and 1 inch wide.
- Long range. Once you plug it in, you can walk 35 feet away and still hear your music.
- Portable. You can use the Streambot to turn your favorite pair of headphones into wireless devices.
- USB compatible. To make the batteries last even longer, just hook it up to any USB compatible battery pack.
- Affordable price. Even though you get a slew of great features with the Streambot, it’s very reasonably priced.
- Streambot doesn’t automatically power on when you get in the car. You have to push the button to activate it.
- It’s great for music, but not so wonderful for phone calls. The built-in mic isn’t very effective.
GOgroove FlexSMART X2: Static Free FM Transmissions
Many Bluetooth car kits struggle when it comes to transmitting your smartphone’s mp3s to a radio station. But the GOgroove FlexSMART X2 excels when it comes to identifying free radio frequencies and broadcasting your tunes. Additionally, the FlexSMART X2 features a one button callback feature that allows you to return phone calls with ease.
- Powerful FM transmission. Just like the Motorola Rooster 2, music broadcast to the radio comes in crystal clear.
- Charge it while you use it. The FlexSMART X2’s unique charging setup allows you to never have to worry about recharging its batteries.
- Cuts down on wires. You’ll never have to worry about getting tangled up in wires if you go with the FlexSMART X2.
- Scans for available FM frequencies. You can allow this gadget to scan the radio automatically, or you can adjust the frequencies yourself via a control knob.
- Callback feature. Just push a button to immediately call back the last person who gave you a ring.
- USB compatible. The FlexSMART X2 hooks to your cigarette lighter charger via a standard USB connection.
- Affordable price. This unit is cheaper than most of the competition.
- There’s a slight 2 second delay when you hit play. The delay doesn’t degrade performance, but it is slightly annoying.
- The cigarette charger connection is a bit loose. If you hit it with your hand when you’re driving, it can pop out.