Bluetooth Handsfree with Streaming Audio for Car or Home

Discussion in 'Android Accessories' started by skidemn, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. skidemn

    skidemn Member

    Nov 18, 2009
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    Southern California
    A lot of people have been asking for a Bluetooth solution for their car that provides hands-free operation and allows their music or streaming audio (Pandora, iHeartRadio, etc.) to play in the car. I have been testing a Scoshce Universal Bluetooth Receiver w/Handsfree (UBRH) system with my Droid and wanted to post the results.

    First, the contents:
    The kit includes a Bluetooth receiver which can be used either in the car or at home connected to a home stereo, a plastic stand if using the receiver with a home stereo, a hands-free mic with visor clip, a wall plug power supply for home use, a 12V wire harness for car installation, and a 1' RCA cable. It also comes with a VERY cheesy vent mount phone holder that should be thrown in the nearest trash can. Here's a photo of the basics less RCA cable and cheap vent mount holder.

    Connecting the unit:
    I connected mine in my office for initial testing and plugged in a set of powered speakers for audio. First, I powered the system up according to the instructions (plugged in the wall power supply- yep, that simple) then paired it to the Droid. This is such a simple process it doesn't even need directions to accomplish. Here's a shot of the Droid Bluetooth screen so you can see the Scosche is connected.
    Photo of menu screen showing phone and media output via Bluetooth:

    Bluetooth setup note:
    Under the Profiles menu for Scoshe (hold the Scoshe tab down until options menu comes up) make sure to also select "Media" or the kit will only use Bluetooth for the Hands-free phone portion. Once this is completed, you can open any media player or audio program such as Pandora, and the audio will play through whatever is connected to the Bluetooth receiver- in this case my powered speakers.

    Just like when headphones are connected, you'll notice the volume of the ringer is extremely loud compared to the media you are playing. I really haven't taken the time to adjust the ringer volume since I was testing the media and handsfree audio portion for now. For test purposes or home use this is all that is needed and you are up listening to your Droid over your home stereo, powered speakers, clock radio with audio input, etc. For car use you will need either a radio with RCA or 3.5mm input and cable, or an auxiliary input for your factory radio. An auxiliary input will take an unused input on the back of the radio (usually used for an external CD changer or optional dealer installed audio option such as satellite radio or rear-seat DVD) and convert it to a direct input we can use to get audio from your Droid (or other device) into your radio, with the best possible sound quality. If you want to know if there is aux input available for your car just PM me and I'll look it up- chances are I have some sort of solution for you.

    The end result of my testing is that aside from the annoyance of the louder ring volume (which may be able to be adjusted but at this point I don't know), the system works very well. Callers listening to me on the hands-free could hear me just fine but mentioned that I sounded like I was on a speakerphone, as expected. Once the call ended, my music player resumed but I noticed with Pandora I had to hit play again. This is most likely because the Verizon network does not allow the data and voice at the same time so the Pandora stream is cut and must be restarted after the call. For music players though, they simply pause and start again after hangup which is very nice.

    What is also nice about this system is that Scosche makes Bluetooth transmitters that pair to this system so you can add an iPod or other device as well as your Droid. If you do not need the hands-free mic you can get it without for a little less green as well. This option is perfect for people like me who normally use a Jawbone or if you want to use this with a home stereo and don't need the mic.

    Now I should mention that this Scosche part was originally discontinued as it came out before many phones supported A2DP and was also quite expensive. Because it was discontinued you can probably find deals all over the web on this part, and my company also has brand new stock on hand if you care about getting it from an authorized distributor. Now that I know this kit works well with the Droid I will be putting some kits together on our site that include an aux input for people that need one for their radio, and I'll have a coupon discount for forum members of course. PM if interested and as soon as it's live I'll give you links and discount codes...
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